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Epic crab fight — Watch fiddler crabs duel, big claw-to-big claw

Male fiddler crabs are famous for their mismatched front claws — one great big and threatening, one eensy-weensy. (I used to use this as a metaphor for the split in my SAT scores.) But what's really interesting about this lopsided look is that it seems to serve multiple purposes. The big claw can be used to attract lady crabs — wave it around and it becomes the crabby equivalent of, "Yo! Adrian!" But the big claw can also be used as a practical weapon, where two male crabs go at each other like fancy fencers with one arm behind their backs.

And the extent to which the big claw is for looks or for violence seems to vary a lot depending on the species of fiddler crab, writes scientist John Christy. Some have a lightweight claw that's better for waving at the girls, but weaksauce in a fight. Others have a heavy, dangerous claw that's difficult to use for long-distance flirting. Christy and his team are in the process of trying to figure out what selection forces leave some crabs optimized for love and others for the battlefield. In the meantime, though, they made this awesome crab fight video, set to a stirring, John Williams-esque soundtrack.

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The wonderful horror of hermit crabs migrating

The hills are alive with the sound of scuttling.

This video has popped up on lots of sites already, but I kind of love it and wanted to post here. Plus, it made me curious. Where are all those crabs going? And why?

The answers, upon reflection, are rather obvious. They are going to the sea. They are going there to get laid.

Yes, it's hermit crab spring break—set to an epic classical soundtrack—as thousands upon thousands of land-dwelling crabs travel to the ocean to meet other crabs and have sex with them.

Wondrous, isn't it?

Read more:
Hermit crab mating habits from the book Hermit Crabs, by Sue Fox
Annual migrations and spawning of the common land hermit crab; a research paper documenting this phenomenon as it happens in Puerto Rico. Crab love looks much the same all over the world.