Episode 6: The Capture

Maddie the Yeerk sympathizer is so excited, because in The Capture, Jake bonds (in a literal sense) with a Yeerk! Jake also…*checks notes* kills several Yeerks. Meanwhile, Lydia’s got some things to say about roach motels (don’t use them) and speculative science. What’s the evolutionary history of the Yeerk homeworld? Are the Yeerks performing a version of photosynthesis, or are they eating radiation? And who’s that mysterious eyeball!? Spoilers for all of Animorphs.

Sources specific to this episode:

“Why is it so hard to swat a fly?” by Rory Galloway, BBC News, Sept. 17, 2017

Episode 5: The Predator

Holy cinnamon-buzah, the gang’s all here! With Ax now officially on the team, it’s only natural that Maddie and Lydia spend most of their time this episode talking about everything but the Animorphs. That’s not entirely true – did you hear there is going to be an Animorphs movie? Will Centipedes and Slugs be invited to the premiere? And will this movie cover any part of The Predator? Speaking of The Predator, come for the Yeerk politics talk, stay for the ant rehabilitation campaign that Maddie and Lydia are waging. The listeners can have a thoughtful discussion of bias in scientific research, as a treat. Spoilers for the entire Animorphs series.

Sources specific to this episode:

Journey to the Ants: A Story of Scientific Exploration by Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson

The Ants by Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson

Edward O. Wilson interview, March 27, 1997

Rosenberg, L. (2016, March). Artificial Swarm Intelligence, a Human-in-the-loop approach to AI. In Thirtieth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence. (Read more about the company behind this HERE)

“It’s Time to Embrace the Hive Mind” by L.W. Martin, The Portalist, Jan. 17, 2017

The Controversy of Group Selection Theory” by Momoko Price, The Science Creative Quarterly, March 2, 2006

Katherine Applegate’s Reddit AMA

Bonus post-episode sources:

A note from Lydia: I didn’t mention this in the podcast but a friend reminded me that the ants in California would have all most likely come from the same colony since California had basically been taken over by a giant, global megacolony of Argentine ants circa Animorphs time.

“These Ants Took Over the World, And We Just Noticed” by Esther Inglis-Arkell, Gizmodo, June 22, 2015

Van Wilgenburg, E., Torres, C. W., & Tsutsui, N. D. (2010). The global expansion of a single ant supercolony. Evolutionary applications, 3(2), 136–143. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1752-4571.2009.00114.x


Episode 4: The Message

Do you remember the nineties? Remember Free Willy? Or Friends? Then The Message is for you! Join Maddie and Lydia as they try to paint a picture of just how mainstream it was to revere whales and dolphins as uniquely enlighted beings back when this book was written. They also begin to unpack Cassie’s status as the easiest Animorph to dislike, and why. Last but not least, sharks can have just as much fun as dolphins! Spoilers for all of Animorphs.

Sources specific to this episode:

“Santa Barbara’s Eastside was once black community hub”, KCRW, Feb 19, 2020

Episode 3: The Encounter

This is the episode where Centipedes and Slugs finally gets its name. It’s also the heaviest episode to date. Maddie and Lydia discuss The Encounter, a children’s book that really snuck some heavy yet important topics past the censors. It’s also a book with some outdated info about wolf behavior. Friendly reminder: there will be spoilers for all of Animorphs

Content Warning: suicide and suicidal ideation, body dysmorphia. If you want or need to skip that part of the episode, the conversation begins at 17:28 and ends around the 44:00 minute mark.

Sources specific to this episode:

“Reading in Stealth, or My Life in Animorphs” by Cassius Adair, Avidly/Los Angeles Review of Books, Aug. 3, 2017

Katherine Applegate’s Twitter account

Seerowpedia entry on The Encounter, retrieved in June 2020

Katherine Applegate’s Reddit AMA

“Alpha status, dominance, and division of labor in wolf packs” by L David Mech, Canadian Journal of Zoology, 1999, 77(8): 1196-1203, https://doi.org/10.1139/z99-099

Episode 2: The Visitor

Centipedes and Slugs still hadn’t been named when this episode was recorded, but that doesn’t stop Maddie and Lydia from diving into The Visitor. They tackle the important questions like: Why does Visser 3 like cats so much? Would therapy be good for Visser 3? What is Yeerk culture, anyway? There is even some discussion of non-Yeerk matters, including Rachel and Tobias’ relationship and just how much Scholastic let Applegate and Grant get away with right from the jump. A reminder that there will be spoilers for the entire Animorphs series.

Sources specific to this episode:

Katherine Applegate’s Reddit AMA

“What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” by Thomas Nagel, The Philosophical Review LXXXIII, 4 (October 1974): 435-50.

Episode 1: The Invasion

In the inaugural episode of Centipedes and Slugs, Maddie and Lydia haven’t yet settled on a title for this Animorphs podcast, but they have settled on their allegience to Taxxons and Yeerks. But they also support the Animorphs, they swear. While discussing The Invasion, Maddie tells us all about how Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant came up with this smash 90s hit, and Lydia tells us all about how Applegate and Grant get animal behavior (mostly) right, at least in this book. Just a heads up: there will be spoilers for the entire series.

Sources specific to this episode:

Katherine Applegate’s website

“Q&A with K.A. Applegate”, retrieved from Scholastic.com in June 2020

Katherine Applegate’s Reddit AMA

“Katherine Applegate on Winning the 2013 Newberry” by Diane Roback, Publisher’s Weekly, Jan. 29, 2013

“A Profile of Katherine Applegate” by Michael Grant, The Horn Book, July 11, 2013

“Writing about big issues through a gorilla, a giant cat and now — a tree” by Anya Sostek, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 25, 2017

Animorphs creator looks back on the beloved series 20 years later” by Nivea Serrao, Entertainment Weekly, Dec. 28, 2016

“Our History”, retrieved from Scholastic.com in June 2020

“What Was It About Animorphs?” by Frankie Thomas, The Paris Review, Jan. 23, 2019