Unusual partnerships – Hermit crabs do not have shells of their own, so, as they grow, need to look for shells of dead animals in which hide their soft bodies ...
|Hermit Crab inside Whelk shell,|
without an accompanying anemone
... often the anemones on those rejected shells are carefully removed by the previous owner, the hermit crab, to the new shell!
“Three in a bed” ... the hermit crab, the anemone and the whelk shell ...
Hermit crabs queue up and on checking the empty shell for size – the most suitably sized hermit crab steps up ... moves house, anemones and all ... leaving ...
... another shell free for the same process ... somewhat reminds me of the little one said rollover ...
|Hermit Crab in its hidden shell|
with a Calliactis Anemone in a
Perhaps more appropriately this behaviour is known as “vacancy chains” – a new phrase for the estate agency business?
Predator-prey relationships ... we know well ... but on the seashore ... different relationships happen for a reason:
Parasitism: one partner, the parasite, gains, but the other, the host, loses ... eg shore crabs are host to Sacculina – a strange creature related to the barnacles.
|Young shore crab with the|
parasitic Sacculina (highlighted in
yellow) attached to its underside
Sacculina attaches itself to a young crab (highlighted in yellow) and then grows “tentacles” that eat into the crab’s body, thus gaining nourishment and disabling the crab.
A ‘better’ name perhaps is a “parasitic castrator of crabs” ... I feel uncomfortable and sad!
Another type of relationship, but this time in which both partners benefit, is called symbiosis. The hermit crab and the calliactis anemone live this way .. the anemone doesn’t harm the hermit host ...
|c/o their web page|
Up above the pointer is the harbour ... the land around
had sea ingresses in the past ...I'm not sure where the
cave system exits as such, for the deck chair hire
U is for underground caves, such as the system, that is known as Kents Cavern is to be found in Torquay, Devon.
The caverns and passages at the site were created around 2 million years ago ... and have been occupied by at least eight separate, discontinuous native populations known to have inhabited the British Isles.
The site has been privately owned for over 100 years ... and in those early years both Beatrix Potter (1893) and Agatha Christie, who lived in Torquay, visited ...
The caves were originally used as a storage and carpentry workshop in the manufacture of deck chairs ... for the Victorian tourists ...
You can see the change in the
harbour as trade opened up in
late Georgian and early Victorian
... now its very modern visitor attraction gives us an opportunity to see spectacular geological formations and significant historic finds, some 700,000 years old ...
More information can be found in Wikipedia and at this BBC site on the new visitor centre in 2004 ...
“Hampsley Cavern” in Agatha Christie’s 1924 novel The Man in the Brown Suit is based on the cave system she experienced during her cavern visits.
That is U for unusual non-ubiquitous unpromising, yet successful partnerships ... and U is for the ultimate Underground prehistoric cave system that is Kents Cavern ... to be found non-understatedly in the pleasure town of Torquay ... as part of Aspects of British Coasts ...
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