The Effects of Diet on Crab Claw Size
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crab, morphology, predation, herbivory
To determine the relationship between diet and claw size for three crab species
Understanding and predicting the effects of predator prey interactions can often be aided by considering adaptations in morphological traits (size, shape, and structure of body parts). For many crab species, the size of their claws changes as a result of their diet and predatory activities. Individuals who feed primarily on shelled prey develop larger, more muscular claws than those who feed primarily on non shelled prey (Smith & Palmer, 1994 ), and the harder the shells of the prey, the larger the claws of the crab (Smith, 2004 ). While multiple studies have demonstrated these relationships, they have focused on species that are primarily carnivorous. Most crab species are omnivorous, and the percent of their diet that is herbivorous vs. carnivorous depends on their habitat and the resources available to them ( Griffen & Mosblack , 2011 ). In this study, we examined three species of crab that demonstrate varying levels of herbivory, including two that are primarily herbivorous and one that is primarily carnivorous. Our goal was to determine whether the relationship between diet and claw size that has been previously demonstrated would hold true for these species.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Potter, Ben and Griffen, Blaine D., "The Effects of Diet on Crab Claw Size" (2021). Library/Life Sciences Undergraduate Poster Competition 2021. 6.
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