Why do crabs bury shells?

This is where you discuss shells for your hermit crabs. Not for selling/swapping shells, use Classified Ads for that.
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Topic author
Kardi
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Why do crabs bury shells?

Post by Kardi » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:58 pm

I have 5 E's and I'm a first time crab mom. This whole crab thing started with 1 and we quickly learned he shouldn't be alone, so we found 4 more E's (being afraid to mix PPs and Es).

Our first E we've had for 2 months. Our other 4 we've have for 6 weeks. Instantly after bringing home the 4 additions 2 dissappeared. I quickly assumed they went down to molt and dismissed any scared crab parent thoughts.

The 3 others appeared fairly healthy. One needed a molt, and may have as I lost track of one for 2 weeks. I also quickly lost track of who was who due to some crazy shell swapping.

This brings me to 2 questions: I have a ton of green turbos, moons, and what I call a butterscotch (which is the white with orange/brown spots). They check out these shells, even try them on, but the next morning they're back in their original. Now they've swapped with each other, lol, but no one takes one of my new shells for more than a day or two. I've read Es are strange like this, but I feel so rejected that they don't like what I've offered. Even offered plenty of D shapes.

So tonight I started digging around in a corner in which I was sure there was a crab. I truly expected to find 2 dead as its been 6 weeks. Well I found shells about 4 inches down but no crabs. What was more interesting was that I found one of the original shells and a butterscotch that someone even wore for a few days buried.

So why were these shells buried? Do crabs hide them from others or? As far as my maybe molters, I'll leave them be. No fish smell and I'm now too nervous to dig more for fear of disturbing someone.

Thanks all.

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Rawrgeous
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Re: Why do crabs bury shells?

Post by Rawrgeous » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:08 am

It happens to me all the time. Even with the use of shell baskets I still occasionally find a buried shell. Though, if you aren't already I would suggest using something to keep them off the sub as it reduces this problem. I wouldn't stress too much, like you've read E's tend to be picky, as they heavily modify their shells. Just think positive- they'll change when their butts get too fat for the ones they're in! XD


Topic author
Kardi
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Re: Why do crabs bury shells?

Post by Kardi » Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:25 am

Ha! I have a basket of them in a shower container like many on here but I've only noticed one crab up there tinkering around. The others are far more active when I toss 10 or so on the sub. Then again perhaps they're just more active because theyre burying them. Heck I even find them in my water bowls. I think what surprised me was that so many of them were buried so far down.

So this leads me to another question. How do these guys modify their shells? I just didn't see them as being strong enough to break them but maybe I'm wrong.

Thanks for the feedback!

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Rawrgeous
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Re: Why do crabs bury shells?

Post by Rawrgeous » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:45 am

They use their big pincher and appendages to pick at and shape their shells to fit them better. They often eat the bits for extra calcium. Those pitchers are stronger than one might think.

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Topic author
Kardi
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Re: Why do crabs bury shells?

Post by Kardi » Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:00 am

Okay - perhaps thats why I'm so scared of those pinchers. Thankfully I dont handle them more than I need to.

How long does it take them tp modify them? I'm guessing the answer is until they're done. I'm also assuming they just work at it when they want and we have to follow the law of crabs are weird. :)



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Rawrgeous
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Re: Why do crabs bury shells?

Post by Rawrgeous » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:09 pm

You got that right, weirdd. it's a slow process though... I don't think they're ever truly "done."

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bugboy2
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Re: Why do crabs bury shells?

Post by bugboy2 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:00 pm

these make great shell shops I've used them for years with the crabs
https://www.bioquip.com/Search/DispProd ... ?pid=1426A


ErikRasmussen
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Re: Why do crabs bury shells?

Post by ErikRasmussen » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:35 pm

with Es anything is possible

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