There is a very strange relationship between a sea anemone and the hermit crab. The hermit crab picks up tiny sea anemones and puts them on its back. The stinging tentacles of the sea anemone protect the crab from other vicious animals. They also provide camouflage. During the ride on the back of the hermit crab, the anemone gets scraps of food that float up when the crab eats. When the crab grows too big for its old shell, it moves into a new shell; however, it takes its anemone friend with it! It is surprising to the scientists how carefully the crab transfers the anemone from its old to new shell.
Hermit crab with anemones on its shell;
Photo © Lyubomir Klissurov; ICRIN
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