Fiddler crab
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Robocrab arms vie for female

Researchers have used robotic crabs to show that female fiddler crabs prefer males who can "out-wave" their neighbours.

Male crabs advertise their quality as a potential mate to passing females by waving their large yellow claws.

Using robotic arms, researchers evaluated how the size and speed of the waving claw affected mating success.

Here four robotic arms wave at the female who is released in the middle from under a cup.

The female approaches the male she likes the look of, but gets a bit of a shock once she reaches him.

The results of trials shows that females preferred males with a higher wave rate and larger claws.

  • 07 Sep 2011