Hear Ye! Since 1998.
Please note: This post is at least 3 years old. Links may be broken, information may be out of date, and the views expressed in the post may no longer be held.
12
May 02
Sun

Yabbies!

That was a longer time away from posting than I originally thought I would take. Everything’s just been so incredibly busy! I’ve had the ever increasing urge to post, but haven’t found a lull in activity (and corresponding burst of energy needed) up until now. The great majority of my time has been spent with recruitment related activities, interspersed with spurts of uni and thesis research on top of work. I’m going to over my recruiting experiences, but first, something else.

We got an aquarium in the apartment. It’s got no fish, only a crab and two yabbies. The first remark most people make about this is, “Crustaceans and no fish? How boring!” … only to spend the next half hour staring fascinated into the glass tank.

Why this is so relies on the nature of the beasts. Of the two yabbies, one is an absolute bully. He’ll attack others without provocation. As a result of constantly muscling away food from the others, he moulted first (shed his shell to grow bigger) and is practically doubled in size overnight. He looks like a tank compared to the others. He’s also ripped off one of the other yabby’s pincers. The crab keeps mainly to herself, only striking out in self-defence when any of the other two get too close. The little yabby is copping a beating, and more often than not, the big one will chase the him around. The little one will retreat backwards, only to back into the crab who will give him a nip in the butt. A yabby’s quick retreat mechanism is its tail flick. By using this, it can catapult itself halfway across the tank in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, when the little one flicks its tail after getting pinched by the crab, it normally ends up catapulting forward, straight into the arms of the big yabby, who lashes out with its own pincers. Tail flick again, but this time, backwards. Into the crab. The result is something like a game of tennis.

The big fights, however, are between the crab and the big yabby. The resemblance to a boxing match is uncanny – they’ll take swipes at each other, getting closer and closer, until their claws are entangled. Without a referee to yell out “break!” however, both critters are free to try and bite off each other’s ears. Well, that’s if they had visible ears – they don’t, but eyes work just as well. Incidentally, the scientific name for yabbies is cheerax destructor. They’ve lasted over three weeks now without killing each other. You can call it sadistic, but we call it natural selection. And it’s a lot more interesting than watching goldfish with 30 second memories swim around bumping into the glass.

Update: Big bully has ripped off the second pincer of the second yabby, so Dave moved him out into his gf’s aquarium. The carnage continued unabated, however, and the crab lost two of its legs in the battles that ensued. She too has been moved into a second aquarium Dave bought today.