My house is alive! We usually help each other.
My house is alive! We usually help each other.
A different kind of small hermit crab

what's the experience of living in a living house? Maybe we can interview a hermit crab that has just been discovered recently.

most of the hermit crabs we know live in various spiral shells to protect themselves, and as they grow, they have to deliberately change to a suitable big house. The hermit crab (Diogenes heteropsammicola) pictured above, found in the shallow waters of southern Japan, has a different style of painting: it is a living coral. Hermit crabs drill in the cavities of corals and form a friendly and mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with corals.

hard corals provide protection for hermit crabs, and hermit crabs can also help this coral live better. It takes the coral house around, and if the coral is in trouble (such as being buried by undersea sediment), hermit crabs can also help the coral through their own exercise.

this hermit crab looks different from other hermit crabs that live in a snail shell. It has a slender body and looks like a shrimp. The tail segments of other hermit crabs are asymmetrical, which can better adapt to the spiral shell, while the tail segments of other hermit crabs are more symmetrical and easy to bend in different directions. The researchers say these characteristics help them adapt to life with corals: coral cavities have a narrower space and more uncertain internal direction than spiral shells.

this is the body of the hermit crab without the coral house:

the process of coral and hermit crab coming together is something like this: at first, the small hermit crab lives in a small spiral shell, and then the coral larvae come to settle here and grow on the snail shell, and then the hermit crab grows up, and the coral wraps the small snail shell, but it still leaves some lacunae, and then the hermit crab gets into the cavity of the coral. To live with it.

before that, researchers had known that these types of corals would form a similar symbiotic relationship with some starworms, and this hermit crab seemed to be a good substitute for starworms. Feel very interesting ~

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related report:

original paper: