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Behavioral Physiology of Hermit Crabs in Different Water Conditions

Behavioral Physiology of Hermit Crabs in Different Water Conditions

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Published by jburce
Acknowledgement for my Thesis Groupmates in Animal Physiology...
Acknowledgement for my Thesis Groupmates in Animal Physiology...

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: jburce on Jun 01, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Rizal Technological UniversityBoni Ave. Mandaluyong CityCollege of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Biologymajor in BiotechnologyIn partial fulfillment of the Requirementsin Animal Cell Physiology and
in vitro
CultureBehavioral Physiology of Hermit Crabs in Different Water ConditionsSubmitted by:Justine M. AlmanonJowanna Marie L. BurceRomnick J. FeraldoJuaymah B. PolicarpioSubmitted to:Prof. Angelita P. Medalla11
October , 2010
Hermit Crab, common name for any member of a family of marine crabsand for several related terrestrial crabs. They are found on or just off the coastsof Europe and the Americas. Hermit crabs, also called robber crabs, arearmorless animals, the largest of which are found along the Pacific coast andattain a length of up to 46 cm (18 in). They insert their abdomens into gastropodmollusk shells that they carry about with them for protection. The abdomens of the crabs are soft and asymmetrical, flexed and twisted to fit into the whorls of the borrowed shells. Their abdominal appendages are especially modified for keeping the shell firmly supported on the body (Redmond, WA: MicrosoftCorporation, 2008)According to Hazlett (1996) hermit crabs are often forced to seek newshells because they have outgrown their old ones; they change their housingwhenever chancing upon another shell into which they can fit. Most hermit crabsare marine. The few terrestrial forms are tropical and of the same family as thecoconut crab. Tricarico & Gherardi (2007) stated that Hermit crabs are idealorganisms to investigate whether resource assessment might effectively modifyan animal’s motivation and to what extent. The survival, growth, and reproductionof this taxon strictly depend on the occupancy of gastropod shells of appropriatesize and shape. A shell that is, for instance, too small can inhibit the growth of the inhabiting crabs, reduces their protection against predators and their survival,and affects reproductive success in both sexes. By contrast, a shell that is too
large makes locomotion energetically wasteful (as found in terrestrial hermitcrabs, and affects female reproduction. Shell fit may also alter hermit crabs’responses to environmental cues and their general behavior. Therefore, there isa strong selective pressure for hermit crabs to obtain a shell of the appropriatesize.Hermit crabs display clustering behavior and daily movements which areclosely related to the tidal rhythm (Turra & Leite, 2000). Clusters are typicallyformed during low tides when hermit crabs stay in physical contact with eachother, presenting low activity and preference for shady substrates. The clusteringbehavior is probably controlled by interaction between exogenous andendogenous factors related to the tidal cycle. In this way, environmental stimuli(air exposure, hydrostatic pressure, light, food availability and small scale water movements) seem to play an important role in the determining the activity of thehermit crabs.The main objective of the study is to determine the effects of differentwater conditions in the behavior physiology of Hermit Crabs. To modify their behavior in appropriate manner and to observed their switching shells if an emptyshell is available.

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