Hermit crabs are funny creatures. They don’t stay in one home. When they out grow one they just move to a larger shell and they don’t care what it looks like as long as it fits their body. The best time to watch them is when the tide is low. They like to gather around rocks. These photos were taken at the Port St Joe, Florida inlet on the bay.
The front half of a hermit crab does have a hard exoskeleton, but it is the longish abdomen that is soft and can change its shape to fit into a spiraled snail shell.
Hermit crabs have stalked eyes and very good vision. They also have two pairs of antennae, one of which is used for feeling, while the other is used for smelling and tasting. They have a large left claw, which they use to grab onto things, to defend themselves and to balance.
They make interesting tracks in the sand as they move along draging their shell.
This shell was so big and pretty I picked it up to keep, but it was already taken. I didn’t have the heart to take him out of his pretty home, so I left it.