Trivia question for May-06-2011

Posted on May 6, 2011 in Trivia

Carter found these facts fascinating… lets see what you think.  These guys use discarded shells of other animals as protection since they do not have a hard shell of their own.  They are quite hospitable and often share their ‘houses’ with a variety of other organisms such as anemones.

Most species have long, spirally curved abdomens, which are soft, unlike the hard, calcified abdomens seen in related crustaceans. The vulnerable abdomen is protected from predators by a salvaged empty seashell carried by these crabs, into which its whole body can retract. Most frequently these guys use the shells of sea snails (although the shells of bivalves and scaphopods and even hollow pieces of wood and stone are used by some species).

So here are Carter’s questions:  What technique do scientists use to get these guys to release their tenacious grip on the shells they live in without hurting them?  Also, in New Jersey they host an annual festival which includes a race with these creatures.  Tell us what the record time is for these crabs to complete the 6-foot oval track

Good luck 😉


Well officially we did not have anyone answer all the questions for Carter’s questions but to be fair Gina grew up in S. Fla. and had one for a pet so she decided to let someone else guess what this is.  Thanks Gina… your a winner in our eyes 😉

The critter we featured is the Hermit Crab and since when they find a shell, they crawl in and hang onto it for dear life, it is difficult for scientists to study them while in their shells.  To coax them out without harming them, they briefly touch a lighted match to the shell which makes them release their grip. 

The current record at the New Jersey fair for a Hermit Crab completing the 6-foot oval race track is 6.3 seconds which was completed by Hermie.  Here is more on these crafty critters.  Hermit Crab

Thanks for playing along 😉