Feeds

Crayfish enjoy a bit of sub-dom: official

Scientists probe 'humping' behaviour

High performance access to file storage

Scientists from Georgia State University have rather splendidly discovered that crayfish "act out elaborate rituals of dominance and submission", Reuters reports.

Specifically, Fadi Issa and Donald Edwards found said crustaceans "display... a complex ritual, when two males engaged in pseudocopulatory behaviour to signify their dominance relationship" which was followed by "a reduction in aggression and an increased likelihood of the subordinate's survival".

Indeed, this is not just a bit canine rolling on your back when the top dog's around - it's a matter of life or death for crayfish. The researchers noted that "lower-ranking crayfish that did not go along with another male's overtures were killed, dismembered, and partially eaten".

Issa and Edwards, who monitored sub-dom behaviour among a group of 20 males, said it was "most common when two strange males first met, and appeared to defuse tensions after a few days". They further explained: "These effects are similar to those of copulation between male and female crayfish, and such copulation can also begin with an aggressive encounter and has been seen as an extension of male dominance behaviour. Moreover, if the female refuses the male's attempts to mate, she can be killed."

The scientists concluded by saying "the findings in invertebrates showed such behaviour was common in the animal world and may have evolved more than once over time". This suggests a bit of sub-dom is "useful for survival", they added.

Issa and Edwards' findings are available in the journal Current Biology. We look forward to their forthcoming paper on Promiscuous lesbianism among spider crabs as a mechanism for social harmony. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.