Too much noise can make it tough for people to concentrate, but did you ever think that animals may be distracted by noise too? In one recent study, ecologists at the University of California at Los Angeles studied the impact of boat noises on hermit crabs.

Hermit Crab

The scientists found that, when there was a lot of boat noise, hermit crabs on shore were less likely to protect themselves from an approaching predator. This probably had less to do with their inability to hear a predator coming and more to do with their being distracted by the noise, the scientists said.

To figure this out, the scientists created a pretend "silent" predator by placing a black t-shirt over an inflatable doughnut and dangling it over the crabs. When boats weren’t roaring by, the crabs quickly pulled back into their shells to safety. In the presence of boat noise, however, they were slower to hide in their shells, suggesting that they may have been distracted by the noise.

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