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Hermit crabs are found throughout the world’s oceans. There are many different types represented by a wide range of shapes and sizes. All of them have one thing in common: they live inside an empty snail shell or similar shelter. They must do this because, unlike other crabs, hermit crabs lack a hard shell to protect their body. As individuals get bigger, they outgrow their shelter and must find another of suitable size and “move in”.
The various species of hermit crabs occupy a variety of habitats such as mud flats, tide pools and oyster beds in both intertidal and subtidal zones. Some hermit crabs are also found in deeper water offshore. These animals are generally scavengers that feed on dead plants and animals, as well as living algae.
Look for the hermit crab in one of the three touch pools in the Georgia Explorer gallery.