Cookies

Like most websites The Analytical Scientist uses cookies. In order to deliver a personalized, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. Learn more.
Fields & Applications Spectroscopy, Metabolomics & Lipidomics

A “Nose” for Trouble

Crabs are known to have superb chemosensory capabilities, walking upstream towards tantalizing chemical cues to locate food and mates, despite turbulence in the water. These detection abilities are particularly important for the mud crab; its ability to “smell” its main predator – the blue crab – is a matter of life or death. The canny crabs hide themselves away whenever one of its predatory cousins is in the vicinity - but what is it that makes the muddy invertebrates act so... spinelessly? A team from the Georgia Institute of Technology decided to wade in and find out.

“We suspected that the crabs were responding to the presence of predators by sensing chemicals that were being transmitted through the water column – however, little was known about the molecular cues involved,” says Julia Kubanek, one of the researchers (1). “We then discovered that when the mud crabs are exposed to the urine of blue crabs, we get the same hiding and hunkering down response that mud crabs exhibit when there is a whole, live blue crab nearby.”

Enjoy our FREE content!

Log in or register to read this article in full and gain access to The Analytical Scientist’s entire content archive. It’s FREE and always will be!

Login if you already created an account

Or register now - it’s free and always will be!

You will benefit from:

  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Analytical Scientist magazine
Register

Or Login as a Guest or via Social Media

About the Author

Joanna Cummings

A former library manager and storyteller, I have wanted to write for magazines since I was six years old, when I used to make my own out of foolscap paper and sellotape and distribute them to my family. Since getting my MSc in Publishing, I’ve worked as a freelance writer and content creator for both digital and print, writing on subjects such as fashion, food, tourism, photography – and the history of Roman toilets. Now I can be found working on The Analytical Scientist, finding the ‘human angle’ to cutting-edge science stories.

Register here

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:

  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Analytical Scientist magazine

Register