Trying to right a wrong!

Questions about identifying the differences between species.
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Breeee
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Trying to right a wrong!

Post by Breeee » 22 Jan 2005, 05:28 am

Greetings to everyone on this forum. I was wondering if anyone can offer some advice. We just returned home from a trip to the coast of Belize. On our last evening there, I picked up some seashells from the beach to bring home to my children. I checked the shells carefully...but, unfortunately, discovered later that there was actually a little crab in one of the shells. This discovery was made AFTER we made it home to the USA! And we don't live anywhere near the ocean. I regret taking this little guy from his habitat but now that he's here, I can't imagine "throwing him away" and not trying to save him. So, we've got a tiny little baby crab here and we want to provide the best food and habitat possible for him. We've been doing research on the internet today and have learned a great deal. We've named him Pedro and set him up in a small habitat (for the time being!) with his own native Belizian sand and even ocean water that we brought home from the ocean. (Thank goodness I had brought some sand and ocean water home to show to the children!) He has no reason to believe that he's not still back home! BUT, he's so tiny...about the size of a pencil eraser including claws. We're moderately certain that he's a hermit crab...but not positive... and we aren't sure if he will eat what hermit crabs do. Has anyone else encountered a similar situation like this? Any advice? We just felt bad for accidentally removing him from his ocean and wish to provide a good life for him here if we possibly can.
Any advice would be appreciated! Oh, and if you're picking up shells from the ocean...check them a whole lot closer than I did!!!
Thanks!

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Wai
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Post by Wai » 22 Jan 2005, 08:54 pm

Where did you find the shells on the beach? On the shore or in the water? If you found it on land, hopefully it's a land hermit crab. You can try look for photos in the Internet, and if your little crab looks similar to any of them, you've got a chance that the crab will survive. But if you found the crab in the water, it might be a marine hermit crab. If it is, there's nothing you can do to help it survive but to return it back to the sea.

This is a land hermit crab:
<img src="http://members.aol.com/jill307/images/assateague.jpg" border="0" height="300" width="448">

This is a marine hermit crab:
<img src="http://members.aol.com/jill307/images/marine.jpg" border="0" height="300" height="448">

If your's is a land hermit crab, then you still have a chance of it surviving.
Last edited by Wai on 16 Mar 2005, 04:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Breeee
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Failure

Post by Breeee » 24 Jan 2005, 03:30 pm

Just a quick note to let you know that the little crab must have died. We haven't seen him for two days. We had to leave home for several hours on Friday and when we came back, we didn't see him. We turned the light on, thinking he might stir and come out of his shell. For hours, we watched and no sign of him. Finally, we assumed that he'd left his little shell and burrowed in the sand. So, we've waited. Still not a sign of him. The habitat is set up but I can't imagine he's still alive and there's no sign of disturbance in the sand at all. The only thing I can imagine is that he pulled deeply back into the shell so that we can't see him at all and possibly died. We don't know...too many variables. Just a sad situation as it was not our intention to harm any ocean creature. Thanks for the help though!

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Carrie
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Marine crab help

Post by Carrie » 25 Jan 2005, 04:12 pm

One note... to you, or to anyone else this happens to... a pet shop might be able to provide a saltwater marine environment for the crab. A temporary area, or a pet shop donation--giving them the crab. Most pet shops that carry fish and fish supplies have tropical and salt water tanks, and they could probably help...

Sorry if the little one died... I had a friend who brought 2 home that way--in a plane's cargo bay w/ the luggage--and the shells walked away. I was all set to adopt them but Mom said they'd been given to a local pet shop.
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