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Microplastics disrupt hermit crabs' ability to choose shell, study suggests

When it comes to moving home, hermit crabs are experts, often swapping shells for the optimal abode. But now researchers have found that exposure to microplastics disrupts this key behaviour. The finds are the latest to suggest such pollution could be having an impact on the world’s marine creatures. “Usually a so-called ‘normal’ hermit crab will always want to go for the better shell,” said Dr Gareth Arnott, co-author of the new research from Queen’s University Belfast, adding such shells are typically those of sea snails. “The striking thing in this study was when we offered them a better shell, lots of the crabs that had been exposed to the microplastics didn’t make the optimal decision to take it,” he said.  Read more...

 

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