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Origin of hermit crab
Words nearby hermit crab
BEHIND THE WORD
Where does the word hermit crab come from?
It seems there comes a time in most every family’s life when you come home with a hermit crab, admittedly one of the least demanding pets you can have.
The term hermit crab dates back to at least 1725–35. Hermit refers to the method that the crab protects itself in which it uses castoff shells. Generally speaking , a hermit is a recluse. In zoology, a hermit can refer to any animal with solitary habits.
As for the word hermit itself? It ultimately comes from a Greek word meaning “living in a desert,” based on the language’s noun for “desert, desolation, solitude.” The word originally referred to religious people who lived solitary lives—like off alone in the desert—in the English language.
Now that you know how the hermit crab got its name, why not find out how some of our other most beloved pets got theirs in the slideshow: “Where Do The Words For Our Pets Come From?”
Did you know … ?
There are over 800 species of hermit crabs, and almost all of them live their whole lives in the ocean. Despite their name, hermit crabs are more closely related to species of lobsters than true crabs. Unlike true crabs, hermit crabs don’t have a hard exoskeleton that covers their whole body and have an exposed soft tail. Because they are unable to grow a shell of their own, hermit crabs find a discarded shell of another creature to protect their vulnerable tails.
Despite their name, hermit crabs often live in large social groups, and after finding a new shell, will sometimes “gift” their old one to another hermit crab. Naming these crabs after hermits, then, is quite the misnomer.
Example sentences from the Web for hermit crab
Sometimes you will find that a sea-anemone has fastened itself to the edge of a shell in which a hermit-crab is living.
First, there must have been the great change from an ordinary crab to a hermit-crab in all the respects previously pointed out.Darwin, and After Darwin (Vol. 1 and 3, of 3)|George John Romanes
The Hermit-Crab belonged to a large family called the Crustaceans.How Sammy Went to Coral-Land|Emily Paret Atwater
The consequence is that a hermit-crab is always very nervous indeed about his tail.
In dealing with the Hermit-crab, in short, we are dealing with a case of physiological backsliding.Natural Law in the Spiritual World|Henry Drummond