Shell mates

Hermit crabs live by scavenging. Often they share the shells they have commandeered with anemones. The anemones benefit by picking up the odd scrap of food from the crab's meal while returning the favour by protecting the crab with its stinging tentacles. The boxer crab carries anemones on its claws, wearing them like boxing gloves and using them as weapons. The decorator crab, on the other hand, covers itself in sponges to try and camouflage itself. In this case, the sponge may benefit from the crab's crumbs. Crabs, lobsters, and shrimps, are found all over the reef. Big ones like some lobsters may prowl openly through the coral branches. Little ones like the mantis shrimp are rather more cautious and build themselves tunnels to hide out in.

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