Microplastics Disrupt Survival Behavior in Hermit Crabs

According to an article, titled “Microplastics Disrupt Hermit Crab Shell Selection” by researchers with Queen’s University in Belfast, UK published April 29, 2020 in the journal Biology Letters https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0030 “… Microplastics (plastics < 5 mm) are a potential threat to marine biodiversity. However, the effects of microplastic pollution on animal behaviour and cognition are poorly understood. We used shell selection in common European hermit crabs (Pagurus bernhardus) as a model to test whether microplastic exposure impacts the essential survival behaviours of contacting, investigating and entering an optimal shell …Plastic-exposed hermit crabs showed impaired shell selection: they were less likely than controls to contact optimal shells or enter them. They also took longer to contact and enter the optimal shell. Plastic exposure did not affect time spent investigating the optimal shell. These results indicate that microplastics impair cognition (information-gathering and processing), disrupting an essential survival behaviour in hermit crabs …” #MicroPlastic #PlasticWaste #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic #HermitCrabs