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Introduction

I've been keeping hermit crabs since the 4th grade and do not regret getting started in "hermit-crabbing". They're fascinating little critters, but not many people know the whole story. When someone saw my hermit crabs for the first time, they'd ask "don't they need to be in water". I'd be asked that at least a thousand times if I took them anywhere. It's not like those people are ignorant or anything. It's just that not many people have seen a land hermit crab. I didn't even know land-dwelling hermit crabs existed until I saw them for myself in a gift shop. They are often considered "exotic" pets, and when people think exotic, they think hermit crabs are hard to keep. That is simply not the case. Hermit crabs are fairly easy to tale care of, but contrary to popular belief, they are not "throw-away pets". Some people think that if their hermit crab dies, they'll just replace it, like a goldfish. Hermit crabs are not throw-away pets and neither are goldfish! They both require care and attention, just like a dog or cat. Hermit crabs are great first pets for children, as long as an adult helps out. I do not recommend giving a hermit crab to child under 6 years of age. They are delicate little guys and cannot tolerate falling from high places, being played with roughly, etc. Hermit crabs are wonderful pets for older children and adults, too. They make nice apartment pets (especially if you are not permitted to have a dog or cat), they don't smell if you keep their tank clean, and they're quiet for the most part; occasionally they chirp, which sounds like a small frog croaking. They do not require much space, but you will end up paying more for supplies than you did for the crab itself. You'll need a tank, sand, food, dishes, etc. whicn can end up being anywhere from $10-$25, not including the crab. But think about it. If you wanted a hamster, just the hamster's cage would cost more than the cost of a hermit crab and all its supplies. And hamsters smell. Believe me I had one, and would take a hermit crab over a hamster any day. No offense to hamster lovers but they DO smell and you know it. So if you're looking for a fun pet for a small price, go for the hermit crab. You'll love it. The kids will love it. And I'm sure the crab would rather be at your house than at the pet store.