also these leggings are awesome

The Case of the Samurai Crab

This crab is one of my favourite crustaceans- Heikeopsis japonica - which is commonly known as the samurai crab. Today I was researching them (for non science reasons) and wanted to share what I learned about them with you all!

So the samurai crab is a rather small crab found in waters of Japan. Despite its freakishly long legs and awesome name, Heikeopsis is also known for one key feature: their carapaces.

As shown in the above diagram, the carapace of the samurai crab is highly defined, with large grooves creating a face-like image. Because humans are hardwired to find faces in everything, it’s quite easy to see a big nosed, angry face on the back of the crab. What’s more, one could even say it looks like the masks worn by samurai- hence the name!

In this print by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, samurai crabs are shown alongside Heike samurai- this print led to the 1952 hypothesis that these crabs were shaped the way they are due to unintentional artificial selection: fishermen believed that the crabs were the spirits of samurai from the naval Battle of Dan-no-ura (1185), and as such were released out of respect. The crabs that didn’t look like samurai masks were eaten, resulting in a selection pressure that favoured the creepy face-crabs to the not so creepy crabs.

This is a really cool idea- but one that is not without criticism. In 1993, Joel W. Martin wrote that these crabs were not used as a food source- though I couldn’t find a reference on carapace width, they don’t appear to be that big of a meal- and that the carapace grooves are actually areas of muscle attachment.

These areas of muscle attachment are also found on other crabs, such as the invasive Carcinus means shown above. Whilst not as defined as on the samurai crab, it’s easy to see where each part changes in shape and size.

It would be rather interesting to see how possible it is to invoke the samurai effect on crabs though: if you had enough crabs, you could (hypothetically) selectively breed them based on definition of grooves, and see how it affects the physiology and health of the offspring of a few generations. I am yet to find research showing exactly how much evidence each side of the story holds currently, but I will keep you updated if I find anything!


so today was productive


make me choose: Dan or Dane DAN AND DANE (for Kimi) [1/2]

As the conversation winds down, DeHaan reveals that since wrapping Kill Your Darlings, he has managed to see the first three Harry Potter movies — something Radcliffe seems not to have known until that very moment, because he tries and fails to keep from wincing.
DD: I know they are not —
DR: They’re not my favorite.
DD: — Dan’s favorite ones. But I want to see the rest of them.
DR: But that’s actually really cool. What that means is, I think sometime between Sundance and now you’ve watched them.
DD: Yeah! I was like, “I miss Dan.” +

A Chris Trott Appreciation Post

hello, as everyone is aware, it is now Chris Trott Appreciation Day, so I’m going to say some things

I love Hat Films, and it makes me sad to think Trott is feeling like we love the other two more than him.
it also makes me sad that we are doing this - we shouldn’t need to.

but anyway

Trott has always managed to make me smile. he has this unique way of making people laugh, and let’s be honest - it works a lot of the time.

I don’t really know what to say, except,

We love you Trott, never forget it.

(and also he waxed his legs for charity. that was pretty awesome)