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What Do Hermit Crabs Eat in the Wild?

Wild hermit crabs can be found making their home in shallow areas of the ocean floor. They exist on a diet that includes algae and plankton. The hermit crab is an omnivore and depends on a reasonable amount of scavenging. Smaller crabs have problems catching objects that are larger than their body size. They find the easiest ways to collect the plankton is by utilizing their claws to guide food into their mouths and suck in anything that is within reach. Wild hermit crabs also tend to favor eating seaweed and other plant life that they see available in the ocean. They use their claws to forage for loose kelp and to grab leaves off of the plants. Their small mouths allow them to munch slowly and to move along to other things of interest. The wild hermit crab is a scavenger and will often eat dead animals or parts of an animal that is left decaying on the ocean floor. The wild hermit crab is considered the vulture of the sea and will feast on sea horses, other crabs, dead fish and squid. Anything that can live in the shallow parts of the ocean and then perishes is fair game to this amazing creature. Depending on where the wild hermit crab makes its home, they may also eat small muscles, tube worms and tiny shrimp.

What Do Baby Hermit Crabs Eat?

What do hermit crabs eat when they are a baby? Baby hermit crabs enjoy feeding on plankton until they mature and feed on the normal hermit crab diet. They are typically hatched in the wild and need oceanic conditions to mature. When the baby hermit crabs are in their larvae stage, they cannot eat large foods and must be fed marine infusoria. This is a single-celled organism that can be found on any type of marine algae. After the baby hermit crabs are over one week old, they are fed tiny brine shrimp coated with Spirulina. Spirulina is a type of algae that is grown in fresh water and the ocean. It can also be found in a variety of health food stores. Once the baby hermit crab has reached maturity, they can be given the same type of food that normal hermit crabs eat. It's important for the baby's to get their nutrients, so you will want to make sure they eat a well-balanced diet before they are given other treats.

What Do Pet Hermit Crabs Eat?

What do hermit crabs eat when they are kept as a pet you may wonder? They have an unusually larger palate than what most people may think. A pet store can often carry most of the food items your pet hermit crab will need for sustenance. A couple of important items needed for the growth of the hermit crab are to have decayed wood for tannin and leaf litter. They also need a variety of other foods that should be used on a rotating basis. When purchasing commercial food for your hermit crab, check the labels carefully. Refrain from choosing foods that contain ethoxyquin and copper sulfate. These are ingredients that can be found in pesticides and could be harmful. In addition to their commercial food, your hermit crab may also enjoy other treats. Some other foods the hermit crab can't seem to get enough of are peeled grapes, shredded lettuce, cooked potatoes, peanut butter, dried cereal, crackers, coconut, bananas, pears, shredded spinach and apples. When preparing the snacks for your pet hermit crab, make sure to cut the treats into sizes that they can actually pick up with their claws and enjoy. They also have a sweet tooth. You can also try giving them flavored baby food like apple sauce, fruit medley, sweet corn casserole and pears and apples. Try leaving the treats for them to scavenge and find on their own.