While the hermit crab is not a leading character in my book, she is present at the beginning of the story, quietly hanging out in a bottle cap instead of a shell. As with the other creatures in my story, I got this inspiration from real life.
Below is my illustration used in children’s story “Sophie & Max Show Some Ocean Love”, and two photos from the internet. You can google “hermit crabs in garbage” and see many of these types of photos!
Why is this hermit crab living in a bottle cap? Well, they have very fragile exoskeletons, and usually they live in a sturdy shell for protection. As their bodies grow, they need to find bigger shells to move into. In the cases above, they found our trash more readily available for shelter. Sadly it happens too often.
The video below is a very cool capture of a hermit crab moving into a newer, larger shell. And as if that wasn’t cool enough to see, she also moves the anemones living on her old shell with her!
Anemones are living organisms that have stinging tentacles that assist in protecting the hermit crab from predators. In return, they enjoy feasting on food particles as the hermit crab eats (apparently rather messily). This is called a symbiotic relationship as they help each other. OK, here is the video—it is amazing! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!