Hermit Experience / Research / Prototyping / Digital Fabrication
Project length - 8 weeks
Hermit crabs are anything but hermits.
They're called hermit crabs because each one carries his shelter with him. In reality, hermit crabs are social animals that thrive in the company of other hermit crabs.
The primary purpose of Hermit's shell is to protect his soft abdomen, but it also helps him regulate his body fluids and hydrate his gills. Yes, Hermit has gills, not lungs, so he doesn't breathe like we do. Because of this, he requires humid air to breathe, or he will slowly die of suffocation.
During their life cycle, a female hermit crab releases her fertilized eggs into the ocean. Because most crabs reproduce in the ocean, they can not be bred in captivity. Once in the larval stage, the baby hermit crabs grow through the molting process. All hermit crabs molt. The younger ones, because they grow at a faster rate, can molt every few months. Adult hermit crabs tend to molt every eighteen months or so.
There are more than 500 different species of hermit crab found in marine habitats all around the world. Although hermit crabs do venture into deeper waters, they are more commonly found in coastal waters where there is more food and places to hide.