[google-translator]
67,386 OCEAN PASSPORTS
1,380 PARCELS SPONSORED
1,239 SPECIES FRIENDED

Scientists Find That Cuttlefish Are Pretending to be Crabs to Catch More Fish

Source: National Geographic/Hannah Lang - June 14, 2017 in Adventure

Scientists Find That Cuttlefish Are Pretending to be Crabs to Catch More Fish
Photo: Leonard Low/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but researchers in Japan don’t think cuttlefish are trying to flatter hermit crabs when they appear to mimic crustacean arm movements.

In videos from a University of Ryukyus study published in the Journal of Ethology last month, pharaoh cuttlefish are seen displaying an arm-flapping behavior that resembles the movements of a crab, while also lightening areas of their skin. Kohei Okamoto and his research team hypothesized that the cuttlefish may be emulating hermit crabs in order to inconspicuously approach their prey or protect themselves against predators.

Hermit crabs are filter feeders and don’t pose a threat to cuttlefish prey, which include small fish and mollusks. If cuttlefish pretend to be crabs, it could allow them to get closer to their prey without detection, Okamoto said. Mimicking crustaceans would also give off the impression of a hard shell, which might protect cuttlefish from other hungry sea animals.

Read Full Story

To view the Creative Commons license for the image, click here.

 

Print article