Moar on coconut crabs

Reader Dennis Hansen (see crab post below) has just uploaded a video to YouTube showing a bit of a color-choice experiment he’s doing with the giant tortoises of Aldabara, but then. . . well, I’ll let him describe it:

What I do have a video of is a coconut crab interfering with a colour choice experiment I did last time. The tortoise took too long to decide if/what colour to eat next, and a crab walked up and made its own choice.

He promises some good video of coconut crabs (and their feeding frenzy at human mealtime) when he returns to Aldabra in a month.

6 Comments

  1. Posted January 28, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    “The tortoise took too long to decide if/what colour to eat next…”

    Tortoises have free will?!!

    /@

    • Dennis Hansen
      Posted January 28, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      They are The Ones that came before kittens. They carry entire universes on their shells. Of course they have free will.

  2. gravelinspector
    Posted January 28, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Coming soon to a research station near you … colour choice experiments involving cocoanut crabs.
    Actually, to my gloom I realise that despite having spent months bumping into them around the camp, it never once occurred to me to wonder if they’d got colour vision, if so, which colours, any preferences? But then, I’m a geologist, not a biologist, and I’m a bit dosconcerted by experimental material that might (see discussions above passim and ad nauseam) have free will and certainly can move around without being pushed.

  3. gravelinspector
    Posted January 28, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    The tortoise makes me think of the parable of the ass that starved to death between two piles of hay.

    • Owlglass
      Posted January 28, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Yes, that’s a variation called the “buridan’s tortoise” experiment. ;)

      • Owlglass
        Posted January 28, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        …we see that the role of the “ass” is shared by the crab and the tortoise.


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