Friday, 17 November 2017

In Your Face! Male Crabs Gloat with 'Victory Dance'

By Mindy Weisberger, Senior Writer | November 11, 2017 08:50am ET

Some male animals are known for busting a move in elaborate mating dances to woo prospective mates. But some crab males perform a special dance for the males they've just defeated in combat, to discourage them from coming back for more, according to a new study.

Scientists had previously observed that after two male crabs tussled over a female, the victor would perform a type of "dance move" directed toward the defeated male, rather than toward the female. They suspected the motion was meant intimidate the crab that had lost the fight, but they did not know for sure.

Recently, researchers put that idea to the test with observations of Perisesarma eumolpe, a colorful type of mangrove crab native to southeast Asia. They analyzed how rivals responded to dances, and noted that when a victorious crab performed a taunting strut, the loser was more likely to slink away in defeat. [Strange Love: 10 Animals with Truly Weird Courtship Rituals]

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