Category Archives: crustaceans

Sandhopper

Sandhopper

There are many hoppers. Grass. Sky. Fire. Heart. And the sandhopper.

If sand needs hopping, here's your man animal.

If sand needs hopping, here’s your man animal.

Special powers

The sandhopper’s signature move is leaping high into the air. Of all jumpers, it is one of the greatest at the act of jumping high.

Weaknesses

Though it jumps very high, the sandhopper has no directional control while doing so. I mean, beyond the vague idea of “up.” It’s got that one down. I mean, not “down.” You get the idea.

Beyond that, the sandhopper doesn’t know much.

Also, one antenna is much longer than the other. How dare it.

Number of legs

In an unprecendented moment for Rate Every Animal, I don’t actually know. I researched for entire minutes, and was unable to find the answer. I’m sorry I let you down.

Prize possession

The sandhopper’s prize possession is an Easy-Bake Oven with “THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS” written on it.

Potent quotables

“My favorite band is Various Artists. Only right answer. ‘Variety is the spice of life.’ – Anonymous.” – the sandhopper

What if it fought a bear?

The bear has no reason to fear the sandhopper’s random jumping.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

I find this dim-witted, uncontrollably-blasting-into-the-air crustacean rather charming, really. That asymmetrical antenna is gonna drive me crazy, though.

 

 

8.5/10

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Pill bug

Pill bug

Let’s get it straight. The pill bug is no insect.

So what is this?

So what is this?

It is a land-based crustacean. While most other crustaceans live in the ocean or on the beach, the pill bug lives under a tree that fell over. That’s just poor judgment.

Special powers

The pill bug can curl up into a ball for defensive purposes and purposes of rolling around.

It can also uncurl.

It can also uncurl.

Weaknesses

Its poor judgment.

Number of legs

Fourteen.

Aliases

The pill bug is known to scientists as armadillidium vulgare. It is known in the flea circus as The Living Ball. It is known to its college friends as the potato bug, due to something crazy it did in the horticulture lab. It is known to its elementary friends as doodle bug, because young kids are bad at names. It is known as the sowbug to people who met it through a mutual acquaintance it didn’t expect to see again and gave a false name to years ago. It is known as the roly poly bug to its most intimate friends.

Other ratings of the pill bug

When asked to weigh in on the pill bug, 2016 presidential candidates had diverse opinions.

Marco Rubio: “The pill bug has been nothing but a disaster for America.”

Hillary Clinton: “I mean, maybe it’s not fun to have a pill bug. Maybe it’s more fun to have a dog or a cat. But you just have to suck it up and accept that sometimes your apartment complex doesn’t allow larger pets and it’s the most practical option. Thank you for your question, human friend.”

Rand Paul: “I don’t need the federal government coming in and telling me what is and isn’t an insect. To me, the pill bug is an insect, and if you want me to think otherwise, then get the people of America to pass a Constitutional amendment that says so. Until then, it’s my protected right.”

Jeb! Bush: “Uh, pass.”

Ted Cruz: “They are, however, cherished among children, who enjoy keeping them as pets.”[1]

Chris Christie: “On 9/11, the pill bug was nowhere to be seen. Not me, I was there when the first tower was hit right here in downtown! New! Jersey! Let me hear you! The Jerseyboys ride again!!”

Mike Huckabee: “I think we were too quick to rush to judgment about Charles Manson.”

Deez Nuts: “You know what else is roly poly?”

Bernie Sanders: “Look, it is outrageous that here, in the richest country on the planet, when 80% of species are insects, that we are calling a crustacean a bug. The bottom 2% of 31% of fallen trees, in real numbers, year over year, accounting for inflation, are home to 89% of pill bugs with on average 95% of their expected legs still attached. I don’t think it should be radical to point that out.”

Ben Carson: “You know… [unintelligible] a bug and it’s segmented [unintelligible]. I think it’s ridiculous [snoring].”

Jim Gilmore: “I am Jim Gilmore.”

Donald Trump: “The pill bug’s a loser; nobody respects it. Quite frankly, a lot of these crustaceans, they’re idiots, they’re parasites, they’re snapping people on their little butts with claws. And some, I assume, are nice. What I would do is get rid of the pill bug, get it out of here. And the second part of my plan is to solve all the problems.”

What if it fought a bear?

The pill bug can wait the bear out in a timed match, but it has no hope if it needs to get a KO.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

I’m aware I am stepping in a hot political controversy by taking a stance on the pill bug. But that’s the kind of risk I accepted when I decided to get into the animal-rating game. So get ready for a hot take…

 

 

5/10

 

 

 

 

[1]This quote turned out to be plagiarized word for word from Wikipedia.

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Goose barnacle

Goose barnacle

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. There are two sides to every coin.[1] For every Gallant, a Goofus. For every butterfly, a moth. Most anyone will agree that the barnacle goose and the goose barnacle have just such a yin-yang relationship. Where no consensus can be reached is the question of which is yinnier and which is more of a yang.

barnacle goose

goose barnacle

You be the judge.

Special powers

I’ve looked at a considerable number of pictures and diagrams of the goose barnacle and I still don’t fully understand how its crazy body is set up. To put a positive spin on it, we could say it has the advantage of surprise.

Weaknesses

We know that the barnacle goose is literally unkillable, so we can infer that the goose barnacle is very much mortal.

Number of legs

Who knows, man.

What’s its astrological sign?

Aloysius.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear is big enough, the goose barnacle would probably just try to stick to its side.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

I can make neither heads nor tails of the goose barnacle. I’m not sure it has either of those things.

One diagram pointed out its penis and I haven't slept since.

One diagram pointed out its penis and I haven’t slept since.

 

 

5/10

 

 

 

 

[1]Seriously! Turn any coin over if you don’t believe me. I’ll wait.

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Rock lobster

Rock lobster

Today’s animal is inescapably connected to a famous B-52s song. That’s right; I speak of none other than that proprietor of the Love Shack, the rock lobster! It is so named because it really rocks on a Stratocaster. Of course, it is also a lobster made of rocks[1], but that’s just a coincidence.

ROCK LOBSTER!

The rock lobster: surprisingly lifelike!

Special powers

While its exterior is made of solid rock,[1] the rock lobster has a heart made of gold.

Furthermore, it can navigate its ocean habitat by detecting Earth’s magnetic field. Most animals just, like look around or smell or whatever, but the rock lobster can be kind of ostentatious.

Weaknesses

Being made of gold actually makes it very difficult for the rock lobster’s heart to work properly.

Number of legs

Eight plus two claws.

Drink of choice

When going out, it prefers to mix one part ameretto, one part white crème de cacao and one part Baileys Irish Cream into a concoction which the rock lobster calls a “human.” When staying at home, it will knock back a couple ‘Stones.[1]

Professions

As I mentioned, the rock lobster owns and operates the Love Shack. It doesn’t do a terribly good job, though. Consider the poor condition of the business’s sign and said sign’s distance from what it’s advertising – which brings up the issue of the Shack’s less-than-ideal location. Due to the rock lobster’s policies, only non-fool clientele who care to drive miles upon miles and knock extremely hard on the establishment’s door can enter. That is, frankly, a niche audience from which to extract jukebox money.

What if it fought a bear?

It’s a bad idea to bite into hard mineral.[2] But these two are more likely to work together to bash a salmon to death. The bear finds it delicious; the rock lobster just enjoys the thrill of murder.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

Truly, just as Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson sang, the rock lobster can roam if it wants to.

 

4/10

 

 

 

[1]They’re minerals, Marie!

[2]Was that so hard?

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Ghost crab

Ghost crab

It’s October and you know what that means: people drink a lot of beer, sometimes during the day, and other people are less likely to call them on it.[1] But also, the world gets a little spoooookier! So you would be forgiven for thinking that the ghost crab I’m rating today is a genuine spectre.

ghost crab

Or maybe an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, or a crumb of cheese.

It’s simply not true. The ghost crab is just a common shore crab. Its claws are a little asymmetrical, sure, but not even that asymmetrical. Overall, pretty dang common.

Special powers

The ghost crab boasts a 360-degree panoramic field of vision. No one has ever sneaked up on it. The seagull tried once and the ghost crab pinched it (really hard).

The ghost crab has one strong claw.

Weaknesses

It has one weak claw.

The ghost crab can not move when a person – especially Mario – is looking at it. If you think you saw a ghost crab move, there are a couple possibilities. Either you have some wack eyes that don’t count or what you saw was the ghost of a ghost crab.

Number of legs

Eight.

Notable accomplishments

The ghost crab has successfully flipped several houses, even in this economy. Every one of its buyers and a couple realtors have died under mysterious circumstances, but that’s neither here nor there.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear always be looking at the things it’s killing, so the ghost crab won’t even be able to defend itself.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

Despite the scary name, the ghost crab really is just your average crab, but shyer. It’s just all right – or should I say… all FRIGHT!

crypt keeper on the DEAD carpet!

Who are you SCARING? AAHAHAHAHAHAHA

 

5/10

 

 

 

[1]Replace beer-drinking with lederhosen-wearing and this is still true.

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Mantis shrimp

Mantis shrimp

Welcome to the second post of Shrimp Week here at Rate Every Animal. Shockingly, today’s subject (the mantis shrimp) is not a shrimp at all. Nor is it even a mantis.

Q: But… But what is it then?

A: Great question.

Q: You’re too kind. I do what I can.

A: I just recognize excellence when I see it. But more to the topic at hand, the mantis shrimp can be best categorized as an alien.

Mantis shrimp

“This planet will suit my purposes.”

We do not know what planet spawned it, nor why the mantis shrimp came to our oceans.

Q: What do we know?

A: Dang it you, get out of here. We know is that it has been here for years; it is a formidable foe; and it has been building.

Special powers

The mantis shrimp is the proud owner of the world’s fastest punch. It can throw its claws at such speeds that its targets literally explode. The only terrestrial beast to achieve this technique is the pistol shrimp, and even it is only a brown belt compared to the mantis shrimp’s complete mastery.*

Weaknesses

It is also the proud owner of the world’s most extensive New Kids on the Block collection. This of course includes their entire discography on all available formats, but it also extends to posters, backpacks, mugs, themed humidors, faux license plates, commemorative pepper sprays and convincing Donnie Wahlberg masks. Oddly, and for its own reasons, the mantis shrimp does not recognize NKOTBSB.

Mantis shrimp as Donnie Wahlberg

The mantis shrimp wearing one of its prize possessions.

Number of legs

STILL UNKNOWN.

Inscrutability

Science has attempted for years to scrute the mantis shrimp’s intentions, but it cannot be scruted. The mantis shrimp’s alien mind is, like its number of legs, ultimately unknowable.

What is it building?

Sweet Christmas I hope it’s not something to destroy us.

What if it fought a bear?

Assuming the bear is not one of the Knight brothers,** the mantis shrimp would punch the bear so hard it blows up.

Is it noble?

It is beyond our small human conceptions of nobility.

Final rating

Please, mantis shrimp. Please have mercy on us.

Heaven help us, if you come at us, we will start offing New Kids on the Block.

 

8/10

 

 

*The mantis shrimp’s belt color is a secret higher level – the name of which only black belts can even know.

**For a list of other famous people who are bears, please see my future bear post.

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Brine shrimp

Brine shrimp

In the year 1957, mad scientist and noted white supremacist Harold von Braunhut had hit a bump in the road with his development of X-ray spectacles, which he hoped to use to prove that, underneath the skin, people really are inferior to him. To take his mind off the problem, he put his efforts into another project – creating the brine shrimp.

The brine shrimp is our first man-made animal covered in this blog. It is a tiny creature, which accomplishes tasks almost exclusively in large rust-red clouds which roam salty lakes in search of minorities at which to hurl epithets. The brine shrimp has been frequently marketed to children with disposable income in Fantastic Four and Amazing Fantasy advertisements as Sea-Monkeys.

Brine shrimp

Abominations may be purchased via mail order.

Eventually von Braunhut did complete his X-ray glasses, and abandoned the brine shrimp to live on its own or in the custody of young comic book readers.

Special powers

The reason the brine shrimp is well-suited to being moved through the United States Postal Service is that it has a very low cryogenic freezing point. The brine shrimp may live forever if accidentally left in the back of the refrigerator, provided the power doesn’t go out very often.

It should also be noted that the brine shrimp has a psychic third eye in the middle of its forehead. The individual brine shrimp can only read thoughts, but when it gathers in a crowd with others of its ilk, they can combine their powers to hypnotize a dog or small child.

Weaknesses

As long as the brine shrimp is kept separate from its fellows, its powers are quite weak. Also, it is a tiny, crushable shrimp.

Number of legs

Twenty-two.

Impact of salinity

The brine shrimp requires a certain amount of salt in the water it lives in. When there is not enough salt in its environment, the brine shrimp grows depressed and apathetic.

What if it fought a bear?

It is a shrimp. It can’t do anything to a bear.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The brine shrimp is certainly a much better deal than X-ray spectacles. Be wary of getting too many, though, if you have pets or children in the house who might fall under their thrall.

Its final rating must also suffer from being a shrimp that completely resists scampification. You can not make brine shrimp scampi. You just can’t.

 

4/10

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Mitten crab

Mitten crab

The mitten crab, also known as the big sluice crab, also known as the Shanghai hairy crab, also known as the Bangkok Slurpee crab, also known as the coarse dike crab, also known as the Jersey nipple surprise crab, also known as Big Larry, is one of humanity’s most delicious menaces.

It hails from Asia, but by hitching rides on nuclear submarines, the mitten crab has not only spread to four more populated continents, it has arrived at those continents with atomic power in its veins.

Mitten crab

A radioactive death machine.

Special powers

The mitten crab is not made sick by pollution like most creatures, but instead becomes stronger through exposure to it. The mitten crab is often found ingesting heavy metals and poisons so that its strength, speed and senses will ever increase. For this reason it is known as the Oriental cancer crab (this name is considered offensive in civilized circles) and considered a foe of Captain Planet.

Captain Planet

“I hate you, mitten crab.”

Weaknesses

In an unclean environment, the mitten crab is theoretically invulnerable. If trapped in a sterile environment, however, it can be seen in its weakest state. In this form, the mitten crab’s claws are nothing but flimsy yarn.

Number of legs

Eight, plus two mittens/claws.

Taste

Even though the mitten crab absorbs countless venoms and pollutants in order to better wage its war on humanity, its meat is sweet and safe to eat. In this way, the mitten crab may ironically be an ally in our bid to transform hazardous materials into clean surf-and-turf specials.

Horrifying Wikipedia quote

“Recently, China introduced vending machines to sell this species of crab in the subways.[14] The crabs are stored at 5 degrees Celsius, which induces a sleepy state of hibernation. The prices of the crabs range from around $1.50 to $7.00 (USD).[15] They are guaranteed to be fresh and alive.”

Do I own a Beanie Baby of it?

No, but I do own mittens based on it.

What if it fought a bear?

This obviously depends how much poison the mitten crab has absorbed. A mitten crab at full toxicity can tear a bear in half. A clean mitten crab can and will fit comfortably within a bear’s mouth.

Is it noble?

Yes. Only through our own foolishness have we made the mitten crab an enemy.

Final rating

The fact that we have made the mitten crab into a monster is not its fault. This is one of the greatest tragedies to come from pollution. Besides, as nuclear monsters go, the mitten crab is an honorable – and frankly, pretty cool – nuclear monster.

 

7.5/10

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