The children will be able to 1) label the parts of a hermit crab, 2) describe how a hermit crab finds a new shell house, 3) describe how a hermit crab protects itself from predators and from drying out when the tide goes out.
What Am I?
At the seashore, you can find me in tidal pools, hiding among moist seaweeds, and in shallow water on rocky and pebbly beaches.
I have a heavy coat of armor at the front of my body, but unfortunately for me, my lower abdomen is soft and curled and has no protection from hungry predators. You will never guess how I solved this problem. Believe it or not, I carry a borrowed empty snail shell to protect my delicate body from predators. As I grow older I must constantly find larger shells to protect my growing body. Changing snail shells is a dangerous task, and I often fight vicious looking battles with other hermits over empty snail shells.
I am very fussy when shopping for a new shell. If time permits, I will grasp the new empty shell, turn it around to see if it is the right shape and size, tap it with my antennae and look inside. The inspection completed, I quickly hop out of my old shell and slide tail first into the new one. I use my small hook-like legs for holding tight onto my "shell house." I have two pairs of antennae, or feelers, located between my eyes, my means of touching and tasting. My eyes are at the ends of long movable stalks so that I can see behind my shell and in every direction.
I have a pair of long, smooth claws. I can use my right claw, which is larger, like a nutcracker to crush small barnacles and other prey, and to defend myself from predators. I am a scavenger and feed on seaweed and dead and decaying animals. When I withdraw into my shell house, my large claw also acts like a door to block the entrance. This protects me from predators and keeps me from drying out in the hot sun.