Saturday, June 23, 2012

Echinoblog Extra Off topic! Odd Crustaceans in Comics!

Some of you have picked up that I'm a pretty big fan of pop culture and I enjoy picking up on moments when they turn up in a popular geek venues. This week has been rich in crustacean comic book imagery!
So here's an extra off-topic Echinoblog for those with a fondness for the Incredible Hulk and monstrous crustaceans!

First from a recent issue 
 (#9) of the Incredible Hulk, written by Jason Aaron and Pasqual Ferry. The Hulk encounters a distant suburb of Atlantis where he meets...the Crab Riders!!

Crab Riders apparently ride large hermit crabs!
These are apparently inspired by the LAND hermit crab Birgus latro which occurs throughout the South and Indo-Pacific. And the comic would suggest at the bottom of the ocean..  It was nonetheless a very fun surprise and who doesn't like to watch the Hulk fighting crabs and giant squid??

These crabs are actually endangered. Here's some general info on them.

This was a recent favorite of mine from Red Hulk #28 by Jeff Parker and Steve Firchow as we saw the Red Hulk visit U.N. Shadow Designation X-86 aka Monster Island!

Red Hulk and A-Bomb (a transformed Rick Jones-long story) discover a panoply of giant monsters about to attack the world! 

They discover that they are being controlled by GIANT MONSTER BARNACLES!!! These things shriek GYEEE!!! and they have TEETH! 
So, for those of you who are worried. Barnacles are filter feeders and don't have least not like they do above. They use their legs to feed..

However, there IS such a thing as a GIANT barnacle! They live on whales... Here's an individual one..They can be about the size of a good sized beer mug..barnacle
and here's a bunch of them pictured living on a whale's rostrum (the front tip of the animal)Humpback whale barnacles on tip of Rostrum 
Also, while barnacles don't engage in "mind control" per se SOME barnacles are parasites and CAN actually control the reproduction of their hosts.. Here's a great little summary of the biology of these REAL animals by Casey Dunn at Brown University (via CreatureCast)
CreatureCast - Rhizocephala from Casey Dunn on Vimeo.
Thanks to Marvel comics creators Jason Aarons, Pasqual Ferry, Jeff Parker, and Steve Firchow for drawing inspiration from these cool animals in their comics! 

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