The Boxer Crab Clutches Which Of These Things In Its Claws As A Weapon?
Answer: Sea Anemones
Many creatures in the sea have formed symbiotic bonds with other animals. Some species of crab, for example, live peacefully among the stinging tentacles of sea anemones, guarding the sea anemones while getting a tasty nibble on the creatures ensnared by the anemones.
Boxer crabs take this relationship to a whole new level, however, by not settling down with the sea anemones, but taking the anemones with them. The distinct looking little crabs go to great lengths to find the perfect anemone to carry around, even carefully splitting a perfect specimen in half to force asexual reproduction and end up with two matching “pom poms” in the process.
The relationship between the two creatures serves both of them well. The anemone gets exposed to more food as it travels around with the crab. The crab, in turn, not only uses the anemone for immediate defense by thrusting it towards predators, but the anemone also serves as a passive deterrent. Researchers believe that when the crab is resting and concealing itself from predators, the chemical signature given off by the anemone masks the crab and tells predators to poke around elsewhere for food.