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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Video: Robotic Crabs Reveal Sexual Frustration in Crustaceans
27 January 2014 11:30 am
With his huge, showy, yellow claw, the male Mjöberg’s fiddler crab (Uca mjoebergi) is an eye-catching crustacean that lives on the marine mud flats of northern Australia. Like many other fiddlers, he uses his claw to attract a mate, the much smaller and more demure female. Researchers have been studying how female fiddlers choose between their many suitors. They’ve learned, for instance, that males with larger claws, especially those that wave them faster, have an edge in dating. To amp up their science, however, they’ve added a robotic twist—building “RoboCrabs” that can wave an array of claws in a variety of ways. The automated fiddlers have helped the scientists uncover other factors that influence mate choice. In a study published this month in Behavioral Ecology, for example, they found that females showed a strong aversion to otherwise irresistible males if the guys were waving from the tops of small mounds. That might be because elevated mating sites are too dry or exposed to predators. But the researchers admit they aren’t sure why females scorned the elevated crabs—which they dubbed the “fiddlers on the roof.”
(Video credit: Science/AAAS)