Field Report: The Life of the Crablet

Dear Galactic Union Science Whatevers,

I heard you are paying frontier explorers in crystals for information on new species and technologies. As the only human to set foot on the shattered planet in sector K, I submit the following:

 

The Crablet

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Suggested species name: Homarus cyclopea

Adult size: 40-60 cm

Adult weight: 10-15 kg

Lifespan: ???

 

As you can see, the adult crablet seems quite harmless. But don’t be fooled! Crablets appear to despise humans and I have the claw-marks to prove it. They aren’t as aggressive to the indigenous tribes, despite the fact that the tribes kill the crablets on sight, even by the dozens. Perhaps the locals have discovered some way of masking their scent, which I haven’t learned yet.

The hard exoskeleton is actually rather fragile, and in fact is no tougher than animal hide — even less, when using weapons that smash and crunch. I wonder whether a crab mallet would, in fact, be a feasible weapon…

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The “crablet” begins as one of dozens in an egg sac. A single egg sac appears to be capable of creating hundreds, possibly thousands of crablets. The sac pumps eggs out at a steady rate, almost like a caviar factory. I suspect this (along with their delicious insides) is a reason why the local folks kill them on sight; otherwise, they’d fill up the whole dang planet!


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Crablet eggs complete incubation in cooler temperatures, signalling to the crablet inside that it is time to hatch. If an egg is picked up and carried, it will never hatch, as if the crablet inside has become lazy from the warmth.

No time is needed for a newly hatched crablet to adjust to its environment — it hatches fully-formed and ready to fight. In fact, I have attempted to surgically open one of these eggs, and the crablet inside nearly took off my nose!

Crablets, like most other native species, are fiercely loyal companions once befriended. I have occasionally persuaded one or two to follow me, usually through the use of food. These often refuse to listen to my instructions, and rush out to defend me against attackers! Despite this adorable ferocity, they do not appear intelligent enough to train.

I haven’t seen a crablet die of natural causes. It’s possible they are immortal, or very secretive when they get older? Perhaps they transform into another creature entirely. Perhaps I’ll discover a massive crablet graveyard. Only time will tell.

 

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On the other hand, if the Blight is permitted to spread unchecked, it appears to occasionally build nodes of power, and these evil-looking crablets crawl out. They appear to want to kill me as soon as they start to exist! There’s no befriending to be done here.

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I have occasionally glimpsed a rarer type of crablet that is capable of spitting a highly caustic venom, perhaps due to a unique diet or environmental factor. Luckily, their distinctive bright green shells make them easy to spot and avoid.

For now, my suggested Galactic Union datalog entry for the Crablet will read:

“Delicious, territorial crustaceans that are highly social, traveling in groups. Rumored to be immortal — the population must be controlled with regular culling. Sensitive to Blunt damage.”

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I’ll be waiting for my crystal payment to be transferred.

– Captain Aurora

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