Friday, November 18, 2016

Butter fingers

At feeding time in the aquarium, as the hermit crabs race about, grabbing goodies, squabbling over them, mugging their erstwhile friends for a tidbit, trying to hog two or three meals (that's what all those extra mouthparts and pincers are for, aren't they?), the shrimp drifts down, casually, as if moved only by the currents in the water. As if he had no real interest in the proceedings. But let him drift within reach of a food pellet, and suddenly he's galvanized; faster than my eye can follow, he has bounced up to a handy perch, carrying his catch.

Three feet for perching, five for holding onto the food.

But he's not as efficient as the hermits and the crabs; even using several feet to hold on to the food, it slips out of his grasp and falls to the sand below.

And down he goes after it, breaking out all those extra swim fins to get there before the hermits do.

And the food pellet is snagged by a speedy crab. The shrimp drifts away; no big deal, not interested, really, not at all, he's not hungry, anyhow.

Rinse and repeat. It usually takes him three or four tries to collect a meal and get it into a safe place.

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