boxer crabs
February 7, 2017 7:10 AM   Subscribe

This Crab Clones Its Allies by Ripping Them in Half "It wields sea anemones like boxing gloves; if it loses one, it makes another by bisecting the remaining one."
posted by dhruva (35 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
 
Holy shit, that's the best pull-quote I've ever seen on Metafilter.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:23 AM on February 7, 2017 [6 favorites]


Man, nature is metal. I'd only heard of boxer crabs from this Sesame Street clip ("Look! It's a boxer crab dancing!"), which sadly neglected to mention its most bitchin' qualities.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:24 AM on February 7, 2017 [2 favorites]


If you remove the anemones, as Yisrael Schnytzer and his colleagues from Bar Ilan University have repeatedly done, the crabs struggle to gather enough to eat.

What a bunch of dicks.
posted by chasles at 7:40 AM on February 7, 2017 [8 favorites]


For a critter that looks like an Outback Steakhouse bloomin' onion, that's pretty badass.
posted by Caxton1476 at 7:42 AM on February 7, 2017 [5 favorites]


The anemones, however, flourish apart from the crabs. When Schnytzer freed them from the crabs’ grasp, their colors got brighter, their tentacles became longer, and they more than doubled in size. Left to their own devices, they can grow far bigger than the crabs that once held them.

"Allies" seems like a strange word to use for the anemones, rather than "victims of the crabs' parasitism".
posted by Greg Nog at 7:48 AM on February 7, 2017 [17 favorites]


something something late stage capitalism
posted by zamboni at 7:51 AM on February 7, 2017 [29 favorites]


What a bunch of dicks.

Dunno, sounds more like protective custody of the anemones to separate them from an abusive partner to me, if we're going to go all 'projecting-human-morality-on-invertebrates'.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:52 AM on February 7, 2017 [14 favorites]


Also:

With anemones like these, who needs friends?
posted by zamboni at 7:53 AM on February 7, 2017 [65 favorites]


Animals on MetaFilter: never knowingly unanthropomorphised.
posted by mushhushshu at 7:58 AM on February 7, 2017 [4 favorites]


"Bonsai anemones" FTW
posted by Kabanos at 8:08 AM on February 7, 2017


Is this domestication? Do any other animals domesticate?
posted by Rock Steady at 8:09 AM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]


With anemones like these, who needs friends?

The anemone of my anemone is my friend.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:12 AM on February 7, 2017 [25 favorites]


That's one way to make friends...
posted by acb at 8:13 AM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]


Is this domestication? Do any other animals domesticate?

Let me tell you about the ants...
posted by pan at 8:13 AM on February 7, 2017 [9 favorites]


Rock Steady: Do any other animals domesticate?

Ants domesticate aphids.

In a different domain of life, there are also farming amoeba. Or maybe the bacteria are manipulating the amoeba into farming them; it's not quite clear.
posted by clawsoon at 8:14 AM on February 7, 2017 [3 favorites]


Pan: Let me tell you about the ants...

This is related to my half-baked theory that the extra souls needed for all the extra humans that were created as a result of agriculture came from ants. Think about it: Domestication, farming, cities, large-scale wars, division of labour, complicated hierarchies, slavery... most of us are ant people.

Closer to the subject at hand: There's a lot of weird stuff in the ocean! (...says the walking bag of seawater...)
posted by clawsoon at 8:18 AM on February 7, 2017 [9 favorites]


The anemone of my anemone is my friend.

Keep your friends close and your anemones closer.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:18 AM on February 7, 2017 [10 favorites]


if we're going to go all 'projecting-human-morality-on-invertebrates'.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:52 AM


You'd have it the other way around, I take it?
posted by me & my monkey at 8:19 AM on February 7, 2017 [13 favorites]


chasles: If you remove the anemones, as Yisrael Schnytzer and his colleagues from Bar Ilan University have repeatedly done, the crabs struggle to gather enough to eat.

What a bunch of dicks.


But, you know, for science.

MetaFilter: (being) dicks for science!
posted by filthy light thief at 8:23 AM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]


Annie May.

Are we done now?
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:27 AM on February 7, 2017 [10 favorites]


Do any other animals domesticate?

Cats domesticated humans.
posted by clawsoon at 8:30 AM on February 7, 2017 [13 favorites]


These crabs look naturally deep-fried.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:31 AM on February 7, 2017 [2 favorites]


If you remove the anemones, as Yisrael Schnytzer and his colleagues from Bar Ilan University have repeatedly done, the crabs struggle to gather enough to eat.

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, a race of intelligent crab scientists study what happens when they remove Dr. Schnytzer's funding sources.
posted by mondo dentro at 8:33 AM on February 7, 2017 [21 favorites]


Lemme see -- link to a terrifying nature story in The Atlantic? Must be the genial Ed Yong.
posted by maudlin at 8:51 AM on February 7, 2017 [2 favorites]


I can't wait for this episode of The Octonauts!

I mean my kid can't wait .. for .. this epi... sode of the... the Octonauts. My kid ... said that.
posted by robotmachine at 8:54 AM on February 7, 2017 [3 favorites]



The anemone of my anemone is my friend.


Frond, surely.
posted by Four Ds at 9:39 AM on February 7, 2017 [14 favorites]


Tough guy, eh? Well, let's see how it stands up to pipe.
posted by thelonius at 9:47 AM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]


Think about it: Domestication, farming, cities, large-scale wars, division of labour, complicated hierarchies, slavery... most of us are ant people.

Clifford Simak wrote City way back when for just this reason.
posted by sneebler at 10:43 AM on February 7, 2017


In related science news: Anemones discovered to have crabs.
posted by Kabanos at 10:59 AM on February 7, 2017 [7 favorites]


But they also said in the article that they can't really find these anemones around in the wild outside of as lovely crab gloves. Those big anemones came from removing them from the crab and then letting them grow there under observation. That's just fascinating.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 11:40 AM on February 7, 2017 [2 favorites]


The other question, of course, is whether these guys are more or less adorbsable than Peacock Spiders.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:50 AM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]


You'd have it the other way around, I take it?

It'd go a long way towards normalizing the way I make my boxing gloves.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:07 PM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]


This post is definitely the favorite of the McGee children for today, and they are now running around being boxer crabs waving their anemones.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:35 PM on February 7, 2017 [4 favorites]


srsly why are these not Cheerleader Crabs wielding their lethal pom-poms how come real cheerleaders with real pompoms do not have said pompoms covered in stinging cells how bout it science?
posted by The otter lady at 4:39 PM on February 7, 2017 [4 favorites]


They're really tiny!
posted by avoision at 12:18 PM on February 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


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