Monday, September 5, 2011

Fiddler crabs keep cool with giant claws

Male fiddler crabs use their giant claws to keep cool as well as attract females, say scientists.

The crabs' oversized limbs are waved to signal strength to potential mates.

US researchers discovered that crabs with an intact major claw also cool faster than those without, showing that the claws help regulate temperature.

Scientists suggest this previously unknown benefit could help offset the energy cost of growing such a large sexual ornament.

There are about 100 species of fiddler crab found in tropical regions around the world.

Males are recognisable by their assymetrical claws, whereas females' claws are equally sized. more