Tag Archives: Fiddler crab

Crawl space menagerie

I found some squatters in my crawl space today. Freeloading vagrants who were living in my house without me knowing. How could they have moved in without me knowing? Usually squatters squat in a house that’s empty but these spineless vandals have no respect for property or privacy.

It’s a good thing most of them were dead.

Snails, centipedes, millipedes, and rolly pollies had moved in to my crawl space when there was a small pool of water. What must have seemed like a lake to them has now dried up leaving their equally water-free bodies to litter the desert of my crawl space. Only one large snail seemed to survive.

The most surprising find was the large claw of a male fiddler crab. I don’t know if I should be excited or nervous that the crabs are trying to move in. Have my experiments with the crabs gone too far? What do the crabs want? They’ve conquered the ocean now the crabs are trying to take over my house? Sure, I’m a scientist, but I was never trained for this. The crabs are a crafty bunch.

The lone surviving snail. It sits upon a Minion hat worn by my three-year-old son (yet another freeloader living in my house).
A camel cricket who stored no water in his hump.
A millipede or a fuzzy cheese doodle.
A centipede or a hair clog.
A gang of rolly pollies and their snail enforcer.
The disembodied claw of a fiddler crab. The body was never found; yet another mystery.
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Need a date? Just wave.

Here is a great video put together by the New York Times explaining how female fiddler crabs not only prefer males with larger claws, but also with claws that wave faster. This is based on work by Australian researchers who used robot claws to wave faster or slower. Waving is part of fiddler-crab courtship. So remember, the next time you’re in a bar or the grocery store and you see someone you’d like to court, wave your little claw off!