Hermit crabs are known for their defenses against other their predators. Various researches have found that the structural framework of Hermit Crabs is similar to a creature named ‘Pencil Worms,’ which existed hundreds of years ago in the sea.
According to CNN, “In the depths of ancient seas more than 500 billion years ago phallic-shaped creatures known as penis worms commandeered empty cells to protect themselves from a predator; the earliest evidence of behavior best known today in hermit crabs.”
Professors Were Surprised with the Findings
The similarity between these creatures was discovered by studying the traces of death remains under the oceans of Yunan Province. The shells possessed by the pencil worms were preserved under fossils which helped researchers learn the tissue in detail.
According to a University of Durham professor in paleontology, “the worms are always sitting snugly within this same position and orientation.” The behavior in hermits has developed recently.
Though it is challenging for the researchers and the professors to find out the pattern of behavior from the fossil, they managed to do so by analyzing that the worms did not use their shells for shelter.
Empty Shells Were Used for Protection
The researchers believe that worms used to reside between the upper and lower layers of the shell. The researchers said that it was difficult to find out conclusive evidence to base their findings on.
They found the worms in empty shells that accommodated them perfectly. Different common trends were observed in the study done by researchers.
After the detailed analysis of the shelter patterns of the worms, the researchers concluded that the empty shells were a hideout for the worms to protect themselves from predators.
The studies also prove that the predators of that era were much dangerous. The characteristics of taking shelter in shells, which are now found in hermit crabs, result from evolution. Apart from hermit crabs, this attribute is found in different species in modern times.