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The Anatomy of a Snitchbug

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Hello everyone! I'm taking a break from Arachnorb theories for now... mostly because I really don't have much left to say about them. So here's something on a creature that I just love to hate, the Swooping Snitchbug.

How do you learn the anatomy of a Snitchbug? Well, you could look into the code, I guess. But we haven't time for that. Let's take a quick look at it's body.

The two parts of it's body that are put to use (aside from sensory cells) are its antennae, for flying, and its arms, for grabbing and throwing.

In all three games, the bug uses its antennae for one purpose -- flying. Boring, no?

In Pikmin and Pikmin 2, the Snitchbug uses its arms to grab Pikmin and Pikmin only. In Pikmin 3, however, it may also pick up and throw the captains. Now we have a question to answer: how is it able to grab captains in Pikmin 3, but not in the previous games? Surely it can't just decide to suddenly pick up the captains after having seen them multiple times before -- it saw Olimar as an enemy right from their very first encounter. The reason is that it couldn't pick them up before.

Look at the Snitchbug in Pikmin, and compare it to the one seen in Pikmin 3. They look similar enough. Sure the design is a tad different, but for the most part their bodies a very close in appearance. But if you pay close attention to their hands, you can notice something. The Snitchbug in the first game has two hook-like claws that can fit Pikmin snugly between them. The Snitchbug in Pikmin 3 has very similar claws that are used for the same purpose. But within its hand you can also observe a smaller claw that looks a lot like a thumb. This feature appears much smaller and stubbier in the earlier games -- at most times you can't even notice it is there. It is therefore most likely a developing feature, one that is not quite functional yet.

Just try picking something up using only your pointer and middle fingers. Sure, it is probably easy to grip something thin like a book, but just try something like a flailing puppy wearing a metal space suit. Having a thumb would really make the job easier. The Snitchbugs in Pikmin and Pikmin 2 have no functional thumbs to pick up that puppy (or a captain in their world) so they must aim for the thin stems of the Pikmin. In Pikmin 3, they have this appendage, offering enhanced gripping abilities, thus making them able to take hold of larger targets, such as the captains. The Snitchbugs seen in these games are actually different in structure.

Of course, if you want maybe a more practical answer, then Nintendo was just too lazy to make a new model for the Bumbling Snitchbug, so they gave both abilities to the Swooping Snitchbug. But where is the fun in that?

That is all I have for now -- I'm sick of typing.

But wait, there's more! I've only answered half the problem, which is the HOW. I have an answer to the second part, the WHY, as well. Why do the Snitchbugs change? How does the Bumbling Snitchbug fit into this? I'll answer these later on, but for now, thanks for reading, and until next time, stay beautiful -- beautiful as a Spectralid.

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