Fight Inhibition for Lobsters

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Fight inhibition for lobsters, described in Nature, vol. 436, p444, 28 July 2005. Male lobsters fight with one another but do not kill one another. The loser retreats and never challenges the one that defeated him again. Researchers at Boston University Marine Program, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, have found the means by which losing males remember who to not pick a fight with. The hairs on their antennae are sensitive to chemicals called pheromones excreted in lobster urine and each lobster has it own "smell". If the losing lobster cannot detect the pheromones it will go picking fights with other males that have beat them in the past.

Editorial Comment: This system of chemical aggression control reminds us that the evolutionary idea of the "war of nature" with only the strong surviving is not the norm in the natural world. Most animals have some kind of signalling system that inhibits aggression before any permanent damage is done. We suspect that cases where aggressive animals do kill their competitors has resulted from breakdown of the signalling systems such as the one described above. This is not evolution, but degeneration, and is the result of the world having gone from a good creation to a world that was cursed because of human sin. (Ref. competition, crustaceans, pheromones)

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