hermit crab

Hermit crab (Pagurus samuelis).

Any crab (families Paguridae and Coenobitidae) that uses empty shells or other hollow objects as a shelter for partial containment and protection of the body. They are found worldwide in sandy- or muddy-bottomed waters and occasionally on land and in trees. They have two pairs of antennae and four pairs of legs; the first pair of legs is modified to form pincers, shaped to cover the shell entrance when the animal is inside. As the crab grows, it periodically leaves its shell and finds a larger one to occupy. The reddish brown large hermit crab (Pagurus pollicaris; 4–5 in., or 10–12 cm, long) and the small hermit crab (P. longicarpus) are found in North American Atlantic coastal waters.

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or eremite

Individual who shuns society to live in solitude, often for religious reasons. The first Christian hermits appeared in Egypt in the 3rd century AD, escaping persecution by withdrawing to the desert and leading a life of prayer and penance. The first hermit was probably Paul of Thebes circa AD 250. Other famous hermits included St. Anthony of Egypt, who established an early form of Christian monasticism in the 4th century, and the pillar hermit Simeon Stylites. The communal life of monasteries eventually tempered the austerities of the hermit's life. In Western Christianity the eremitic life died out, but it has persisted in Eastern Christianity.

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(born circa 1050, probably Amiens—died July 8, 1115, Huy, Flanders) French ascetic and one of the most important preachers of the First Crusade. A charismatic ascetic, he preached widely in Europe in support of the First Crusade and led his enthusiastic followers to Constantinople in 1096. They advanced to Nicomedia, but Peter was unable to maintain discipline; he returned to Constantinople to ask for help from Alexius I, and in his absence his army was annihilated by the Turks. Peter reached Jerusalem in 1099 and afterwards returned to France, where he became prior of an Augustinian monastery.

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Venomous species (Loxosceles reclusa) of brown spider, most common in the western and southern U.S. The brown recluse is light-coloured, generally with a dark violin-shaped design on its back, for which it is sometimes called the violin spider. About 0.25 in. (7 mm) long, it has a leg span of about 1 in. (2.5 cm). It has extended its range into parts of the northern U.S. and is often found under stones or in dark corners inside buildings. The venom of the brown recluse destroys the walls of blood vessels near the site of the bite, sometimes causing a slow-healing skin ulcer. Bites are occasionally fatal.

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A recluse is someone in isolation who hides away from the attention of the public, a person who lives in solitude, i.e. seclusion from intercourse with the world. The word is from the Latin recludere, which means "shut up" or "sequester".

A person may become a recluse for many reasons: a celebrity may seek to escape the attentions of his or her fans; a misanthrope may be unable to tolerate human society; a survivalist may be practicing self-sufficiency; and a criminal might hide away from people to avoid detection by police. It can also be due to psychological reasons, like: apathy, an autism spectrum disorder, a phobia, schizoid personality type, or due to avoidant personality disorder. A recluse can also be considered as a loner.

It should be noted that this practice may not be voluntary as one may become a recluse due to illness. Some may become a recluse due to a physical deformity that makes their outward appearance unsettling to others. A person may also become a recluse for religious reasons, in which case he or she is usually referred to as a hermit or an anchorite.

Reclusiveness does not necessarily connote geographical isolation. A recluse may live in a crowded city, but infrequently leave the security of his or her home. However, isolated and sparsely populated US states (e.g., Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska) often harbor recluses, who are often seeking complete escape from civilization.

In Japan, an estimated 1.2 million people suffer from psychological problems which cause reclusive behavior. The phenomenon of "Hikikomori" or "social withdrawal" has become a major problem, often blamed on Japan's education system and social pressure to succeed.

Famous Recluses

The following is a list of famous individuals who have disappeared from the public eye for a lengthy period of time, or have continually lived a reclusive lifestyle.

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