The bright and varied colors of the Moke Kanohi dot the shallows of Mata
Nui's coastline. These small crustaceans spend most of their lives under
water, feeding on tiny fish and other sea-life while avoiding larger hunters.
Although their arms can deliver a powerful pinch, Moke Kanohi are physically
fairly inoffensive, preferring to scuttle sidelong from threats than to
engage in battle. Their bright, gleaming eyes, peering out from the safety
of their shells, are less mobile than those of their Ussal cousins, but
their vision is sharp in both water and air. If it spots a distant danger,
a Moke Kanohi will quickly dig itself into the sandy ground or sea-bed to hide.
Moke Kanohi earn their name for their habit of wearing Kanohi masks on their
bodies as protective shells. Although no one knows quite why, at various
times throughout its life, a Moke Kanohi will suddenly decide to change shells.
Climbing up onto the beach, it will dig itself a shallow tunnel in the sand
and wait. The Tohunga have learned to be wary of suspicious mounds by
the sea-shore, for when a mask-bearing creature ventures close enough,
the Moke Kanohi will burst from its tunnel, seize their mask in its strong grip,
and scurry away in a flash.
The victim is usually too shocked and disoriented to stop the little robber
before it makes its safe getaway, but if one follows its tracks, the Moke
Kanohi's old abandoned shell will inevitably be found. A hapless Tohunga
may thus unwillingly trade one mask in for another, but can return to
normal life with little harm done, save perhaps a need for re-introductions
and the persistent hint of brine.