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Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana

Print version ISSN 1405-3322


LARRANAGA, Oscar  and  KRUESI, Karla. Track analysis of terrestrial hermit crabs: the advantade of using light shells. Bol. Soc. Geol. Mex [online]. 2018, vol.70, n.2, pp.369-377. ISSN 1405-3322.

For the hermit crabs, one of the most important resources is the shell of gastropod they carry along their life. This shell gives them different benefits like protection, refuge and prevents desiccation. The semi-terrestrial hermit crabs (Family Coenobitidae) perform a behavioral remodeling process from the inside of the gastropod shell, increasing its internal volume and making them lighter. In this study the advantages provided by remodeling a shell were evaluated with a locomotion approach. For this, terrestrial hermit crabs from Coenobita compressus species were collected in Playa Troncones, Guerrero. Locomotion experiments were performed where the crabs walked on wet sand occupying remodeled and non-remodeled shells with the purpose of measure their performance. Depth measurements and type of imprint were taken; also the walking velocity of each crab was measured.

As a result we obtained that the hermit crabs occupying remodeled shells had a lower drag, shallower shell traces and they reached a greater speed. Therefore, the benefits of using a remodeled shell were demonstrated from a locomotive point of view. Besides, this study showed an application of the neo-ichnology as an implement in ecological and biological studies.

Keywords : Remodeled shells; non-remodeled shells; locomotion; imprints; depth; walking velocity.

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