Location: Sandbar on Vanua Levu, by Navandra, in the Sacred Islands, the Mamanucas, Fiji.
Lat: 17 27.52S Lon: 177 02.72
When walking on the 200m long stretch of sand separating the two land masses that make up the island, one can’t help but notice the number of shells and broken coral underfoot.
Then I noticed something move. It was a hermit crab. Hundreds call this beach home. It can be hard to avoid stepping on one. Often times, the crabs will retreat into their shell, lying motionless until they sense the danger is gone.
Some will scamper across the sand at a good clip, leaving unmistakable tracks.
Other times, they will dig a hole to hide out. I saw at least three crabs sharing one tunnelled out hole. It was a crab party!
I watched this fellow for a time.
He came across another shell and decided to try it on for size.
He took a walk around in the new shell. Then he saw another crab approaching, eyeing his old home.
Quick! He rushed over to defend his old shell.
There was a brief “crab-frontation” over the vacant shell.
The other crab moved on, perhaps not wanting a fight, or finding it no better than his current shell.
The hermit crab decided to relocate back to his old shell, a better fit for the time being.
He struggled to stuff himself back in.
Off he marched hauling along his old home.
Here he is a moment later, a few metres away.
No doubt this had been a tiring ordeal for the little hermit crab. Maybe tomorrow he will find a bigger, better home.