"Right now, 30 percent of all hermit crabs on our shorelines are living in shells that are too small for them. In the springtime, when the animal has its growth spurt, this shortage skyrockets to 60 percent. Hermit crabs, whose own bodies provide only thin exoskeletons, must scavenge and appropriate hard-walled shells abandoned by marine gastropods for shelter. The problem is that there currently are not enough shells left on our beaches for hermit crabs to use. This situation is not only uncomfortable but dire."-Demaray 2004This is the warning from an article by Elizabeth Demaray 3 years ago in Cabinet Magazine. This still rings true today. S.A.L.-P. and I have done our part by adopting 3 unfortunate hermit crabs from a misorder by our intro bio labs, but we are only 2 graduate students. This issue is bigger than us.
Thank Hey-Zeus that there are architects working day and night on this important issue facing the world's hermit crab population. Based on a design from 1930's fascist Italian architect Giuseppe Terragni, the Hands Up Project has produced a plastic hermit crab shelter that will revolutionize the hermit crab housing industry. It is lightweight, comes in various sizes and colors, high internal volume and contains a post for the crab to hold onto with its claw. The Lexus of hermit crab homes if you ask me. Hermit crabs everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief knowing that there struggle in finding a home is significantly lessened.
"As might be imagined, even without the current housing shortage, the finding and exchanging of shells is a preoccupation amongst this species.[...] Based on what we know about the new needs of these animals in their current environment, the Hand Up Project proposes to manufacture alternative forms of housing, specifically designed for use by land hermit crabs, out of plastic. This solution offers multiple benefits. Not only will the project afford the animal badly needed additional forms of shelter, but we also contend that, by utilizing current technology, we may now be better equipped to meet the needs of this life-form than nature ever has."Demaray 2004
Please do your part today. If you cannot adopt and provide a home for a hermit crab, buy or make shelters for them and
*Last two photos from the Demaray article.