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Trubbish & Biology

Believe it or not, there’s still one common complaint against the pokemon Trubbish that I’ve still never formally addressed: the complaint of biological believability.

I see many Pokemon fans say they just can’t buy Trubbish or Garbodor as living creatures, even as easily as Muk or Weezing. The latter two are also man-made pollution brought to life, but their designs, apparently, are still “animal-like” enough to be acceptable.

To those fans, I present the Xenophyophora, real organisms found in the deepest abyssal depths of the ocean:

A Xenophyophore looks, at first glance, like nothing but a clump of mud, sand, scraps of dead matter, even a big old hunk of feces.

That’s because it is.

The visible part of the organism is a protective casing, or “test,” built from nothing but its own waste and whatever inedible detritus it may collect from the surrounding seabed. It is literally made up mostly of garbage. Every species builds a test differently, some that look like an oozing pile of dog mess, others that look a lot like beautiful, branching corals.

The living portion of a Xenophyophore, its “true form” if you will, looks like nothing but thin, nearly invisible strands of protoplasm winding through its garbage mass like the roots of a fungus, though it’s not a fungus, a plant or even an animal - it’s a protozoan, the worlds largest amoebaThey’re too delicate to collect intact, but this photo shows one of their microscopic cousins, a foraminiferan, which make up a lot of sea’s plankton.

Genetic analysis confirms that Xenophyophores are scaled-up foraminiferans, lying on the sea floor and reaching their slimy threads into the surrounding sludge to collect any edible matter they can find - and more trash to build up their outer body!

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