Study finds that male fiddler crabs are a**holes.

By Seriously Science | June 21, 2016 6:00 am
Photo: flickr/Bernard DUPONT

Photo: flickr/Bernard DUPONT

The males of many animal species will “coerce” females into mating by force. But according to this study, male fiddler crabs take it a step further. They lure females into their burrows, allow the ladies to enter first…and then block their escape. As the researchers in this study (delicately) put it, “upon entry 79% females that enter will become trapped and almost all of these females (90%) produce a clutch of eggs. Our observations suggest that males are able to gain fertilisations from females that may not have remained in the burrow by trapping them and coercing them to mate.” Are male fiddler crabs the Ramsay Boltons of the animal world, or is there a more despicable animal rapist out there? Tell us in the comments below!

Ladies First: Coerced Mating in a Fiddler Crab

“In some species males increase their reproductive success by forcing females to copulate with them, usually by grasping the female or pinning her to the ground to prevent her from escaping. Here we report an example of males coercing copulation by trapping a female in a confined space. During mate-searching, female Uca mjoebergi fiddler crabs visit males and choose whether or not to enter their burrow for inspection. Males typically enter the burrow first and we found that 71% of females will follow him down and 54% decide to stay and mate. However, some males use an alternative tactic where he will wait for the female to enter the burrow first, after which he traps her inside. Although a significantly lower percentage of females will enter a burrow following this behaviour (41%), upon entry 79% females that enter will become trapped and almost all of these females (90%) produce a clutch of eggs. Our observations suggest that males are able to gain fertilisations from females that may not have remained in the burrow by trapping them and coercing them to mate.”

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: fun with animals, Sex & Mating
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  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

    “They lure females into their burrows, allow the ladies to enter first…and then block their escape.”

    “Hello. I’m a Black middle-aged Media star and you are a young naïve White girl. Would you like to join me for a very posh dinner and afterward at the Playboy Mansion?” If she goes along, she goes along.

  • AG

    Survival of fittest species or individuals- rule of nature.
    Rape or not. Nature only rewards those who can reproduce viable offspring. Rapist crabs are obviously winner in this Darwin’s game. Human male only behave differently due to rule of laws (human artificial environment) that changed the survival environment.
    No wonder when laws broke down during disaster or war, rape became wide spread rampage. Without punishment, male would try to impregnate every fertile females he could get.
    Due to human mental ability, man can quickly change his behavior according to new environment. Animals with low mental ability have hard time to make adaptive change when facing new environment. Most low intelligent animals behave according to instinct instead of learning. It is no surprise that low IQ people often commit crimes in civilized society with rule of laws.

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Seriously, Science?, formerly known as NCBI ROFL, is the brainchild of two prone-to-distraction biologists. We highlight the funniest, oddest, and just plain craziest research from the PubMed research database and beyond. Because nobody said serious science couldn't be silly!
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