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Size selection by the crab Liocarcinus puber feeding on mussels Mytilus edulis and on shore crabs Carcinus maenas the importance of mechanical factors

ap Rheinallt, T.

Marine Ecology Progress Series 29.1: 45-53

1986


ISSN/ISBN: 0171-8630
Accession: 037293071

Velvet swimming crabs Liocarcinus puber (L.) were observed while they fed on mixtures of different size classes of mussels Mytilus edulis L. or of juvenile shore crabs Carcinus maenas (L.) in the laboratory. Intermediate-sized mussels predominated in the diets. Numbers of contacts with different sized mussels corresponded to the ratios presented, but contacts with smaller individuals frequently evoked no grasping attempts. Due to limited chelal dexterity, small mussels were difficult to grasp and easily dropped. Some large resistant mussels were rejected after unsuccessful breaking attempts.

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