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Hermit Crabs Line Themselves Up From Biggest To Smallest To Swap Shells

Seriously, HERMIT CRABS FORM ORDERLY QUEUES. In height order. To more efficiently trade shells. I, for one, welcome our new crustacean bureaucrats.

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This is a segment from BBC's Life Story, and it captures some pretty extraordinary animal behavior. When a new shell washes up on shore, these hermit crabs measure each other and then line up from biggest to smallest until a crab that's the right size for the new shell comes along. Then the crabs pass their old shells down the line and grab a new, slightly larger one. That way, each hermit crab in the line finds its new home with little hassle.

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Hermit crab house swap [Life Story via Twisted Sifter]

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DISCUSSION

Sweet crustacea of west Asia! But can they Limbo like the best bureaucrat of all time?