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Why do animals grow horns, talons, claws and other “weapons”? These impressive appendages are expensive to grow, and can slow creatures down. But these weapons can prove evolutionarily advantageous when it comes to one-on-one duels over mates. In this video, Douglas Emlen, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Montana and author of Beetle Battles: One Scientist’s Journey of Adventure and Discovery, explains the “arms race” that leads to these impressive appendages sported by elk, fiddler crabs, beetles and more.

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