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  #1  
Old 03-28-2000, 06:50 PM
yojimbo yojimbo is offline
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A friend told me that he had seen a picture of a type of crab that has developed an image of a samuri on their backs,is there such a thing?
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  #2  
Old 03-28-2000, 07:06 PM
WallyM7 WallyM7 is offline
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Yes. An excellent example of natural selection.

When Japanese fishermen pulled in their crab nets, the occassional crab had a carapace that had a vague resemblance to a samurai's face. These were thrown back out of respect. Of course these crabs were the ones that had a better opportunity to pass on their genes, so that eventually, over the years, these crabs became more abundant.

It's a true story.
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Old 03-28-2000, 07:17 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Try here:
http://www.youngpap.org.sg/ThoughtsX...nt/tx001.shtml
then do a web search for Heike crab to see if there is any more information out there.

Several sites mention that Sagan told this story on his Cosmos TV show.


This site has a lot of info on the ancient legend of the Heike, but most of the links are to original Japanese pages:
http://www.meijigakuin.ac.jp/~watson/heike/heike-1.html

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Old 03-28-2000, 07:20 PM
manhattan manhattan is offline
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And welcome to the Straight Dope Message Board. Good first question!

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Old 03-28-2000, 07:39 PM
yojimbo yojimbo is offline
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Cool , thx for the info.
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Old 03-28-2000, 07:57 PM
Ursa Major Ursa Major is offline
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When I first read Wally's post, I thought he was being facetious. I was laughing my ass off! "True story"! What a hoot!.

I was going to write a post about how oysters found in the Adriatic with a striking image of Sophia Loren on their shells, were being thown back by Italian fishermen.

Then Tom comes along with supporting links. Who'd a thunk it?
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Old 03-28-2000, 08:06 PM
Patty O'Furniture Patty O'Furniture is offline
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Because humans had a direct involvement in this progression, this is an example of artificial selection.

Humans, for thousands of years, have deliberately selected which plants & animals will flourish. Although the Japanese fishermen were less aware of the effect of their actions, they did play a key role in the survival & perpetuation of the Haki crab.
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Old 03-28-2000, 09:32 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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Quote:
Several sites mention that Sagan told this story on his Cosmos TV show.
That is true. I was around when it was on the air (one of my favourite shows at the time). He used it as an illustration of "natural" selection. Of course, he stated that it was human intervention that caused the abundance of the "samurai" crab; but the concept is sound and was easily shown. Apparently, the Japanese fishermen believed that samurai were reincarnated as crabs.


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Old 03-29-2000, 10:27 AM
Guy Propski Guy Propski is offline
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Sagan also tells the story in the companion book, "Cosmos." You can see pictures of the crab there.

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Old 03-29-2000, 11:26 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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It's my duty; my duty as a complete and utter bastard.--Arnold J. Rimmer.
Great sig line, Guy. I loved that show. (I should start watching it again, but there's a bit of a gap from the first season until now...)


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