Blan­kether­mit crab

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild News -

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’.

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