Thursday, 16 August 2012

Hermit crabs 'work to safety building codes'


Hermit crabs that carve out shells to make more suitable homes keep them within safe limits, say scientists.
Ecuadorian hermit crabs are known to "remodel" the shells of other species to make them more spacious.
US researchers tested the strength of the altered shells to understand their benefits and drawbacks.
They found that the excavated shells could still protect the crabs from predators, suggesting an evolved "building code" for the crabs' homes.
Dr Mark Laidre studied the crabs with colleagues from the University of Berkeley, California. Their results are published in the journal of the Royal Society Interface.
"The remodelled homes, while being far more breakable than than un-remodelled homes, are nevertheless still outside the range of the maximum bite force of the crabs' predators," said Dr Laidre.


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