Blue legged hermit

Discussion in 'Invertebrates' started by saaid, 14 Nov 2011.

  1. saaid

    saaid

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    Good day peeps, can someone explain the molting process to me. Been google-ing and cant really grasp it.

    My understanding is that they leave their shell to do it. But now on two occasions I have found the remains of it and a crab still in the shell? Do I have another one hiding or do I clearly just not understand? :eek:
     
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  3. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Crabs have a hard outer skeleton (exoskeleton) that cannot grow with the crab. The crab has to shed this to be able to grow. When it sheds the old exoskeleton, it has a soft new one underneth. The new one takes a few days to harden, during which time the crab is very vulnerable to predetors so will hide away.
    The exoskeleton is shed all at once so does look like an entire empty crab. It often gets eaten by other critters before you find it.
    Hermits must leave their shell to shed and might return to the same shell or find themselvs a larger one.
     
    Last edited: 14 Nov 2011
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  4. saaid

    saaid Thread Starter

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    okay understand,so that is why he hung out around the same rock for a while. Thanks man:thumbup:
     
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