Crab-tivating!

By Ng Mei Bao who is a Senior Science Educator at Science Centre Singapore.

Feeling crabby? Watch this video and it may make your day better!

Wasn’t it mesmerising to watch that little critter eating in such a relaxed manner? Pinching off pieces of food with its claws and daintily bringing it to its mouthparts, which in turn place the food in the mouth of the hermit crab.

Wait—what, those hairy things are the mouthparts of the crab?! That’s right; unlike us who have a gaping hole for a mouth with teeth inside, the mouth of a hermit crab has many parts within. They are known as the maxillipeds, and these mouthparts act like little hands to bring food to the mouth of the hermit crab.

In case you’re wondering, the name “hermit crab” is a misnomer – hermit crabs are not hermits at all! Hermits are people who choose to live alone, away from other people; but hermit crabs are social creatures and prefer to live in groups. So if you’re planning on having one of these as a pet, do consider getting him a companion too. Do take note that hermit crabs can live for 10-30 years though, so make sure you are ready to commit to taking care of these interesting creatures. Remember, a pet is for life (its life)!

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