Today I went hermie/hermie shell hunting in Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach, NC. I was hoping to find some large or jumbo crabs or maybe some species other than PP at the souvenir shops, so I checked out Wings in Wrightsville Beach. Before I go on, let me just say that I've become somewhat accustomed to seeing hermit crabs in stores in less-than-ideal and often completely wrong or even squalid conditions. Though I don't approve, I suppose I've become somewhat inured to it. Nothing could've prepared me for the hermit crab holocaust I saw at Wings today. They were in the typical souvenir shop wood and wire cage, but this one had an open front so everyone could just reach right in and manhandle the poor critters. Crab parts littered the bare wire floor of the cage, and there were several dead naked crabs lying around. Some of them had obviously been there awhile. Many shells had dead dried up crabs in them. There was a tray with moist sponges in it, and a dish with something that must've been "hermit crab food". There was a crab lying in the food dish. The shell was so light I thought the crab was just another dried up half-eaten dessicated corpse, but it moved. Poor thing was still alive, barely. The ones that had the strength had crawled up to the top of the cage where they were harder to get at. Ironically, there was a sign posted on the cage that "These are FRESHWATER crabs! Anything you find on the beach (sand, shells, wood, water, etc) will KILL them!!!!" Needless to say I didn't buy any hermies (or anything else for that matter) at Wings today.