Why Do Things Keep Evolving Into Crabs?

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For some reason, animals keep evolving into things that look like crabs, independently, over and over again. What is it about the crab’s form that makes it so evolutionarily successful that non-crabs are apparently jealous of it?
Thanks to Franz Anthony for all of the ancient crab (and "crab") illustrations featured throughout this episode! franzanth.com/ And special thanks to Dr. Jo Wolfe, Dr. Javier Luque, and Dr. Katie Collins for assisting Franz with research for those illustrations.
And thank you to Dr. Rodney Feldmann for providing a photo of the Paralomis debodeorum fossil!
Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: amworlds.info
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References: docs.google.com/document/d/1q9McRu8tVceDumDFTWyrkVr3D15b3-DHp2ZYyd2sCuc/edit?usp=sharing

  • Ha! Nature tends towards crabs and yet I am not a crab. I have beaten nature

    Sebastian BaynesSebastian Baynes9 րոպե առաջ
  • dehumanize your self and face to crab

    Zenko ZenkoZenko Zenko48 րոպե առաջ
  • Crabs eat their young. Cannibalism is the missing key for us to reach transcendence.

    Respiratory FailureRespiratory FailureԺամ առաջ
  • *crab dance*

    TelevisionaryTelevisionary2 ժամ առաջ
  • Crab people are already a thing has no one seen South Park

    Adam ScottornAdam Scottorn3 ժամ առաջ
  • Crab People wasn't a joke. They're the next step in our evolution!

    superpowerfulmagnetssuperpowerfulmagnets5 ժամ առաջ
  • True Crab God: Thou shalt place no false forms before me.

    viciousKevviciousKev5 ժամ առաջ
  • Why would any organism evolve into something so delicious?

    Emiliano HernandezEmiliano Hernandez5 ժամ առաջ
  • Pseudocrabs

    DeltaDooby DDeltaDooby D5 ժամ առաջ
  • Humans: am I the only one who’s horrified by coconut crabs? Coconut crab: They ask you how you are and you say that you’re fine but you’re not fine and you just can’t-

    EasternflowerEasternflower6 ժամ առաջ
  • Bow down to your new crab gods

    OXO LOTLOXO LOTL6 ժամ առաջ
  • Palaeopalaemon, i bet the founder is a digimon lover

    QualveintQualveint8 ժամ առաջ
  • Leto II would like to know this answer

    Kanye KubrickKanye Kubrick9 ժամ առաջ
  • As Dark Souls put it: "Time for crab"

    GooeyGooey9 ժամ առաջ
  • Adapt or die. Hint hint humans.

    K HeruK Heru9 ժամ առաջ
  • Because the Earth is 70% of water

    Johnny MneumonicJohnny Mneumonic10 ժամ առաջ
  • Me evolving to a crab Dad: Are you winning son?

    snoopy doggsnoopy dogg10 ժամ առաջ
  • “Why do things keep evolving into crabs?” *Reject Monke* *Embrace crab*

    MarcellofpMarcellofp11 ժամ առաջ
  • f o r g e t h u m e n i t e y b e c o m e *C R A B*

    Dadosss 12Dadosss 1211 ժամ առաջ
  • King crab sus

    DoofusDoofus11 ժամ առաջ
  • They just want to rave

    Konsta BäckKonsta Bäck11 ժամ առաջ
  • my interest has never been peak so much much from a title alone.

    DiogenesDiogenes11 ժամ առաջ
  • Idk who this guy is but he’s my favourite

    Samantha KSamantha K11 ժամ առաջ
  • Crabs are the meta; no more, no less.

    Malcolm FranciscoMalcolm Francisco12 ժամ առաջ
  • Crab People Crab People Walk like Crab, talk like People Crab People

    No NameNo Name12 ժամ առաջ
  • So what's the difference between real and fake crabs

    Le VirtuosoLe Virtuoso13 ժամ առաջ
    • genetics

      srikrishna raosrikrishna rao4 ժամ առաջ
  • What I expected: Mammal slowly turns into crustacean What I got: THESE “CRABS” ARE IMPOSTERS!!!!

    CourierTXCourierTX13 ժամ առաջ
  • They're evolving, Just sidewards

    I'm A WeebI'm A Weeb14 ժամ առաջ
  • That is what you got for eating too many crab legs!

    Silvery BlueSilvery Blue14 ժամ առաջ
  • Funny... I was feeling a bit crabby this morning... I'll get my coat on the way out 😉

    Lowlander 2004Lowlander 200416 ժամ առաջ
  • Reject humanity, ignore the monke, accept crab

    VC GuerrillaVC Guerrilla16 ժամ առաջ
  • Evolution : I made a new animal Mother Earth : New animal or crab again Evolution : *crabagain*

    VC GuerrillaVC Guerrilla16 ժամ առաջ
  • Once all of us evolves to crabs, lets first of all do a crab rave

    LemònBôîLemònBôî16 ժամ առաջ
  • They are the superior species

    Moon CreekMoon Creek17 ժամ առաջ
  • Crabs are just spiders with cool armor

    ACHES PATACHES PAT17 ժամ առաջ
  • Because it makes it a highly effective scavenger and then simply evolves to adapt to its environment. I actually wonder if this is true of humans , does intelligence lead to a human like default state? Essentially did the original Star Trek series get it right but for reasons more to do with budget and costume restrictions?

    TomTom19 ժամ առաջ
  • Evolution: *PILE*

    Moth DustMoth Dust19 ժամ առաջ
  • Crab people, crab people

    dick castledick castle19 ժամ առաջ
  • Time for Crab

    Brandon WilliamsBrandon Williams19 ժամ առաջ
  • this video has the best comment section from all of youtube

    dull asparagusdull asparagus19 ժամ առաջ
  • Coconut crabs are delicious tho 😳

    Marvin DMarvin D20 ժամ առաջ
  • No no oh no everything is evolving into crabs ah no help ahhhhhh

    SmallMailManSmallMailMan20 ժամ առաջ
  • Reject monke become crab

    Lashed ScarlettLashed Scarlett21 ժամ առաջ
  • Crab people craabb people crab people.

    FACTS over feelingsFACTS over feelings21 ժամ առաջ
  • Crab was not the imposter 2 imposter left

    Aagil MaulanaAagil Maulana21 ժամ առաջ
  • You're not wrong coconut crabs are terrifying. I once saw it eating a duck alive.

    MauMau23 ժամ առաջ
  • Might be a dumb question but if that's the case, how come we still have lobsters that didn't evolve into crab form?

    LuxoyLuxoy23 ժամ առաջ
  • So there we were, 2017 deployment, Guam. 2am, we are all sitting around at the hotel near the pool super drunk. Guy tells a story about spiders for some reason. Guy looks down, screams, jumps up and flips the table over. Coconut crab was climbing up his leg. Those things are huge.

    Kenneth McKenneth Mc23 ժամ առաջ
  • THIS IS WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU LEMONS. .....have it pass you the butter too. 😂😂

    Random RamblingsRandom RamblingsՕր առաջ
  • Everything keeps evolving into crabs........ Clearly I was meant to consume ALL life. 😈😃......

    Random RamblingsRandom RamblingsՕր առաջ

    EwanofavalonEwanofavalonՕր առաջ
  • in short.... they are delicious food. the end.

    -TenkYufWenD --TenkYufWenD -Օր առաջ
  • Crab people!

    Forrest BoutinForrest BoutinՕր առաջ

    JaseJaseՕր առաջ
  • "I don't need sleep, I need answers."

    D AD AՕր առաջ
  • Now I know where South Park was coming from with, "crab people, crab people"

    KimberlyWrestlingGalKimberlyWrestlingGalՕր առաջ
  • the ultimate life form

    halo awehalo aweՕր առաջ

    Mitchell 60000000000Mitchell 60000000000Օր առաջ
  • Crab There are alot of imposters among us

    Ryver CRyver CՕր առաջ
  • I still ddont know why so much hate to coconut crabs. I like them. Theyre just bigger crabs. Im the only one? X,D

    D.E SánchezD.E SánchezՕր առաջ
  • Ah yes, the crab cycle.

    3[L]3[L]Օր առաջ
  • there is a imposter among us

    Awwome grass called alfalfaAwwome grass called alfalfaՕր առաջ
  • Thought this was an Onion News story at first

    seigfreegseigfreegՕր առաջ
  • Title: Why do things keep evolving into crabs? Me: i dunno, i guess evolution really likes dumb, hairless, pinchered-animals. Wait, are we evolving into cra-

    ManetinajManetinajՕր առաջ
  • Man I wish we became crab

    TAPTAPՕր առաջ
  • Does this mean dogs will evolve into crabs? Imagine that.

    Yeetem SeetemYeetem SeetemՕր առաջ
  • I hate it when my animals keep evolving into crabs

    Lvl 1 CookLvl 1 CookՕր առաջ
  • *C R A B P E O P L E*

    Jo KingJo KingՕր առաջ
  • Am I the only one who wants a giant friendly crab for a pet? Think of it bouncing around happily when you get home from work...

    Jeffrey HenionJeffrey HenionՕր առաջ
  • I just love the AMworlds algorithm.

    JohnnyBoyJohnnyBoyՕր առաջ
  • Crabs are so scary

    Galaxyjelly99Galaxyjelly99Օր առաջ
  • 06:30 Unnecessary do-gooder crap.

    Emme PombärEmme PombärՕր առաջ
  • reject humanity return to creb

    just a normal dudjust a normal dudՕր առաջ
  • Ancient crab names: Cool and Longword like; “Archelieus” Modern crab names: Coconut boi

    Jas_RedStoneWorks2.5Jas_RedStoneWorks2.5Օր առաջ
  • the image at 4:!5 actually gave me chills :/

    Christian KettlewellChristian KettlewellՕր առաջ
  • 4:00 laughs in "The Ocean"

    JohnJohnՕր առաջ
  • Are you feeling it now Mr.Krabs

    NemiKaiser [VRChat]NemiKaiser [VRChat]Օր առաջ
  • I can't wait to ascend to crabhood

    BrandonBrandonՕր առաջ
  • What will crustaceans 🦞 👀 like in 50 years

    tyquan flemingtyquan flemingՕր առաջ
  • my trypophobia: *chillin* porcelain crab: 👁👄👁 me: NOOO WHAT ????? WHY

    Stoffy DarkoStoffy DarkoՕր առաջ
  • Coconut crab is sus.

    Persephone RaederPersephone RaederՕր առաջ
  • I will self terminate before I evolve into a crab

    Dj noneDj noneՕր առաջ
  • I want to be crab

    alejandro aguirre ramirezalejandro aguirre ramirezՕր առաջ
  • “Wait we’re all crabs?” *Always* *have* *been*

    Badreddine WreqsBadreddine WreqsՕր առաջ
  • Wait we aren't supposed to be giant crabs yet?

    MemeyBoiMemeyBoiՕր առաջ

    anthony-yanthony-yՕր առաջ
  • evolution: I made a new animal us: new animal or crab again evolution: crab again

    cmon bruhcmon bruhՕր առաջ
  • So, crab people are real.

    Gustav CalderGustav CalderՕր առաջ
  • Are crabs sea spiders?

    Denise TimanaDenise TimanaՕր առաջ
  • the title of this video is fantastic

    scifitoiletscifitoiletՕր առաջ
  • calm down dude nothing has evolved into a crab for like a million years

    Claude Da 🅱️ussyClaude Da 🅱️ussyՕր առաջ
  • Scientist 1: I tell you what! This is all bullcrab!!! Scientist 2: hehe, crab. Scientist 1: Shut UP!

    Keanu CraftKeanu CraftՕր առաջ
  • Holly molly the comments are hilarious XD

    Rachel AveryRachel AveryՕր առաջ
  • i showed my pet crab this video i think he liked it

    cecelia rosececelia roseՕր առաջ
  • So nature's most efficient form is... Zoidberg. 🤨

    PereMarquettePereMarquetteՕր առաջ
  • Can you make a video about the evolutionary advantage of outward noses? WHY DO WE HAVE NOSES???? PLEASE!!!!

    Bridget KayesBridget KayesՕր առաջ

    A day with BenA day with BenՕր առաջ
  • Woah really cool that PBS Eons is tryna acknowledge the field of archaeology's ties with colonialism. I didn't even realize how much archaeology benefitted from colonialism

    Angel MartinezAngel MartinezՕր առաջ
  • I saw this off a meme it was a table turning into a crab

    Jam- SplamJam- SplamՕր առաջ

    xandy -guyxandy -guyՕր առաջ