Why this research was conducted, we don't know. But we're glad it was. PhysOrg reports this crustacean computing feat, pictured above:
The team constructed logic gates that exploit the swarming behavior of soldier crabs. They said that "We demonstrate that swarms of soldier crabs can implement logical gates when placed in a geometrically constrained environment." The swarms of soldier crabs herded through tunnels can form the AND, OR and NOT logic gates.
Logic gates are super simple building blocks of any basic computer—and now science has created them out of crabs running into each other. And how do you get crabs to run into each other?
The swarms were placed at the entrances of the logic gates and encouraged to move by a shadow intended to convince the crabs that there was a predatory bird overhead.
Crabs! This computer sounds very slow and probably not as fun to use as a MacBook Pro, but it surely uses a lot less electricity! And you can't fry your MacBook Pro and dip it in tartar sauce, can you? But don't worry about the computer crabs' wellbeing: "the crabs were released to their natural habitats" after they were done swarming and bumping into each other, terrified by a fake bird shadow to execute basic calculations. [PhysOrg]