South-claw hermit crab, SEM

South-claw hermit crab, SEM

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Credit: PETR JAN JURACKA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: South-claw hermit crab (Diogenes pugilator). Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a south-claw hermit crab (lower right) inside its shell. Hermit crabs (superfamily Paguroidea) are not true crabs but decapod crustaceans that do not have their own shell. Instead, they have long soft abdomens that they protect from predators by living inside a salvaged empty seashell. They carry the shell on their back when moving around and can retract their whole body into it. This shell measures 14mm long.

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