Crafty crabs cop cans for cribs

I have a sore throat (and probably am getting a cold), so I’m going home to rest. I’ll leave you with this video for today. Don’t worry: ducks will be fed, but the Daily Duck Doings will be postponed till tomorrow.

As you probably know, as hermit crabs grow they have to leave their old shells and move into bigger ones. From BBC Earth, we have this lovely video showing hermit crabs, deprived of empty shells, using beverage cans as new homes. The cans aren’t ideal given the asymmetry of the crab, but kindly rangers leave empty shells for the growing beasts.


  1. Erik
    Posted June 5, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    My dissertation research focused on intertidal hermit crab populations that varied in gastropod shell availability. One population was severely limited, with many of the shells smaller than preferred and/or damaged by previous predator attacks. One day, I found an individual that had crammed its abdomen into a ballpoint pen top. It was having a tough time because of the shape and the fact that the plastic buoyant. I gave it a new, marked shell. After that it was on its own and the shell likely circulated through the population. The pen top was taken off the housing market.

    • rickflick
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 12:01 am | Permalink

      Interesting. As a sympathetic naturalist, I’d like to see ball point pens made in the shape of shells of many sizes. It’d bring sanity back to the housing market.

    • Posted June 6, 2018 at 4:07 am | Permalink

      Very interesting…

  2. Teresa Carson
    Posted June 5, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Take care of yourself! I want to see duck news every day — we’re all depending on you.

    • Posted June 5, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry; I’d have to be on my deathbed before I’d stop feeding and photographing them. They had two big meals today, and a nice bath after lunch. I have photos, too.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 5, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    “Crafty crabs cop cans for cribs” & “Daily Duck Doings” — The narrator of Philip Roth’s The Great American Novel, an old-time sportswriter name o’ “Smitty,” had a penchant for alliteration. But when he hit un certain âge his doctors made him cut back on it out of concern for his blood pressure.

    So it’s prolly a good idea yer goin’ home early today. 🙂

  4. DW
    Posted June 5, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    And after the Nuclear Apocalypse, they will use delivery vans.

  5. Cate Plys
    Posted June 5, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    As I recommend to everyone, seriously gargle with warm salt water just once or twice and you might kill that sore throat dead in its tracks. Add in a full dose of Cold Eez and you’ve really got a shot (two Cold Eez three times a day after a meal).

    • Simon Hayward
      Posted June 5, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Alternately, put a hat on the bedpost, drink sufficient liquor to see two hats. When the hangover is gone the cold will be too

    • Posted June 6, 2018 at 4:08 am | Permalink

      My ma used to make us gargle with TCP…

  6. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 5, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink


  7. Nilou Ataie
    Posted June 5, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Hope you feel better.

  8. Steve Pollard
    Posted June 5, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Get well soon; and get back to them thar ducks!

    I don’t know if the Beeb’s “Springwatch” reaches your side of the pond, but for the last couple of weeks it has been monitoring a pair of Mandarin ducks that have nested about 10 feet up in a hollow tree. Their 14(!) fledglings were caught on camera today leaving the nest and landing safely. Heartlifting! (Although there are also some serious predators about…)

  9. Posted June 5, 2018 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Research project: 3D printed “shells” of the correct chirality, and others of the incorrect chirality as a control.

  10. Vaal
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Whoever edited that Village People performance should be sentenced to be tied to a chair, watching it for 24 hours straight.

    I literally can’t watch it due to the horrible ADD editing.

    Fun song though, as always.

    BTW, thinking back on the Village People phenomenon reminds me: is it not the funniest thing how few people seemed to know Freddie Mercury was gay when Queen was popular early on? Despite that now it seems somewhat more obvious? When I was growing up Queen was loved by by macho young men who seemed oblivious to this. (I seem to remember being oblivious).

    On the other hand, I find the change in attitudes towards homosexuals generally quite heartening. I’ve seen many a discussion about Queen’s music and Freddie Mercury on forums inhabited by “macho” younger men (e.g. martial arts forums) and Mercury’s homosexuality doesn’t seem to phase anyone anymore. Guys who, in my day, would have used intimations of homosexuality as a pejorative, will now often say “I don’t care if he was gay or straight, the dude was straight up the best rock frontman ever!”

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