Category Archives: mollusks

Nudibranch

Nudibranch

The nudibranch is happy you’re here.

“Welcome to my rating.”

“Welcome to my rating.”

Special powers

The nudibranch is very colorful.

nudibranch1

I don’t know if that really counts as a “special power.”

nudibranch3

But I like it.

nudibranch4

Weaknesses

The nudibranch’s simple eyes are useful for little more than distinguishing dark and light.

Furthermore, it lacks the protective shell that often comes standard in animals of this sort. And regardless of how much the nudibranch talks it up, optional satellite radio is not a satisfactory substitute.

Number of legs

None.

Role models

Just one: Turok the Dinosaur Hunter.

Aliases

Nudey, Dude-ibranch, Rude-ibranch, The Turok Liker.

Hobbies

It’s not exactly a hobby, but the nudibranch spends a LOT of time emulating Turok the Dinosaur Hunter in every aspect of its life it knows how.

Favorite video game

Bubble Bobble.

Super Bowl Storylines To Watch

  1. Which teams are playing?

  2. When is the game and how can I watch it? Or is it on the radio?

  3. Who has the “joe-mentum” going into the game?

  4. Which player likes Skittles the most?

  5. Will this be Peyton Manning’s last Coldplay concert?

  6. Can Carolina’s defense contain their excitement when they hear the pre-game music or will it get them too hyped and they’ll have to lay down and calm down?

  7. Where is everybody running so fast?

  8. Why are the bees disappearing?

  9. Who died and made special teams so special?

  10. What are the names of everyone who has ever died?

What if it fought a bear?

The nudibranch’s combat focus is purely dinosaur-based. The bear would confound it.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

Have fun watching the big game!

 

 

9.5/10

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Slug

Slug

It’s the sea slug of the land. It’s the naked snail. But what is it on its own terms?

It's slug!

It’s slug!

Well, yes, it’s slug.

Special powers

Anyone who witnesses the slug making love will become unable to eat or sleep for an extended period of time. The physical effects are temporary, but the psychological damage is forever.

Weaknesses

As the slug grows up, it undergoes a rite of passage known as torsion, in which its gut-parts up and move to the other side of its innards, moving its anus to up above its head for no readily apparent reason. I blame the impossible anus-on-head standards in the slug magazines and TV shows.

Also, it gets dangerously dry if it neglects to moisturize or is exposed to its kryptonite, salt.

Number of legs

None.

Drink of choice

The slug specifically loves Coke at McDonald’s, but risks its life to even enter given the mass quantities of salt found there. Also, people aren’t usually happy to see it at any eatery.

What if it fought a bear?

Advantage bear.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The slug’s weakness is embarrassingly common. Any chump within thirty feet of a kitchen can be its Lex Luthor. I’d be tempted to do just that, but I know that killing it won’t erase the memories of its sex tape from my mind. Nothing but my own death will – and that’ll take a lot more salt.

 

 

 

4/10

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Jorunna parva

Jorunna parva

Both great successes and serial killers inspire copycats. We still don’t know which of those the rabbit is. The existence of its copycat the jorunna parva gets us no closer to figuring it out.

What... are... you...?

What… are… you…?

It is a sea slug.

Special powers

Those little protruberances that look like rabbit ears are sensory organs that guide it to food, mates and the best deals on mobile phones and accessories.

It’s big in Japan.

Also, I have bad news for would-be predators of the jorunna parva: it is extremely toxic.

Weaknesses

Because of that toxicity, it rarely gets hugs.

It’s not particularly mobile. It just sort of scoots along the ocean floor, never once jumping or running or dancing. It didn’t get Footloose at all.

Its hero worship of the rabbit runs deep. If the rabbit says it’s cool to do something, the jorunna parva will do it if it can. That’s fine when it comes to innocent stuff like eating carrots, but could easily lead the jorunna parva astray.

Number of legs

None.

Celebrity birthdays

The jorunna parva shares a birthday with…

  • Nate Silver, who grew up calling his birthday “numbers day” for the number on the cake and never stopped calling it that and it’s pretty weird now.

  • Shelvin Mack, professional basketball player and amateur Level 28 Ranger in his weekly D&D game.[1]

  • Keith Villa, founder of Blue Moon Brewing Company, who in the early days of his company would bring bags of oranges to bars to tell the bartenders about them. “Here comes the orange bag man we call Keith,” the bartenders would say. “He was born in a bag and he thought an orange was the sun.” And they were right.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear shouldn’t even touch the jorunna parva.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

The jorunna parva is the most charismatic sea slug, but that’s fainter praise than it deserves. I just hope it’s not idolizing a killing machine.

 

 

7.5/10

 

 

 

[1]Elven Shelvin, they call Mack. His character, they call Skleet LaRue.

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Dana octopus squid

Dana octopus squid

Take a long, hard look at this critter.

dana octopus squid caught on camera

No short, soft looks.

Is it octopus? Is it squid? Is it Dana? I tricked you; it is the Dana octopus squid.

Special powers

The Dana octopus squid can flash bright lights from its arms to confuse and blind its enemies or communicate across long distances or put on the most complex shadow puppet plays you could ever care to witness.

On each of these arms – of which there are eight – are claws.

Weaknesses

Having claws on top of suckers on tentacles makes the Dana octopus squid just about the worst at hugs.

Number of legs

Eight.

Apology Corner

I’m sorry I tricked you earlier with my clever intro section prank.

Magazine subscriptions

No earthly post office will deliver to the deep deep sea the Dana octopus squid makes its home. It has to get by on whatever vintage Hustlers sink into its grasp.

What if it fought a bear?

It would demolish the bear.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

The Dana octopus squid is very mysterious, mildly pervy, and a genius in the art of shadow puppetry.

 

 

7.5/10

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Octopus

Octopus

“Octopussy! She is Octopussy!
Beware her ink
You’re sure to sink
Into her sea of lies
Her advanced eyes
Will see you meet your doom
At the eight strong hands of Octopussy!”

 – Theme from Octopussy

Those lyrics are as true today as they were the day they were written. The octopus is not just a fanciful foe of James Bond. It is all too real, my friend.

octopus

This could be just an inch below your feet any time you’re in the ocean. Have fun!

Special powers

We mammals all have a heart inside us. Most others are the same way. The octopus, clearly just showing off, has three.[1]

Beyond this blood-pumping triple threat, the octopus has many special powers: poison, considerable intelligence – including tool use, ink squirting, the ability to change color at will, excellent vision, a salivary papilla which is a tooth-covered organ that shoots out from its sharp beak, etcetera.

There are even specializations on top of all that. The mimic octopus does impressions and is a wizard. Paul the Octopus was a psychic who predicted World Cup winners, but could not foresee his own untimely death in a car accident.

Weaknesses

We mammals all have a spooky skeleton inside us. Most others are the same way, or wear their skeletons on the outside, as bugs do. The octopus, however, has no skeleton at all.

Contrary to popular belief, the octopus hates gardening. The Beatles, in their famous song about the subject, were using irony. You like them now, right, kids?

Number of legs

Eight, two rows of suckers each.

Courtship

The male octopus has a special sperm-filled arm dedicated to this purpose, which it breaks off its own body and gifts to a female in a tasteful but creative ceremony. For a spell, flash mobs and jumbotrons were popular ways to make the offering, but are now looked on as cliché.

What if it fought a bear?

That bear you think you see is just the octopus doing a pretend. The real bear was defeated thirty-five minutes ago.

Is it noble?

The octopus’s motives are known only to itself.

Final rating

This inscrutable creature is very powerful indeed. Honestly, I’d say it’s OP and ready for a nerf. And no, I’m not just saying that because I am being repeatedly owned. I don’t need to learn 2 play, octopus! I know how 2 play just fine!

 

6.5/10

 

 

[1]Eat your super-sized singular heart out, Grinch.

 

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Land snail

Land snail

At first glance (and most subsequent glances), the land snail seems useless.

snail

“Oh thank goodness you’re here!” – a phrase the land snail never hears

Sure, there are some weirdos who believe you can eat it in a context outside starvation or bet loss. To those people I say: would you similarly defend eating a slug? If you wouldn’t eat an animal naked, don’t eat it just because it’s wearing something fancy.

In the 1850s, Jacques Benoit sought to discover a higher purpose for the land snail – namely, using its telepathic love connection to its snailmate[1] to create a telegraph. When the user poked the correct snail on one end, the conversational partner would witness the effect on the corresponding snail on their end, theoretically. This was known as “snail mail.” The failure of Benoit’s invention is easy to explain when one realizes that fourteen of the twenty-four snail couples were divorced within ten years.

Special powers

An instantaneous telepathic link to its one true love. The snail also boasts a tough shell, which it maintains through a calcium-heavy diet and regular applications of wax.

Weaknesses

Due to a slimy residue left by it wherever it goes, the snail is one of the most easily trackable creatures, there in the conversation with those animals which leave riddle-clues and the sloth, which is probably still at the scene of the crime. It has to take in a lot of dairy to keep that shell in tip-top shape.

Number of legs

Not applicable.

What’s in the shell?

Secrets.

What if it fought a bear?

If Anthony Bourdain can vanquish/eat you, you probably don’t have a prayer against the bear.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

Is it a boring snail? Yes. Of course it is. But it also has a powerful psychic sexual bond I can’t help but admire. We should all be so lucky.

I wish I were a snail

Truly an enviable animal.

 

 

8/10

 

 

 

 

[1]A snail soulmate.

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Conch

Conch

Almost everything we know about the mysterious conch – which isn’t much – comes from the obsessive efforts of one Friedrich Schnell. This German scientist dedicated all his energies toward studying the conch in order to sublimate his desire to have sex with a train. The first and most pressing question he needed to address was this: Is there anything in there?

conch

Is there?

It turns out what’s in there is a sea snail. This was a great disappointment to Schnell’s assistant, who had been hoping for gold. But yes, the conch is a snail, which means it is some kind of squishy thing that lives in a hard thing that it finds or maybe is part of its body or something. Look, I am not on trial in the court of Knowing How Snails Work here.

Special powers

If you – yes, even you – hold the conch up to your ear, you will hear it do an incredible impression of the ocean. It used to do several M*A*S*H characters too.

Weaknesses

The conch stopped doing the M*A*S*H impressions because all of its voices were based on the movie actors, and once the TV show had been out for a while, nobody really appreciated it any more.

Also, it is deep in debt to the wrong people. For a time, it worked as a boxer – even throwing a couple fights – to pay these criminals back. It was during this time it earned the nickname the “Florida fighting conch.”[1]

Number of legs

No one knows.

Instrument of the gods?

The conch has been said to be Triton’s trumpet, the divine horn of the preserver god Vishnu, and the cornet of Piggy, lord of all flies.[2]

Only the bit about it being the shankha is true. Triton actually preferred the street organ, and pigs can’t play wind instruments.

more organ for the grinding

Pictured: Triton, messenger of the sea.

What if it fought a bear?

It thought it told you people those days are behind it. (see Weaknesses)

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

The conch makes beautiful music for at least one deity. But when it’s not doing that, it’s just being a boring snail. Even Friedrich Schnell, who devoted his life to learning its secrets, lost interest before he discovered much. Unless all those sketches of tank engines toward the end of his notes are related to this animal somehow.

 

5/10

 

 

 

[1]The conch is not from Florida, but the ring announcer felt this sounded better.

[2]I am not on trial in the court of Having Read A Book here.

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Blanket octopus

Blanket octopus

When you see the blanket octopus, you could be forgiven for mistaking it for some kind of seafaring sentient kite.

blanket octopus

Not a kite.

Benjamin Franklin did. When a bolt of lightning gave him the ability to communicate with water-dwellers, he first sought out the friendship of the blanket octopus, thinking it some kind of magical new kite.* It didn’t work out between them, in part because Franklin was still quite lightning-mad in the immediate aftermath of his accident.

Special powers

It is invulnerable to the poison of the jellyfish’s cousin the man o’ war. As a result, the notoriously catty jellyfish family despise the blanket octopus.

The blanket octopus is also a skilled ventriloquist (see Male/female relations).

Weaknesses

The blanket octopus is one of the sea creatures most susceptible to becoming threadbare.

Number of legs

Eight.

Male/female relations

In an incredible case of sexual dimorphism, the female blanket octopus is about six and a half feet long whereas the male blanket octopus is actually an inch-long bit of cloth that the female operates like a puppet.

Athletic achievements

Though one might think the blanket octopus would be good at ribbon dancing, it did not even medal in the event in the Games of the XXIV Olympiad in Seoul. It did however get a bronze on the uneven bars. Some blame rhythmic gymnastics’ harsh French judge, who was a jellyfish.

What if it fought a bear?

Bears can be made into rugs. Blanket is the level at which the blanket octopus begins. Rugs always beat blankets on the rare occasions they fight. Advantage bear.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The blanket octopus isn’t as comfy or airworthy as one might hope, but it’s really quite nice. Unlike the spiteful and ignorant denim jacket squid.

 

7.5/10

 

 

*Dude loved kites.

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