WHAT IS IT? For blanket-hermit crabs, every day is a duvet day. While most hermits seek shelter in discarded snail shells, these comfort-loving crustaceans – including five new species just described in the journal ZooKeys – wrap themselves in the soft, yielding bodies of sea anemones.
WHERE IS IT? Found at depths of up to 1125m in the Indo-Pacific, these crabs stretch their anemones over their vulnerable soft parts using a specialised pair of walking legs, which, depending on the species, resemble ice tongs or bear claws. When threatened, they can pull these living duvets right over their heads to give predators a faceful of stinging tentacles.
If you’re a hermit crab, you can protect yourself with a ‘duvet’.