Hermit Crab project

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How do hermit crabs choose the empty shells?

(Romadoni Anggoro, Luong Thien Tam, Juwinikh Jupain)


Unlike most crabs, the hermit crab have special protection behavior by hiding themselves inside a firm shell. Hermit crabs choose empty snail shells from many kind of shapes and colors. We want to know if there is any specific choosing pattern or it just choose randomly. In order to answer this question, 30 individuals of hermit crab on Gaya Island were chosen randomly and measured the wide of the thorax and their shell (diameter, wide, height, thickness of the first ring from dorsal perspective, and thickness of the first ring from lateral perspective). From all sample we got, all of them come from one species. One by one hermit crap was taken and we let them choose a shell from 30 options. T-test between normal distribution of shell choosing and the distribution of observation was carried out. The result show that there is a high correlation between the size of hermit crab and aperture area of the shell (p-value = 4.88e-08). In additional, hermit crabs choose their shell using specific pattern but not randomly (p-value=0.00627). Need more further study to identify which factor is more dominant on hermit crab shell choosing pattern.