The Incredible Hulk: Race is on to create a ‘forever home’ for a hefty hermit crab called ‘Hulk’ that keeps outgrowing his shell
Hulk the Hermit crab has yet to find his ideal shell as he grows rapidly
The gregarious crustacean either abandons his shells or vandalises them He got his name after repeated shells were broken or chipped by the crab
A campaign has been launched to find a permanent home for a gregarious young hermit crab that keeps breaking his shell.
The temperamental White-Spotted Hermit Crab – called Hulk – has been given several shells by his carers but has either ditched or smashed them.
His destructive tendencies led marine biologists to name him after the bulging green hero from the Marvel universe, who also has a track record of violent outbursts.
He has recently been making do with a shell that does not quite meet his requirements.
Now the National Marine Aquarium (NMA) has recruited the help of students from Plymouth College of Art to create a functional ‘forever home’ for Hulk.
A temperamental White-Spotted Hermit Crab – called Hulk (pictured) – has been given several shells by his carers but has either ditched or smashed them
WHAT ARE HERMIT CRABS?
Hermit crabs are crustaceans that are between 0.5 to 16 inches in length depending on the species.
They are usually reddish, orange or brown in colour and have ten legs and two large claws.
They hide in a shell in order to hide their soft twisted abdomen from predators.
The species is found all over the world and this plucky crustacean was spotted on the Thai island of Koh Lanta.
They are generally found in sandy or muddy marine waters.
Charlie Preston, senior biologist at the NMA in Plymouth, said: ‘Hulk is a White-Spotted Hermit Crab and like all crustaceans, in the early stages of life, this type of crab moults frequently as it grows at a faster rate.
‘As they get older, the rate at which they moult reduces to around once every 10-12 months.
‘When they moult, they increase in size by quite a bit, so usually they will try and source a new shell when or shortly after it happens – however, this may depend on availability of new shells that meet their required criteria.
‘Hulk outgrows his shells at a faster rate than we can source him new ones but is also quite a vandal and has been known to chip or break them – hence his name.’
Ms Preston added: ‘We must also make sure the lid on his tank is secure and weighted down, as he’s a bit of an escape artist and is very strong.’