Tag Archives: Mark Laidre

Hermit crabs socialize to get bigger homes

30 Oct

A marine snail shell newly vacated by its gastropod owner (left) and a shell that has been remodeled by a hermit crab. (Photo courtesy of Mark Laidre, UC Berkeley)

Land hermit crabs are often desperate to “Keep up with the Jones,” and will congregate with other crabs for a solely selfish purpose–to move into a bigger shell–a recent study shows.

Mark Laidre, a UC Berkeley Miller Post-Doctoral Fellow, found that while hermit crabs in the ocean can often just find abandoned shells laying around, shells on land are few and far between. This is why certain species of land hermit crabs congregate to kick others out of their shells. Continue reading