Seattle Aquarium's Marshawn Pinch tries plankton from faraway sea fans

Marshawn Pinch, 12th crustacean at the Seattle Aquarium

In an effort to come out of his shell for the media, the Seattle Aquarium’s 12th crustacean, Marshawn Pinch, recently sampled a selection of Japanese plankton for his many sea fans in that far-off part of the world’s one big ocean. As any true Pinch follower knows, the crab that Beach Mode was named for often forages for a few Sea Skittles before scuttling for a touchdown. Away from the grid gravel, he also enjoys a steady diet of small fish, worms, random food particles that happen to be floating by—and, of course, plankton.

A bit uncharacteristically, Pinch was happy as a clam to sample the plankton sent to him by his Japanese sea fans. “I’ve got plenty of Sea Skittles to tide me over, and it’s fun to try something new,” he said. First up was a Nomura jellyfish, part of a species that can grow to the size of a mature human. (Did you know that jellyfish are plankton? Plankton are defined as species that are unable to swim against a current, and jellyfish fit that description. Read more here!)

“Now this is just way too big and chewy,” Pinch said of the jellyfish. “It would take my entire lifespan of up to 10 years and then some and I still wouldn’t be able to finish this thing up. I need something I can eat quickly and get back out on the grid gravel!” But, he acknowledged, “It does taste kinda good.”

The next offering was zooplankton, which are animals—sometimes the eggs or larvae of larger animals. Pinch ingested a portion thoughtfully. “Hmmm, it seems kinda familiar. Why is that?” he asked. When informed that the zooplankton was actually a baby hermit crab, Pinch grew a bit pale and left the remainder on his shell. “That’s just weird,” he said. “Like all crabs, I’m a pretty adventurous eater but that’s going a bit far.”

The final sample? Phytoplankton: plants that obtain energy through photosynthesis and are usually too small to be seen by human eyes.  “This is more like it,” Pinch said. “It tastes fresh and healthy…but it might be a bit light for game days. Thanks anyway, but I think I’ll stick to my Sea Skittles.”

And with that, he withdrew into his shell.

Follow Marshawn Pinch on Facebook and Twitter for more updates as he prepares for Fish Bowl XLVIII! Interested in learning more about hermit crabs? Check out the Seattle Aquarium’s hermit crab fact sheet!

*No hermit crabs were harmed in the creation of this promotion.

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