Facts You May Not Have Known About Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs are found both on land and in water. Whether they are land or sea crabs, they are crustaceans that live in a shell discarded by another animal. This article is talking about the peculiarities of “land” or “tree” hermit crabs, not the ocean varieties.

They truly start life like fish and grow into land life. These little crabs start out in the ocean, much like sea hermit crabs. While they’re in the water as babies, hermit crabs start out as larvae called zoeae and grow into aquatic crabs, they swim and breathe underwater through gills. As adults, they can no longer breathe underwater, but they still breathe through gills that must be kept moist to prevent suffocation. Grown up hermit crabs have lost their ability to swim.

Their tail shape is set by their first shell. A hermit crab’s rear end curves to fit into and hold onto the shell they live in. The shape of their first shell is very important, and will influence shell selection for the rest of their lives.

They “go number one” below their eyes. Hermit crabs excrete urine through glands at the base of their antennae. Which means that they “pee” through their faces.

Their name is a misnomer. Although these animals are commonly called “hermit crabs” they are actually not true crabs because they lack a hard abdomen armor, and they are not hermits, because they live in large groups of about a hundred crabs in the wild.

Hermit crabs have been bred in captivity, but this is not where pet store stock comes from. All pet stock available has been harvested off beaches throughout the world where these animals are native. Most pet hermit crabs in the US come from the West Atlantic coasts.

They have no vocal cords, but they still “talk”. These cute little crustaceans make sounds sort of like chirps by rubbing legs together. This is called “stridulating” and works similar to the noise you get when you rub your two hands together. They can be very expressive.

They molt. To grow, this crustacean has to go through process of burying themselves, shedding their old exoskeleton, eating it, and re-emerging. This is called molting, and the whole thing can take weeks. Without somewhere safe to bury themselves for weeks approximately once or twice a year, a hermit crab will die.

Only six of their ten legs are generally visible. Although hermit crabs have ten legs like a spider, they keep the back four inside their shells to anchor them in and keep the inside of the shell clean.

Legs can be “thrown off” without killing the crab. If a crab is stressed or scared, they can “drop” a leg to distract a threat so that they can hopefully get away. They sometimes do this when they are sickly, too. They will grow a new leg back oven the next few molts.

Hermits do poop. Their owners sometimes wonder if they do, because crab poop is small and blends in with bedding materials. These guys either defecate inside their shell and then scoop it out or out the side of their shell.

“Hermies” have long been adored as short-term pets that are easy to care for. Actually, they can live up to 30 years or so in captivity when cared for correctly. Pet stores routinely give poor pet care to hermit crabs, and pass poor pet care information to owners, resulting in short lifespans. As a very misunderstood pet, they have a strong grass-roots following of devotees on-line distributing good care information.

Raising A Ring Tail Lemur: Facts You Shouldn’t Miss

Raising a ring tail lemur entails a lot of responsibility since you’re going to have to take care of an exotic pet in your own home. Exotic animals are called so because they’re a lot different from the usual house pets that people take care of in their households.

Before deciding on raising a ring tail lemur at home, you first need to read thoroughly about the type of exotic pet that you want to bring home with you from the pet store. The first thing you need to know about these exotic pets would be their physical characteristics. Ring tailed lemurs are called so because they sport black and white rings on their tails. The name lemur on the other hand, is derived from the Latin word, which means spirits or ghosts because this exotic animal is known to be nocturnal in nature. However, ring tailed ones are known to be diurnal and they are also known to be somewhat terrestrial as compared to other species of lemurs. Even though they are arboreal, these animals spend around 33 percent of their time on the ground. In fact, ring tailed lemurs are known to be the most terrestrial among all the species of lemurs. Even though they’re already an endangered species, they still remain to be really popular among pet lovers because of their really cute looks and social nature.

These animals are larger in size as compared to other species since they range from 40 to 50 cm in terms of body length. What’s amazing is that their tails are longer than their body length. Their tails average from 56 to 65 cm. These are furry and have black and white rings as well as a black tip. The number of black rings is higher than the number of white rings. Their bodies on the other hand are covered with black skin and have fur that’s grayish in color. However, some of them have rosy brown fur. They have white patches on their face, chest, ears, underbelly, and throat. Their face is pointed and they have a snout that resembles that of a fox, which is black in color. Their amber-colored eyes are also covered with black skin and somewhat resembles that of a mask.

Let’s move on to the habitat and diet of these cute little animals. They are native to the island of Madagascar. They are often found in highland areas. They love staying in places where there are lot of trees specifically those that have horizontal branches on them. Even though they’re omnivorous in nature, they typically feed on flowers, fruits, bark, sap, leaves, and herbs. They also love feeding on the pods and leaves of the tamarind tree. Aside from that, they also eat grasshoppers, spiders, small birds, chameleons, caterpillars, and lizards. Moreover, they also eat the cocoons of insects, spider webs, and decayed wood. They feed twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.