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why do crabs walk sideways?

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925115.  Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:05 am Reply with quote

This story starts for me long ago in an english lesson on ts elliot. A line which goes 'i should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas' was being discussed and my teacher made a point of the fact that crabs walk sideways and nobody quite new why and this was significant in understanding the poem.

Years later i happen to see a program about robots in which it was revealed that when designing a robot to clear mine fields it was discovered that an eight legged machine that walked sideways was an efficient way of covering the field without missing a spot.

Now i knew that crabs are scavengers and feel for food with their feet so i immediately made the connection that crabs walk sideways because they are searching for food and dont want to miss any. Presumably if you were to examine a crabs footprints you would see an even spread of dots.

Having just done a google search i find that this is not readily given for the reason that crabs walk sideways. I wonder If I am right!

I think this is quite interesting and may be worth exploring on your lovely program. Not least to hear Stephen Fry sum up with the line;
crabs walk sideways because they are bottom feeders!


925153.  Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:03 pm Reply with quote

Nice thinking! Welcome to QI :-)


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