When I was little, my best friend had pet hermit crabs. One of them was even named after me, Malorie. I didn’t know much about hermit crabs before meeting Malorie and the others, but it was so fascinating to watch them!
One of my favorite parts about the hermit crabs was watching them change shells.
Every so often, my friend would add a larger shell in their tank and they would climb all the way out of the safety of their shell and into the new, larger shell.
It’s really something special to witness, and if you’ve ever wanted to see a shell change for yourself, you’re in luck.
TikTok user @noodlesma has pet hermit crabs and she recently filmed one moving from its shell to a larger shell.
According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institue, the front half a hermit crab is made of a harder exoskeleton but the abdomen and lower half is soft. Hermit crabs, therefore, squeeze their lower ends into snail shells for protection.
As the hermit crab grows inside the snail shell, the shell doesn’t grow with it. Eventually, the hermit crab is forced to find a new, larger shell to accommodate growth.
If you’d like to see the shell change for yourself, be sure to check out the video below:
@noodlesma Ever seen a hermit crab change shells? Now you have! #hermitcrab #myhouseisazoo ♬ original sound – NoodlesMa