What is a hermit crab?

The hermit crab is a crustacean which means it has a hard outer shell. They belong to the same family as lobsters, shrimp and crab. 

Hermit crabs vary in colour from red to brown to purple. They can also have stripes or spots.

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Hermit crabs have two pairs of antennae and ten jointed legs. The front two legs have claws on them which they use for walking. The back legs are used to carry their shell. 

Hermit crabs find their shells from other animals and as they grow and get bigger, they find bigger shells to use. They use their shells for shelter and to protect their soft bodies. They have a curled tail with a hook that helps their bodies to fit inside the shell. 

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Hermit crabs eat insects, worms, small fish, plankton, and organic debris. They are omnivores (eating plants and animals) and scavengers (eating dead animals that they find).