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Picture of the Day

Like seasoned holiday enthusiasts, majoid crabs decorate their shells

'Tis the holiday season and it seems homes are festively trimmed at every turn. Ornaments of all shapes and sizes embellish everything from trees to windows and yards. While tinsel originated in 17th century German decorating and modern-day Christmas lights can be traced to the Victorian era, the idea of decorating is not an exclusively human trait. Majoid crabs -- known as decorator crabs -- are well-known among marine scientists for adorning their surface with items secured from their surroundings. About 75 percent of majoid crab species are notorious for decorating with sponges, algae and other marine debris. Scientists are uncertain what physical and environmental factors drive this decorating behavior, though it appears to be used as a means to hide from, or deter, predators.

Visit Website | Image credit: Rohan Brooker/University of Delaware