Giant Isopods and Coconut Crabs

This is an edited chat discussion with research links about giant isopods and coconut crabs as affecting design theory on crab-clawed bugs, or isopods as bug larva


why are they so cute looking!
8:28 PM
me: wow! Might be the rounded head outline
8:29 PM
They’re not spikey and threatening. The tiny version would be garden poly-polies

Stella: and the large eyes

me: y

Stella: like silk moths

me: y compre that to the mantis shrimps, which look badass, and you see these look cute
8:30 PM
A lot of kinds of moths look fuzzy and cute, come to think
8:32 PM
petition I think you’d get behind tooo
8:34 PM
heard an interesting NPR intereview, guy who’s been interviewing people and written a book about life inside the MExican drug cartels. Cutting off the cocaine trade flying directly ito Miami (very very profiable) drove the Colombian cartels to us overland through MExico. Of course th eMexican cartels grew and gained control. Now it’s a majorwar/insurrection because the gov’t has proven itself so corrupt that nobody can count on them for the rule of law.

WHo knew that the PRI kept a lid on all kinds of things with their lock on power 20 years ago?
8:38 PM
more on isopods, some of those pix came from this website

Giant Isopod

they say it’s terrifying
8:39 PM
further info
8:40 PM
Oh, here’s a great pic! They say it’s 2 1/5 feet long
8:42 PM
Stella: pretty cool huh

I think I looked up crabclaw image
8:43 PM
looking for stuff to morph

me: It looks more threatening unfolded where you can see the claws and mouth parts

Much more charming all curled up
8:44 PM
Stella: Y

me: ahh! Well, that one with it stretched out and the legs unfolded does have some great clawlike structures there
8:45 PM
This one has some spiny lobsters in there–looks like somebody cooked lunch almost!
8:46 PM
Which brings up the really awful idea–what if local folks in th swamp capture stra bugs (not implanted people, but the original bugs themselves) as young swimmers escaped as larvae from the bug labs? And they’re cooking them like shrimp or lobsters


8:47 PM
It’s bad when you ooog yourself out worse than anything other people manage.

I meant to say, stray bugs there
8:48 PM
Stella: ROFLMAO!

well, tit for tat yeah

don’t look like there would be much good eating on them

8:49 PM
me: The meat section supporting the legs, like the tail of the odder kinds of lobsters. Or more like crawfish, perhaps
8:50 PM
Ok, there’d be another question if I actually used that idea (blergh!1 argh! Calvin-an-Hobbes yucky face!!!)

because the implanted bugs have problems with germs in the swamp, fungla infections just knock them down in four days.
8:51 PM
But if the stray larvae can survive, that sugests a kind of bug that would thrive in the swamp. NOT goood news for our side!

as an ah-hah Now What moment, it could be pretty nasty.
8:52 PM
nasty grin

Might be Seung who ids it by the smell
8:53 PM
Stella: ONoly of there’s room for it in the story

me: That would explain more motivation for geting rid of the bug labs all at once, before they can further develop such “resistent” bugs

Dunno, that’s much later on

Stella: only if you can make room for that in the story…

make a not of it though

8:54 PM

me: But it’d be cool if that was a piece of info Seung brings to the table when he first meets everybody, a sort of, “oh, by the way, did you realize–”

Stella: yes

me: because he’s had a great deal of exposure to bug troops on the way to the keys etc

Stella: and i could so imagine him shrugging

and saying “yeah, we eat them
8:55 PM
me: oh god yes while everybody else freaks out

Stella: is good food

me: heeheh!

Stella: like big shrimps

me: yes

get tough if you cook too long

Stella: LOL

me: odd taste after, like oil

Stella: everyone wants to barf
8:56 PM
me: prolly because they’ve been trapping and eating the damn things like lobsters too

Stella: youknow there is anendangered crab in tahiti called the coconut crab

me: I actually sat down and watched a series of leisurely Cajun vids about how to build a modern-day crawfish trap. He uses zipties, frex.

Stella: used to be so big a woman could stand on one and it would walk withher on it’s back

me: I could see a guy like that feeding people on bug larvae!
8:57 PM
Stella: now they are eaten up too fast, no chance to grow that big

me: No, I didn’t know that! I bet the pix of that would be awesome

I’ve heard the name, had no idea they got big

Stella: they have a spot behind their head that is full of pure coconut oil

me: now there’s an intriguing thought

does anyone know why?

Stella: you roat the crab ion your beachside bonfire, crack it open, dip the meat in this heated coconut oil
8:58 PM
it’s a food supply for the crab

me: jeez, self-marinating

Stella: and au juice for crab eaters 😀


me: y!

Stella: so, our bugs might have a pouchof oil that you want to watch out for

me: yes!

Stella: don’t let it contaminate the meat
8:59 PM
me: that’s where that oily smell comes from later on

Stella: yes

me: the metallic bits are like a preservative, to keep germs from infecting the oil

what a cool idea!

Would Keisha know that bit about the crabs, or is it more of an Emma factoid?
9:00 PM
Stella: Keisha might not know about them because she doesn’t sail the pacific

me: Maybe heard stories from other sailors??
9:01 PM
the oil might have other properties too

can be enlarged tank in the flamethrower bugs

with toxic elements to it

like Greek fire
9:02 PM
Stella: good idea!

me: depending on the target, the bug can inject a jellying agent that makes the burning fluid cling to things

really nasty shit
9:03 PM
Stella: all of this should be written up and put into the library section

me: yes

maybe grab this chat text and pop it in as is?

I do like being able to go back and consult notes in chat

Stella: sure!

…chat about how to add related items deleted…

saved the pic of the isopods and the crabs on the tray looking like lunch

GOd, I am fond of the idea of Seung very offhandedly saying, those are baby bigs you know”
9:15 PM
or just pointing, saying, “Baby bugs”
9:16 PM
and maybe people have been eating those because the catch has been low on a lot of other things wherever those are found–eating their way through the ecosystem

Stella: Doc Alex if that’s his name?

me: So hunting them down would actually be doing the local animals a service

Stella: would be VERYUPSET

me: YES!


Stella: and curse like a motherfucker
9:17 PM
me: esp if the bugs also eat things like seagrasses and vegetable stuff and mow everything down to the nubs, omnivorous

Stella: people would be going “We ain’t been getting sick none, whats your problem

me: yews!!

sorry that was yes

Stella: I thought so


me: and the conundrum if you want to stop them causing damage, people need to catch more of them

now here’s a question–can Seung or Dance tolerate eating them?
9:18 PM
Or would they actually prefer them over other things??

Stella: Ooh yeha they should have no problem with them

cast iron stomachs aside
9:19 PM
there’s some shared DNA

me: Dr Alex might insist people ought to catch the bugs and kill em and feed them to fish (like trout chow) because less possbility of cross contamination than with feeding it to pigs or chickens

would that metallic oily smell put off the nagas?
9:20 PM
but I also bet plenty of folks will ignore the dr and eat em personally, or feed the scraps to the chickens

Seung’s ot a pretty strong set of tastebuds, he might like it as a sort of “tang”

Stella: ah. yeah, now that you mention it, theyare very attuned to that smell

it’s the smell of enemy

me: but there might be a sort of hunting instinct there which, instead of getting sick on it, it’s more like, nailed that sucker!
9:21 PM
Stella: and maybe the babies don’t reek as bad as the mature ones
9:22 PM
me: There’s also an interesting possibility that the bug larvae growing out in the swamp, tolerant of it, are so modified that they can’t be used YET for command and control and implanting people. That genetic change to tolerate the swamp has made them alien to their own hives
9:23 PM
They’d keep experimenting to cross that gulf, but for the time being, not getting overrun with swmapyt bugs. But it’s possible (here’s another idea) that the reason that Cesar etc were able to defy bug command is that they were implanted with bug larvae that were swamp tolerant

that’s why they can continue to exist in the swamp hiding out

and make everybody very nervous that bugs will come to tolerate fungi instead of falling apart
9:24 PM
Could be a fun scene where a hostile swampy blasts those guys with a faceul of Kombucha spores, and they just blink and wipe em off
9:25 PM
It’s sort of parellel to the threat of Dance and Seung–they make great allies, but if the enemy gets hold of them, it could get a lot worse
10 minutes
9:36 PM
me: I just flipped through a doll post (girl singer doll repainted) and I find… wait for it… the name of the band is Larvae Cure.

No joke.

Stella: you’re starting to think like a sci fi writer :*

me: starting to?

Ok, it was Larva Cure, no e

my bad

Stella: more than I’ve ever noticed really

me: ah

9:37 PM
sometimes the writing comes first and then you find something that fits it, in this case a cool idea sparks off plot ideas

AndI can always watch Seung when he wants to talk!
9:38 PM
You know, Drin might know about coconut crabs

he bummed arounquite a bit in that period he doesn’t recall very well between healing from bug burns and the motorcycle wreck


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