In a series of first-ever live recordings of the living condition, the crab can be seen attempting to induce the anemone, still attached to the old shell, to separate and move to occupy its new shell. Instead, he presses and pinch the anemone with its walking legs and claws. Although no apparent interaction was initially observed by the sea anemone, its location was gradually moved and peeled from the shell by the intense efforts of the hermit crab. About 43 hours after the change of the host shell and 18 hours of separation from the old shell, the anemones began to ascend and completely cover the new shell. It was placed on the shell with the claws facing upwards, to enable feeding on suspended particles from the water column and detritus of feeding the hermit crab. The researchers suggest that the benefit to the hermit crab includes safety from parasites and predators that can affect its growth or shorten its lifespan.
type name calcification Set by the authors Derived from the novel Howl’s Moving Castle and the Japanese animated film of the same name. Calcifer is the name of the fire demon who helps healer Howl build his castle, indicative of sea anemones’ ability to form shell-like secretions.
– This press release was originally published on the University of Chicago Press Journals website