Friday 17 May 2013

Ausubel's Mighty Claws Lobster

Image: WoRMS for SMEBD
Dinochelus ausubeli
The surgeon will see you now...

2007, and a trawler in the Philippine Sea descends to a depth of 250 metres (820 ft). It was part of the Census of Marine Life, a huge, multinational effort to learn more about the world's sea creatures.

It appears they disrupted... something...

Image: WoRMS for SMEBD
Rudely dredged from the foreboding darkness, a lobster emerged. A lobster with one terrible claw and one really terrible claw. Indeed, the claw is so terrible they called the lobster Dinochelus, which means "terrible claw".

Their body is mostly translucent white in colour, though splashes of pinkish red can be seen here and there, most notably on the antennae and claws. It looks quite bad, actually. Like there was much hacking and slashing and letting of blood. They even have well-developed eyes despite the darkness of their abode; it's like they really want to see the damage.

So what did those inquisitive scientists interfere with on that fateful day? What do we have here, exactly?

Is this Jack the Ripper? Does he prowl the cobblestone alleyways in search of lobsters so he can rip them open, cut out the hepatopancreas and steal it away into the night like a vicious monster?

Is he a surgeon? Does he install himself in a smart, modern building so he can rip open lobsters, cut out the hepatopancreas and replace it with a nice, new one like a miracle worker?

Is he a butcher? Does he spend his days hacking tiny fish to bits and selling them on to grateful patrons in his local village?

We may never know for sure. But with a length of just 3 cm (an inch), this lobster is perfect should you find yourself in need of a dentist. You just need to go quite far underwater, which is better than the alternative of illegal, black market tooth care on some dingy street corner.

Unless he turns out to be a Jack the Ripper type. Then you should've just gone to the dentist.


TexWisGirl said...

truly funky! your own little sawblade claw. :)

Joseph JG said...

The world would be a better place if we all had one of those. I think.

Lear's Fool said...

What in the world is that claw used for? Getting worms and other soft bodied creatures that burrow or something?

Joseph JG said...

It sure looks like it! Unfortunately they just dredged it up so they don't know much about its habits in situ. It would be pretty cool if it used one claw to catch food and the other one to eat it!

Lear's Fool said...

I bet you're right, because I can't imagine how it'd get food from the end of the long one to it's mouth!

Unless that's also a chainclaw.


Gary said...

Ia! Ia! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh lobster R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

Joseph JG said...

The horror!