Hermit crab

Hermit crab

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Credit: BARBARA STRNADOVA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Red hermit crab (Dardanus megistos). This crab inhabits the tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean and parts of the Indian Ocean. It is one of the largest hermit crabs, and may reach 15 centimetres in length. Hermit crabs do not have the hard carapace of most other crustaceans, and use discarded mollusc shells for protection. As they grow they must find successively larger shells. This hermit crab is an active predator as well as a scavenger, and feeds on cephalopods, jellyfish and molluscs. It is also a popular aquarium animal due to its striking colouration.

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Keywords: animal, aquarium, crustacean, dardanus megistos, gastropod, hermit crab, home, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine, mollusc, nature, ocean, red, scarlet, scavenger, sea, shell, tropical, wildlife, zoology

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