In a new study published in the PeerJ journal, scientists have found that boxer crabs in the Red Sea hold an anemone species that does not occur on its own in the wild. Study author Yisrael Schnytzer, of Israel’s Bar Ilan University found that boxer crabs held clones of single anemones in both claws as well as between individuals. The scientists also found that if the Lybia crabs had only one anemone in a claw, they would tear the anemone in two, stimulating the anemone to regenerate into two new clones of the original anemone.
This is the first known instance of such behavior. Boxer crabs use the anemones to fend off predators and in turn the anemones feed off of scraps from the crab’s meals.
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