Hermit Crab vs. Urchin

You may think you know the Aquarium, but take a look at any exhibit and you'll see there's a lot more going on than you may think. Take the Living Corals exhibit, for example. Everyone loves to watch the clownfish cuddle with its anemone, or the Banggai cardinalfish posing for pictures with their distinctive stripes. But take a closer look in the sand, the rocks the quiet corners of the exhibit—you never know what you'll see.

For example, a hermit crab found itself in a bit of a sticky situation when a passing urchin latched on to its shell. These two invertebrates are not the focal points of this exhibit, but they certainly exhibited some fascinating behavior worthy of a closer look! Here's the whole interaction sped up in a timelapse video.

One reason urchins carry around shells and seaweed may be for camouflage. The hermit crab's shell would have made for a dashing addition. But the crab was able to eek out of its shell enough to pluck the tube feet from its shell so it could scurry away.

So the next time you visit, get macro. Pause to look at the tiny animals around the Aquarium and get ready for a little bit of awesome.

Here's more about these humble heavyweights in our ocean communities:

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