December 10, 2012

Female Fiddler Crabs - Size Matters

fiddlercrabs.jpg

A team from the Australian National University is studying the courtship of fiddler crabs and found that a female will select her mate by the movement of the male's enlarged claw. So they set up a series Roboclaws attached to motors of differing sizes and movement speed to study the female crustacean. Because the crabs have very poor eyesight, the claws fooled the females.

The end result? Not only does size matter to the female, she also prefers the claws that move the fastest. Their experiments also give superlative insight into other aspects of the fiddler crabs' life, such as why a larger home makes for a happy bride and why larger crabs will often protect their smaller neighbors.

Via ANU

Read More in: Robot Science/Medicine

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Posted by Sheila Franklin at December 10, 2012 11:22 AM
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