Friday 18 August 2017

How this crab uses its gigantic claw to be nature's dating expert

By Nilima Marshall

They use their oversized limb to advertise their physical fitness and the size of their home.

If there’s one animal species on this planet that knows anything about dating, it’s got to be the male banana fiddler crab. Well, at least that’s what scientists believe.

In case you were wondering, these crab species (Uca mjoebergi) are tiny and rely heavily on their enlarged claw to signal dominance and fighting prowess and now, apparently, dating.

Scientists have found that male crabs try to attract a female partner by using their claws to advertise the size of their home.

Their study showed male banana fiddler crabs try to catch a female’s attention by waving their brightly coloured major claw in the air. (We guess the human equivalent of this would be Chris Hemsworth flexing his bulging biceps.)

They then switch to a drumming signal transmitted through the ground as a series of rapid vibrations.

Researchers found that males that drummed most rapidly had the largest burrows and the highest fitness – making them more attractive mates.

Dr Sophie Mowles, lecturer in animal and environmental biology at Anglia Ruskin University, said: “Males frequently produce elaborate displays to attract females.

“These are often thought to demonstrate the quality of his genes, or his fitness, through a display of effort.”

She said that by choosing a vigorously displaying male, a female crab could ensure she selected a good quality mate who could offer good genes for her offspring.

We guess this kinda makes male banana fiddler crabs masters in the dating game.

The research is published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

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