The Startle time of hermit crabs
Stella M. Turk MBE
Cornish ‘hermits’ don’t waiver,
Cornish ‘hermits’ are braver
Than those of Devon’s coast
And this is not an idle boast:
A Looe crab soon assumes all’s well
Whilst a Plymouth crab stays in its shell.
Experts at Plymouth University spent six months comparing the response behaviour of individuals of the Common Hermit Crab Pagurus bernhardus from Looe in Cornwall with those of Plymouth in Devon. They found that the Cornish crabs were less shy – indeed positively braver! – than heir Devonian counterparts. The results of Dr Briffa and his research team have been published in the Royal Society Journal.
I would have expected difference of behaviour to be negligible over such a to small coastal stretch, especially as they have plancktonic larvae.
Stella M Turk MBE
15th March 2008