Crabs wear plastic shells – level 2

12-07-2024 15:00

Hermit crabs around the world are doing something new – they are choosing plastic shells instead of natural ones.

Scientists found this out by looking at pictures on the internet. They saw 386 crabs using plastic caps as shells. Ten out of sixteen types of these crabs from tropical places are doing this. The crabs might pick plastic shells for a few reasons, like showing off to find mates or because plastic is lighter. Scientists need to check how this might change hermit crabs over time.

A photographer named Shawn Miller took many pictures of these crabs, and he wanted to protect them. He says people shouldn’t take away the shells off beaches. Plastic is a big problem for animals. A 2022 report found that plastic waste could almost triple by 2060.

Difficult words: show off (to show something or someone that you are proud or special), protect (to keep something or someone safe).

You can watch the original video in the Level 3 section.

What are some potential reasons why hermit crabs might be choosing plastic shells over natural ones, and how might this impact them in the future?


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