Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mysteries of the (Long Island) Deep

My friend and fellow Southampton College alum, John Carrol, found this dead, partially eaten snail during one of his dives off Long Island:

What happened here?? He answers the mystery at his blog, Chronicles of Zosterabut I’ll give you a hint: it may have something to do with an arms race of sorts (read more about that here, here, or here).

Time it took for four crab species to break into and eat Littorina sitkana snails, grouped by snail size. The numbers above each bar represent prey biomass (mg) over total handling time (minutes) - this measure represents "prey profitability", like how much bang the crabs got for their buck. Crab claw morphology is pictured below each species name. Scale bar is 10 mm.

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