Posts Tagged ‘exchange’

More coral crochet (and brief patterns)

// November 25th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Science Art

I’ve got some good blog posts up my sleeve, but they’ll have to wait until after NaNoWriMo, because I’m quite sick of typing at the moment!

Instead, here are some more of my contributions to the Adelaide crochet coral reef over at the RiAus.

Fire crochet coral

Fire crochet coral close up

FIre crochet coral birds eye view

The above were made from a huge ball of wool, with probably eight different kinds of yarn rolled up in it. It was fun when the threads changed colour, especially working with the yellow one on the outside, which was quite thick and crinkly. Pattern for the outside: Chain 20, then dc each stitch, but on every third stitch add another dc into it, so it increases. For example: dc stitch, dc stitch, 2 x dc stitch, repeat. Just kept doing that! Then I stitched up the edge to make it a circle, and dc’d in the center with red wool to make the pokey out part.

rope coral

rope coral close up

This one was tricky to work with, especially with my mid-sized hook. It was, basically, just two pieces of rope. Pattern: Chain 10, dc each stitch twice (so you’re increasing every stitch.) At the bottom I used some fine yarn and the same mid-sized hook and just dc’d along the edge really loosely.

My previous post is here with the big orange curly coral. It’s been fun! Happy to talk patterns with anyone who’d like to try it at home. Essentially, it’s just a lot of regular increases to give it the curly, hyperbolic edge. I think it would look good as a hemming on sleeves or pants or skirts.

Female fiddler crabs have sex with the neighbours

// April 20th, 2010 // Comments Off on Female fiddler crabs have sex with the neighbours // Recent Research, Sex and Reproduction

Fiddler Crab

Fiddler crabs may be little, but they have one big appendage, the CLAW! A weapon if ever there was one. Like a lance or an over-sized boxing glove, something about it just screams MAN. So it fits that male fiddlers are the gender so endowed.

Females have two little feeding claws. No giant claw. No weapon of any kind. Unless, of course, you count her good looks and killer form. Turns out that’s all she needs.

This research comes from the ANU (me own university), and there’s apparently a fiddler crab expert here that I have to meet. His name is Richard Milner, and the paper was published in Biology Letters.

ResearchBlogging.orgRichard N. C. Milner*, Michael D. Jennions and Patricia R. Y. Backwell (2009). Safe sex: male−female coalitions and pre-copulatory mate-guarding in a fiddler crab Biology Letters (6), 180-182 : 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0767

Fiddler crabs live in burrows, which are a place to hide when predators come along. Burrows are in high demand, and males will fight for squatting rights. Females can’t fight without a big-ass claw, instead they take over empty burrows.

Burrow-owning females would be sitting ducks for homeless males to come and kick them out, if it weren’t for the male next door.

Male fiddlers will defend the territory of nearby females. The study showed that if the intruder is a male, the neighbour will try to fight him off 95% of the time. That compares to just 15% of the time when the intruder was female. So male fiddlers like to be surrounded by female fiddlers. Go figure.

When picking a sexual partner, female fiddlers chose a neighbour who shares a territory border with her 85% of the time. The remaining 15% was made up of strangers, burrowless males and non-neighbour residents.

Part of that could be convenience, as females are at risk of predation while they search for a mate. Part of it could be gratitude. Part of it could be white knight syndrome, in which the big manly fiddler roughly dispenses of all piddly competition to claim the hand of the fair maiden. Damn I have a problem with personifying animals.

It boils down to one thing: Fiddlers exchange sex for protection. It makes me wonder whether some human relationships amount to much the same thing. Give me your thoughts and complete the following: Humans exchange sex for

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