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In animal battles, scammers can win

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Two knights are standing facing each other. One has a normal average sized sword. The other has a blood-stained massive horror-inducing sword. After a glance at it, the first knight quickly puts away his average sword, returns to a safe distance, and runs for his life.


He never knows that the giant horror-inducing sword was actually a plastic toy.

With a new study appearing in the journal on February 9th Biology letter, Dr. Jason Din, a candidate for biology at Duke University, shows that animal weapons can look a lot like plastic swords. Impressive, but ultimately cheap.

From deer horns to red shrimp claws, many animal I have a weapon. These are often large, clunky, heavy appendages that are metabolically costly to maintain in animals. Claw crustaceans such as shrimp, red shrimp, and crabs can weigh more than one-third of animals. body weight.. It has a lot of extra tissue to feed and maintain, even when the animal is completely stationary.

“Some animals can spend 40% of their daily energy budget just by sitting down without doing anything,” Dinh said. “It’s a very slow and steady cost that’s happening throughout the life of an adult animal.”

In many of these species, larger individuals have disproportionately large weapons. for example, Small animalsWeapons weigh 2 grams, and double-sized animal weapons weigh 5 grams, more than twice the size of small animal weapons. This means that larger animals also have a disproportionately large energy cost to maintain their weapons.

… unless they cheat.

Chitin, the main component of crab shells, is almost inactive, although muscle requires a lot of energy to stay alive. Once manufactured, it costs virtually nothing to maintain. The same applies to keratin, which consists of rhino horns, bird feathers, and your fingernails.

Dinh tests whether animals can minimize weapon maintenance costs by building weapons from cheaper organizations such as chitin using two types of snap shrimp and one type of fiddler crab. Did.

For each species, he investigated the relationship between the size of the weapon and the ratio of soft and expensive tissue to the hard and cheap exoskeleton. He found that the larger the weapon, the higher the percentage of exoskeleton contained. That is, muscles do not grow proportionally, leaving cheaper crunches on larger weapons, but cheaper muscles.

Even within the range of similar body sizes of the species, some individuals may have significantly exaggerated weapons. Dinh investigated the relationship between exaggeration and the ratio of soft tissue to the exoskeleton and found that the exoskeleton of exaggerated weapons was disproportionately high, regardless of body size. Once again: more crunches, less muscle.

“These individuals with exaggerated claws are pretty good at deceiving their enemies,” Din said. “Their opponents have a hard time assessing whether they have larger, stronger, or simply exaggerated claws.”

I’m not saying that exaggerated nails are just props weapon.. Din says that in fiddler crabs that pinch and push each other, large claws may have advantages in direct combat. Large claws can also bring benefits in the Teppo Webbi, which fight by throwing very high pressure bubbles at each other.

“It’s a way animals can deceive, but they can also improve their performance during these battles, and obviously they can do it in a really cheap way,” he says. I did.

A knight with a plastic sword will sooner or later be found, but heavily armed animals may be able to escape with it. Many crustacean battles have been won by intimidation, and even if escalated to full-scale violence, they are rarely fatal. And unlike a human knight, nail When ruined in battle, they can cut it off and grow new ones.

Dinh shows similarities between crustaceans and much larger animals such as chameleons, deer, and elephants, whose weapons are made of almost inert materials.

“We consider these weapons and ornaments to be an honest indicator of the splendor of an individual fighter, but animals perform these excellent physiological tricks to show their strength in combat. It seems that it can be deceived or exaggerated very cheaply, “Dinh said. “And that’s mainly due to the use of cheap tissue instead of muscle.”


Is it cheaper to make it bigger?Lessons from the extreme weapons of the Giraffe weevil warrior


For more information:
Large and exaggerated sexually selected weapons make up a high proportion of metabolically inexpensive exoskeletons. Biology letter (2022). DOI: 10.1098 / rsbl.2021.0550.. royalsocietypublishing.org/doi…. 1098 / rsbl.2021.0550

Provided by
Duke University

Quote: In the Battle of Animals, the scammer was obtained from https://phys.org/news/2022-02-animal-cheaters.html on February 8, 2022 (February 8, 2022) to win I can do it

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In animal battles, scammers can win

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