Noticed a little shell scurrying across the beach? You might just have seen a hermit crab! Found in rockpools, shorelines and deep sea waters, these little house hunters are found widespread around the British coast.

Unlike other crabs, hermit crabs aren’t born with a shell. They have hard pincers, but a soft vulnerable body which is why they seek out homes in empty mollusc shells. As the hermit crab grows bigger, it will abandon its overly snug shell in favour of a larger home.

Fascinating fact:

Fossil records show hermit crabs using old mollusc shells way back to the Late Cretaceous period, nearly 100 million years ago. But before this some hermit crabs used ammonite shells, a now extinct group of marine molluscs.