Limpets are a type of marine invertebrate mentioned in the How to Train Your Dragon Book Series.
Limpets refer to marine gastropods (generically referred to as snails and slugs) with a particular round shallowly cone-shaped shell, somewhat resembling a human knee-cap bone, or "patella". The term limpet mostly refers to the Clade Patellogastropoda ('true' limpets), but can refer to other distantly related invertebrates with similar-appearing shells.
Limpets typically inhabit rocky coastal areas and tidal areas worldwide. Their primary diet is algae, though some species also eat seaweed. Limpets are motile, if a bit slow. An interesting anatomical feature are their "radula" - or feeding apparatus - which contains a bit of tissue somewhat resembling a tongue with teeth. This tongue of sorts is used to scrape algae from rocky surfaces. The teeth arise from biomineralization and incorporates iron ions, leading to the formation of the iron mineral goethite.
In the Book series, limpets are a food source of both Vikings and Dragons, but are a food of last resort. In reality, limpets are eaten by many cultures around the world, but is not as widespread in Western cultures as they once were.
They are often considered by Vikings to be disgusting as food, often to the point that consumption of them is used as a type of punishment.
Gobber often used limpets to threaten the Hooligan boys. They are often considered by Vikings to be disgusting as food, often to the point that consumption of them is used as a type of punishment.
- "The next boy to speak has limpets for lunch for the next THREE WEEKS!"
- ―Gobber the Belch
- "EVERYBODY IS ON LIMPET RATIONS FOR THE NEXT THREE WEEKS!"
- "And on top of everything ... a two-mile run carrying a deranged dragon on my back ... and only a dinner of horrible limpets to look forward to at the end of it"