AN AMAZING FACT: Hermit crabs are curious creatures found near the coasts of Europe and the Americas. Most are aquatic, but a few species, like the coconut crab, live on land and can attain a length of up to 18 inches. Hermit crabs are sometimes called robber crabs because they are born without armor and must survive by borrowing the empty shells of dead mollusks as a protective home. These comical scavengers insert their soft abdomens into the abandoned shells they claim and drag about with them for defense. Their strong abdominal appendages are especially modified for gripping the shell firmly to their body.
As they grow, hermit crabs are often forced to seek new, bigger shells because they have outgrown their old ones. Sometimes they may change their housing whenever they chance upon a stronger shell. But these shells don’t provide protection from all predators. The most feared antagonist of many hermit crabs is the octopus, which uses a parrot-like beak to pluck the hermit crabs from their shells.
But God has given a few species of hermit crabs an amazing defense against even these intelligent enemies. These clever hermit crabs will attach sea anemones to their shells. Sea anemones are armed with an array of poisonous tentacles that they use to subdue prey. The hermit crab will gently pry the sea anemone off the surface of a rock and transfer it onto its shell. The hermit crab and the sea anemone both benefit from this arrangement. The hermit crab benefits from the potent toxin of the sea anemone as a predator deterrent. Even an octopus will think twice before attacking a hermit crab smothered with poisonous anemones. On the other hand, the sea anemone can feed on food fragments produced when the hermit crabs eats. This mutual relationship, where both organisms benefit, is known as symbiosis.
Did you know the Bible teaches us about another symbiotic relationship between the Spirit and the Word? When we read the Bible with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will be lead into truth that is life-changing. Jesus once explained to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Both are harmoniously at work in the heart of true believers. Together they bring us into a saving relationship with Christ that no enemy can break apart.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. Psalms 143:9