Title

House-hunting in Ecuadorian Hermit Crabs (Coenobita compressus): Factors Affecting Shell Selection

Date

6-1-2017 11:00 AM

End Time

1-6-2017 1:00 PM

Location

WUC Pacific Room

Department

Biology

Session Chair

Jeff Snyder

Session Chair

Michael Baltzley

Session Title

The Kenneth M. Walker Scholarship in Biology poster Session

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Jeff Snyderr

Presentation Type

Poster session

Abstract

Because Ecuadorian hermit crabs (Coenobita compressus) carry their shelter with them, they offer a unique perspective to evolutionary selection factors when choice is suboptimal. Many shell selection factors have been identified previously, but few have offered a compromise-free assessment of shell selection choice. Ten C. compressus were given a selection of different shells from which to choose after an eviction of the crab from its original shell. We hypothesized that hermit crabs will select a shell that is similar in size to their original shell when evicted from their original shell. We observed that crab weight and eviction techniques played a significant role in shell choice and shell selection latency, respectively. Out of ten (10) crabs seven (7) choose a shell that was similar to their original shell. Two (2) out of the ten (10) crabs choose a shell that would be considered larger than their original shell, but when their shell selection and weight were compared to other crabs of the same weight, we found that they chose a shell that was more appropriate to their size given their weight. Our results are consistent with known observations on this species.

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Jun 1st, 11:00 AM Jun 1st, 1:00 PM

House-hunting in Ecuadorian Hermit Crabs (Coenobita compressus): Factors Affecting Shell Selection

WUC Pacific Room

Because Ecuadorian hermit crabs (Coenobita compressus) carry their shelter with them, they offer a unique perspective to evolutionary selection factors when choice is suboptimal. Many shell selection factors have been identified previously, but few have offered a compromise-free assessment of shell selection choice. Ten C. compressus were given a selection of different shells from which to choose after an eviction of the crab from its original shell. We hypothesized that hermit crabs will select a shell that is similar in size to their original shell when evicted from their original shell. We observed that crab weight and eviction techniques played a significant role in shell choice and shell selection latency, respectively. Out of ten (10) crabs seven (7) choose a shell that was similar to their original shell. Two (2) out of the ten (10) crabs choose a shell that would be considered larger than their original shell, but when their shell selection and weight were compared to other crabs of the same weight, we found that they chose a shell that was more appropriate to their size given their weight. Our results are consistent with known observations on this species.