We aquired a hermit crab several months ago from Courtney's second grade classroom. His name is Max. We have learned how to take care of this wonderful creature and he has adapted well into our chaos. He has never changed shells so we are always on the edge of our seats waiting for him to pick a new home. Three days ago, Courtney announced the moment had arrived and Max was out of his shell! I ran up to see him and was apprehensive as I announced to Courtney...Max is dead. I swore the crab was dead. I looked inside his shell hoping to see one of his little claws. I touched the remains, moved them around and watched them for an entire day hoping that he would move. After that day of observance, I regretably removed his remains, put them in a Ziploc baggie and threw the bag in the trash. I couldn't decide if this justified a backyard burial. Courtney asked yesterday if I had taken care of Max and I said I had and that was the end of that.
Surprise! Courtney comes bounding down the stairs today and yells, "Max is alive!" I assured her she was wrong and proceeded to take the stairs two at a time to see what in the world was going on inside this 2 by 3 foot cage in which his shell had apparently moved from one side of the cage to the other. The shell had indeed moved. My curiosity was piqued. Do I reach my hand inside this cage to determine if there is a crab ghost living there? Oh. My. Being the brave momma I needed to be, I picked up his shell and THERE WAS MAX! Apparently he had shed his exoskeleton to include what looked like to be his claws---everything. We are so happy he is alive and have promptly given him food and water--we hadn't since we thought he was dead. Now I know what an exoskeleton of a hermit crab looks like and we are officially an Amsden party of 9 once again.