Hermit Crab and Walking Coral Form Reciprocal Relationship

Hermit Crab and Walking Coral Form Reciprocal Relationship

Contributed by Marielle Grenade-Willis

A new study finds that a certain species of hermit crab forms a reciprocal relationship with walking coral in order to find protection from predators. While protected by the coral, the crab simultaneously provides it with transportation. Unlike rigid seashells that hermit crabs have to eventually leave due to outgrowing them, the walking coral actually grows in relation to the hermit crab forming a mutually beneficial relationship.  This beautiful example of symbiosis illuminates how integrated nonhuman animal interactions are, and as humans, we have a responsibility to respect habitat capabilities such as these.