Wild Things: Life as We Know It
Cobras, sharks, lemurs, hermit crabs and more...
- By T. A. Frail, Megan Gambino, Laura Helmuth, Erica R. Hendry and Abigail Tucker
- Smithsonian magazine, July-August 2010,
(Mark Bowler / NPL / Minden Pictures (4))
Hermit crabs that have outgrown their snail shells synchronize their search for new housing. Researchers in Belize report when one crab finds an empty shell, it waits until a crowd forms, then the crabs “piggyback,” or climb onto one another’s shells, in a line from largest to smallest. Once one crab shimmies into the free shell, the others follow, like dominoes.
“Birch (Betula spp.) leaves adsorb and re-release volatiles specific to neighbouring plants – a mechanism for associational herbivore resistance?” Sari J. Himanen et al., New Phytologist, March 10, 2010
“A seasnake’s colour affects its susceptibility to algal fouling,” R. Shine et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B, April 7, 2010
“Mate choice and mate competition by a tropical hummingbird at a floral resource,” Ethan J. Temeles and W. John Kress, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, February 3, 2010
“Socially induced brain development in a facultatively eusocial sweat bee Megalopta genalis (Halictidae),” Adam R. Smith et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B, March 24, 2010
“Conditioned taste aversion enhances the survival of an endangered predator imperiled by a toxic invader,” Stephanie O’Donnell et al., Journal of Applied Ecology, April 13, 2010