How to Feed Sand Crabs

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How to Feed Sand Crabs. Walking along the beach, you may have noticed sand crabs burying themselves in the sand, or you may have even felt one pinch your toes while standing in shallow water. Sand crabs are quite small and reside at the shoreline where they feed on microscopic oceanic material. Here's how to feed sand crabs yourself.

    Understand that a sand crab is unlike a hermit crab. Although hermit crabs are popular pets, sand crabs require a unique lifestyle and diet that is nearly impossible to provide outside their natural habitat.

    Observe how a sand crab feeds in an open environment. Sand crabs bury themselves in the sand, facing the ocean, so just their eyes and front antennae are exposed. When the tide washes over them, they unfurl a second set of antennae that grab hold of bits of sand, which they are able to clean of microscopic plankton and organic ocean debris.

    Mimic a sand crab's natural habitat as a short-term experiment. Fill a large container with beach sand and create an ocean and natural shoreline. Place a few sand crabs into the container and, once they have buried themselves in the sand, wash the ocean water over them gently. Watch to see if they "catch" their food with their antennae.


    • Do not attempt to keep a sand crab for a pet, as they have a strict diet and feeding pattern. Sand crabs are fun to observe, but you should leave them in their natural habitat to survive.

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