Terra (Terra III)
as a semi-popular aquarium pet
The thorshu grey is an omnivorous, six-eyed crustacean indigenous to the cold southern oceans of Terra (Terra III) in the United Empire of Earth (UEE). Considered a delicacy for its tender, sweet meat, it is also a popular aquarium pet, and is one of the more commonly seen animals on shipboard aquatic enclosures.DESCRIPTION
Thorshu have long, bright orange-red colored carapaces that cover their soft inner bodies, curved upwards into a narrow crescent. They have two dactyls and six walking legs, tipped in sky blue with mottled cream accents. The dark, barnacle-like lumps that grow on their carapaces and front claws may be eyespots, evolved to trick potential predators away from the thorshu’s most vulnerable spots. Thorshu that have more eyespots than others have more success in mating. On average, they grow to between 10 and 20 cm long, and live for around 20 years.BEHAVIOR AND ECOLOGY
Though they are largely solitary, thorshu demonstrate complex social behavior in the wild. Upon meeting one another for the first time they engage in ritualized fighting, and ignore one another upon subsequent meetings. They are highly intelligent, able to recognize individual thorshu by scent and color, even if they have not re-encountered each other for several years. Captive thorshu have been known to escape their containers if not provided with stimulating enough environments.
In their lifetime, they can breed as many as 30 times. Eggs are laid in burrows dug under seabed rocks. The offspring spend the first few months of their life as microscopic organisms. They molt into their adult form at roughly four months, molting again multiple times until reaching their final size in their third year.COMMERCIAL FOOD
On Terra (Terra III), thorshu are commercially bred and raised for their meat. Thousands of tons of whole flash-frozen thorshu are shipped across the UEE every year and sold to high-end restaurants. The leg meat is especially prized for its complex flavor, and is often served hot and dipped in a drawn butter and oza sauce. On Terra, where the thorshu is a conventional catch for local fishers, breaded and fried thorshu claws are a relatively common street food, especially in Quasi.POPULAR CULTURE
Thanks to its color, size, and tendency to stay in the open, the thorshu is a favorite denizen of cold saltwater aquariums. It became a fashionable pet in the 27th century after being used as the model for the sidekick character Waka Grey in the children’s show Clawsome. However, its tendency to break out of insecure enclosures and attack brightly colored objects such as decorative glassware put an end to the trend shortly after the show’s final season. It is recommended only for experienced hobbyists.
The United Empire of Earth Navy 78th Bomb Squadron, known for its part in Operation Unilateral Force, is nicknamed the “Thundering Thorshu.”