Watch 'Pom-Pom' Crabs Fight with Anemone-Tipped Claws
Crabs can stimulate sea anemones to reproduce asexually—the first known example of such behavior, a new study says.
In the shallows of the Indo-Pacific dwell tiny cheerleaders: Crabs that hold sea anemones on each of their claws, earning them the nickname pom-pom crabs.
These colorful and stinging accoutrements, attached to their claws with delicate hooks, likely help the coin-size crustaceans fend off predators. The anemones, in turn, benefit from getting scraps of leftover food from the crab. (Also see "Natural Bling: 6 Amazing Animals That Decorate Themselves.")
Unlike most crabs, which have robust claws used for grabbing, eating, and defense, Lybia crabs have claws like little tweezers—the perfect size and shape for holding anemones.
Now, a new study reveals that when a pom-pom crabs lacks an anemone, it will steal one from another crab. Then, both victim and victor