I do have to confess, I am not a big fan of crustaceans. A not entirely shocking confessional, I know, given my how I peg the life aquatic on my fondness meter. It is strange, because I spent most of my childhood picking crayfish (not crawfish or crawdads, thank you, we’re Pennsylvanians) out of the Wissahickon Creek (Crick is also acceptable) as often as I could. Also strange, because I would annually beg for a temporary hermit crab pet when we went downna shore.
Perhaps what ruined crabs for me was this scent from the Blue Lagoon. While most kids watched for glimpses of Brooke (not Crick) Shields swimming in the buff, I always returned to this scene with a sense of horror and fascination:
Which gets me back to crustaceans. Crabs. Lobsters. What have you. They’re just unsettling. (Not woodlice, erm, roly-polies, which are technically crustaceans, not bugs). Â Insects–and arthropods, in general–are unsettling to some, but not me. No, crabs and lobster. No matter how much butter or Old Bay you put on them, I’m just not a fan of their look, their taste or, frankly, the unnerving way we boil them alive. Â The exception is shrimp, but they are merely a conduit for cocktail sauce, which itself is merely a carrier of horseradish.
So, when I see scenes like this:
I can’t help but be unnerved, unsettled. There, in the dark depths are unseen scuttlingÂ horrors with whichÂ humanity has no true business. Feeding off of the dead and dying forms that sink to the bottom. So crustaceans, in all their many forms, are why I don’t go in the water.
Sketchy Wikipedia Claims:
“Marine crustaceans are as ubiquitous in the oceans as insects are on land”
Source A:Â Â The Australian Museum says:
“Just as insects swarm on land, crustaceans dominate the seas. Crustaceans include animals such as prawns, crabs, lobsters, barnacles, shrimps, yabbies, as well as garden slaters and pillbugs.”
…which isn’t the same as “ubiquitous” Also, yabbies? Apparently, a type of crayfish. I might have to start using that one. Either way, they aren’t attaching numbers toÂ compare insects to crustaceans. Â However, maybe not in total numbers, but function?
Source B:Â The Icelandic Fisheries says:
“Crustaceans in the ocean are comparable to insects on land which they are actually related to.”
No numbers here either. Â I couldn’t find anything quickly to honestly compare. However, we should probably remember that that there are aÂ lotÂ of krill out there (and that link has a nice primary source). So, what do they mean by “as ubiquitous as” in this case? Numbers? Niche diversity? I dunno. Maybe numbers–krill are small and oceans are big. Who knows?
Still, just a reminder to kids that Wikipedia is delightfully inconsistent.