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Submission + - Yeti crab cultivates bacteria on claw, then eats t (nature.com)

Pierre Bezukhov writes: In the deep ocean off the coast of Costa Rica, scientists have found a species of crab that cultivates gardens of bacteria on its claws, then eats them.

The bristles that cover the crab’s claws and body are coated in gardens of symbiotic bacteria, which derive energy from the inorganic gases of the seeps. The crab eats the bacteria, using comb-like mouthparts to harvest them from its bristles.

Scientists believe the crab waves its claws to actively farm its bacterial gardens: movements stir up the water around the bacteria, ensuring that fresh supplies of oxygen and sulphide wash over them and helping them to grow.

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