A new study has revealed how common shore crabs can navigate their way around a complex maze and can even remember the route in order to find food.
A Swansea University team of scientists, led by marine biologist Dr Ed Pope and master's student Ross Davies, wanted to see if common shore crabs could learn the path of a specially-designed maze in order to gain a better understanding of spatial learning in crustaceans.
The researchers tested 12 crabs over four weeks, placing food at the end of the maze each time. The route to the end of the maze required five changes in direction, and included three dead ends.
Over the four-week period, the team saw the crabs show a steady improvement in both the time taken to find the food at the end of the maze and, crucially, in the number of wrong turns taken.