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Campbell Live

Man-made shells cast a new light on the lives of hermit crabs

Wednesday 12 Aug 2009 12:00a.m.

Man-made shells cast a new light on the lives of hermit crabs

Scientists at the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre and Aquarium at Portobello near Dunedin are looking at hermit crabs in a whole new light.

The crabs have moved into new man-made glass shells and it's opened up a new world for those both inside the shells and out.

"We brought the shells out there and sure enough in a week to ten days the hermit had decided that the glass house was better than their own house and had made it their home," explains aquarium curator Adelle O'Neill.

There are over 60 species of hermit crabs living on New Zealand shorelines. They live in a shell because unlike normal crabs they don't have a hard exterior.

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