Choosing your pet
After you've talked to mum and dad about getting a land hermit crab as a pet - and after they've said 'yes'! - visit a good pet store to look for one. The trick to picking a healthy hermit crab is to count its legs, of which it has six, and to check if its head and body aren't damaged in any way. Also look closely for parasites and small bugs, which might be lurking between its legs and elsewhere on its body.
It is important that the crab is lively and moves about, and that it has not been kept with crabs that are much larger than it is, as the biggies tend to be 'crabby' and often pick on the smaller critters.
Place your hermit on a flat surface, and ask anyone standing near it to move away so that there are no shadows to scare it into staying put; see if it stirs. They tend to be shy, and take a while to come out of their shell (so that's where the phrase comes from!), so be patient. If there is no movement at all, not even any antennae-wiggling, then you'd best look at a few others.
Next: Care and feeding
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