Platypus

Platypus

There is no animal more confused about its identity than the platypus.

This thing is a mammal that lays eggs. It has a duck bill but a beaver tail, and walks like a reptile. It produces milk but has no teats, instead just kinda sweating it out. It has two ovaries, but only one works. It has extra bones in its shoulder that other mammals don’t, and nobody knows where it got them. It has tons of sex chromosomes – ten in fact, because one pair wasn’t good enough for it; its gender is more complicated than some of my old internet passwords. It has spurs on its hind feet that deliver venom – and again, I can’t stress enough that it’s a mammal despite all this. It is born with teeth that fall out one embarrassing day in fifth grade and it hides in the nurse’s office until school is over. And that’s just the tip of the figurative iceberg (see Weaknesses).

What else do we know about this duck-billed iceberg?

Special powers

We know the platypus has electrolocation, meaning it can detect prey by the electric fields generated by the movement of muscles. That sounds like a power Grant Morrison made up for a cool splash page, but it’s actually true and it is extremely baller.

Its internal temperature is lower than most normal mammals. That’s how dedicated it is to being chill.

ICE COLD

What’s cooler than being cool?

The platypus stores fat in its tail. Given that extra junk in the trunk is so hot right now, it is perfectly poised to be the breakout star of whatever music video awards happen this month.

I should mention here that venom again. Venom! Crazy.

Weaknesses

In addition to the above-mentioned conflicting traits, the platypus has had a goth phase, yuppie phase, gymrat phase, rockabilly phase, steampunk phase, dieselwave phase, person-who-wears-a-hat-all-the-time phase, politically active poet phase, eccentric balloonist phase, and many more. It tries on identities like other people try on glasses frames at the store. Fortunately, the above-mentioned chillness remains constant.

Number of legs

Four.

Magazine subscriptions

Redbook, Ranger Rick.

Is it on a piece of currency?

It is on the 20-cent coin in Australia, opposite the head of Queen Elizabeth II.

now that's paper. okay it's metal.

It’s so money and it doesn’t even know it, per the requirement that every website must contain at least one reference to Swingers (the Simmons Rule).

What if it fought a bear?

It depends what phase the bear catches it in, but if it’s a street-fighting one, the platypus has a chance.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The platypus doesn’t always know what kind of dude it wants to be, but it is always my kind of dude. I mean that in a non-gender-specific way. Rock on, you unnecessarily double-ovaried weirdo!

 

 

10/10

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Mite

Mite

Okay, listn. Did I forgrt to writ an ananimal rating? Maybe yes. Maybe also yes. Did Karen bteak op with me? That’s a truth too. Have I ahd a couple? I’m an adult and you’re not my superb visor.

But we’re not here to ta;k about any of thatt. We’re gonna talk about the nite. Sorry, the mi5e. Sorry, the mite.

sorry

sorry

Special powers

It can make you ittchy. That’s nothing. I’m have the supered powres here. DID YOU KNOW if you put teqiula in teh whisky, you will VUKCING TIME TRABELffff I am seven Justice Leauges and I am RUDE. You made a BIG mistaek, Karem.

Weaknesses

Uu88uugh I gotta do all these ctaghoeriis uuuuugh.

The mite is so so tiny. It’s like miscrobocapbly small. Uou need a micorscoep to see it.[1] Why wuld you want to.

Number of legs

Eight.

The Kingfisher Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals Says

“and they live in all sorts of odd places, including the nostrils of seals, the hearing organs of moths, and decaying cheese.”

Hoo boy hhhhhhhhhh

hhhhhhh

I fel sick.

What if it fought a bear?

Who cares a siht?

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

Kaaern come backkkk

 

1.5/10

 

 

 

[1]Juts like Kraren’s heart.

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Quail

Quail

The quail and mankind used to be friends a long time ago.

"You wanna go cruise for babes?"

But I haven’t thought of you lately at all. (Photo from Des Moines Register)

Now, of course, humanity’s BFF is the dog. But in the long-distant past, that role was filled by the quail. Accounts differ as to what exactly broke up the then-inseparable pair. One story is that the quail ate something in the fridge that man was saving for later. One rumor is that man said something bad about the quail’s girlfriend, or possibly its fondue start-up business. Some say the break-up was caused by a betrayal in a game of foursquare, though there’s no consensus on who was the betrayer.

Special powers

Look man, what do you want? It’s the quail. The only power we thought it had was loyalty and if the story about the fridge is true, we know that’s not so. We wanted the rest of that chicken wrap for dinner, quail! We wanted it so bad.

Weaknesses

The qual is subject to the whims and orders of the king quail.

A certain kind of quail was, in punishment for the crime of murder, cursed to forever repeat the name of its victim, Bob White.

Number of legs

Two. Plus two wings.

Wikipedia’s Talk Page Asks

“I Would Like To ?buy Fresh Water Drinkers For thirtytwothirtyfour Naseby 4rd B’ham Beight threHe For Sabina Insha Allah I Will Pay When zit -arrives”

What if it fought a bear?

The quail would challenge the bear to a game of foursquare. The bear would maul it instead.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

We may not remember exactly what you did to us, quail, but we will never forgive you. The dog is way cooler than you, anyway. It would never eat our wrap. It… It puked on the floor and now it’s eating the puke.

…The point stands.

 

3.5/10

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Goblin shark

Goblin shark

When a shark and a goblin love each other very much, they contract a mad scientist to create an unholy hybrid known as the goblin shark.

add me to your five! :^{}

This is its MySpace picture.

Special powers

The goblin shark’s mouth is a horrifying nightmare weapon, filled with crazy teeth and able to leap forward and snatch prey.

noooooo

No no no no no no no

It is a real good swimmer.

Weaknesses

The goblin shark is weak against exosuit cargo-loaders. It used to have vulnerabilities to torches and pitchforks, but it has since removed those flaws.

Number of legs

None.

Favorite video game

It has eaten four separate copies of Ecco the Dolphin.

Celebrity birthdays

As the goblin shark was not literally born, the goblin shark does not have a birthday per se. But on the day its body was given animation, these celebrities were born by natural means:

  • Bruce Willis, an American actor who portrayed Unbreakable in the film Unbreakable

  • The Panda’s Accomplice, an athlete in the Chinese Basketball Association

  • Jimmie “The Beast” Foxx, the baseball player who first realized he could double his chances of hitting pitches by using two bats

What if it fought a bear?

The bear eschews most advanced technology, including exosuit cargo-loaders. The goblin shark would defeat it.

Is it noble?

Half.

Final rating

The goblin shark’s goblin half may – may – be balanced by its shark side. But as a creation of mad science, it has no soul. Its MySpace bio makes that much clear.

 

 

2.5/10

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Skink

Skink

If it looks like a lizard, walks like a lizard, sounds like a lizard, and kisses like a lizard, it might be a skink.

five-lined skink

I don’t know, man.

At any rate, it is the foremost purveyor of dancing to ska music.

Special powers

The skink can ditch its tail if need be, and it doesn’t need a hundred and twenty-seven whole hours to do it.

Weaknesses

The skink can be a real stinker.

blue-tongued skink

How rude!

Also, it released a super-weak Harlem Shake video about three weeks too late.

Number of legs

Between four and zero.

Varieties

There are so very many sorts of skinks. Some of the highlights include…

Mole skink: The moleman equivalent of standard skinks.

Four-toed Earless skink: This skink has four toes and no ears.

Desert lidless skink: This desert-dwelling skink refuses to wear hats.

Gilbert’s skink: Despite the title, this skink really belongs to Derrick. Gilbert is a liar and a skink-thief.

Blotched blue-tongued skink: A brutish mook, willing to sell its talents to the highest bidder.

Mount Cooper striped lerista: Claims to have invented Tinder and been “Zuckerberged to hell.”

Fire skink: First of the elemental skinks.

Southern water skink: Another elemental skink, cool but rude.

Southern grass skink: The most reluctant and peaceful of the elemental skinks.

Ghost-type skink: It’s super effective!

Prickly skink: Don’t believe the hype. This skink is a real sweetheart underneath it all.

Florida sand skink: The Scary Spice of being the Scooby-Dum of skinks.

Chernov’s skink: Its parents pressured this skink to become a dancer, but it dreams of getting its real estate license.

Chekhov’s skink: If a skink is introduced in the first act, it will dance by the end of the third act.

Terror skink: This skink has unusual teeth which suggest that unlike most skinks, the terror skink feeds exclusively on more… substantial prey. Only one terror skink has been seen since 1876, and that sighting was in 2003. Where are the others, then? Where have they been hiding? What have they seen of us? What dark secrets of ours do they hold, and what are they waiting for?

terror skink

Maybe there’s one in that room with you right now.

Wikipedia’s Talk Page Has Had Enough Talk

“Bla Bla Bla, guys. I have a skink in my backyard, and I will take a real picture of it.”

What if it fought a bear?

If all approximately 1500 skinks fought the bear, assuming proper rest times between matches, they would go 487-1006-7.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

I fear what the terror skink has planned for us when it returns. And I have no time for its cohort’s dance stylings.

 

2/10

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Ogopogo

Ogopogo

“Live by the sword, die by the lake in the cabin you loved as a child that is now a great comfort in your old age.”

It’s as true today as it ever was. What the quote fails to mention is the mysterious animal inside the lake. If you plan to die in Kelowna, British Columbia, on the shores of Okanagan Lake, that animal is the ogopogo.

the handsome ogopogo

Lookin’ good, buddy!

The reclusive ogopogo does not often make itself known. For years at a time, all anyone will see from it is a couple logs it floats to the lake surface for funsies and the DVDs it’s returning to Redbox. It’s hard to know much of anything about this shy… sea serpent? Dinosaur? Gyarados?

Special powers

Whatever it is, the ogopogo is pretty great at hiding. And online chess.

Weaknesses

The ogopogo is much like other enigmatic lake creatures, in that it hates having its picture taken. It went to a party with a photobooth once and had a panic attack.

Those Redbox DVDs are late.

Number of legs

None.

Celebrity birthdays

The ogopogo shares a birthday with

  • Randy Haysbert[1]

  • George Railroad Martin, author of the Game of Thrones novelizations

  • The moon

What if it fought a bear?

The ogopogo would never show up to the weigh-in, with all those press photographers.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

It’s not easy to rate the ogopogo, given how little we know about it. We can make guesses about it based on the fact that it’s Canadian, like that it cares too much about hockey and uses colorful bills with loons and Geddy Lee or whoever on them as currency. None of these foibles are sufficient to drag this gentle sea beast down the ratings by much.

 

8/10

 

 

 

[1]For every Dennis, there is an equal and opposing Randy. The Quaids are the coin for which we know both sides, but there is also Randy Hopper, Randy Rodman and Macho Man Dennis Savage, for example.

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Giant huntsman spider

Giant huntsman spider

The giant huntsman spider is the largest spider in the world by leg-span (although there is another that is larger by mass). Its leg-span is twelve inches, which you may know as “a foot.” Like fellow oversized creatures Marmaduke and Beethoven, the giant huntsman spider is a scamp who’s constantly getting into adorable hijinks that fluster Charles Grodin.

what a darling

Aww, he thinks he’s people!

For example, the giant huntsman spider will come running with all eight legs pounding against the floor to tackle its adoptive family members when they arrive home. It’s just so happy to see them! And the feeling is mutual, though they’d prefer if the giant huntsman spider wouldn’t track in so much mud.

Special powers

The end of the workday isn’t the only time the giant huntsman spider shows its loyalty in a way that’s both endearing and exasperating. Consider also it sitting at the foot of your bed as you sleep, staring with its many eyes – waiting patiently for you to begin the morning. Such a good boy, but let me sleep in, buddy!

Weaknesses

Sometimes the giant huntsman spider’s cute antics can cost those around it, like when it got so excited on Thanksgiving and spilled the turkey on the floor or the time it dumped out Grandma’s urn to make its pentagram on the floor for The Ritual or when it ran between everyone’s legs and caused the constable to lose balance.

silly billy

Oh, giant huntsman spider, when will you learn you’re not a wee spiderling any more?

The giant huntsman spider can get so ornery when it wants treats.

Number of legs

Eight.

Political connections

The giant huntsman spider’s brother once ran for president.

What if it fought a bear?

The giant huntsman spider gave the bear a friendly hug as it’s so well-equipped to do. The next morning, the bear found a black spot on its paw. Three days later, it committed suicide. It’s a tragic story, but at least it got a little comfort from the giant huntsman spider before it went.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

Oh, giant huntsman spider! I can’t stay mad at that face!

goochie goochie goo

Come down from up there, you mischief-maker!

 

9/10

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Saiga antelope

Saiga antelope

Africa seems to have a monopoly on all the most popular antelopes. But there’s a hip “underground”[1] antelope you may not have heard of over in Eurasia and it’s called the saiga antelope. It doesn’t have the mainstream appeal or name recognition of many other antelopes, but it’s no less worthy of our attention.

Special powers

The male saiga has horns. The female saiga carries a baseball bat with nails in it.

Weaknesses

The saiga antelope was cursed by a wizard to have its voice replaced by the wizard’s mocking impression. That is why its mating call is “Duuuhhh I’m a lonely idiot duurrrr!”

One imagines the wizard was inspired in part by the saiga’s dopey-looking nose.

saiga antelope got a big ol' nose

Oh buddy.

Number of legs

Four.

Fierceness factor

Quite low. A little higher with good horns.

unconventional, but solid

Not bad.

Is it a victim of ethnic cleansing?

Not exactly, but it is critically endangered due to poaching. Please, before you poach something, ask yourself: Am I making breakfast and is the thing I’m poaching an egg? If not, please don’t poach it.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear’s gonna immediately punch that nose.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The saiga is not as glamorous as most antelopes, with its inaccessible goofy schnoz. But it is exceedingly underrated. Fortunately, this is not Underrate Every Animal, the worst website of all time.

 

 

8.5/10

 

 

[1]Not literally.

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Hornet

Hornet

There are many wasps in this world. The hornet does not seem at first blush to be a remarkable one. But that’s because the first time you’re blushing at it, you don’t yet know about its successful restaurant business.

Special powers

The hornet is a very successful restauranteur. Below are just a few of the signature menu items at the hornet’s restaurant, sqüeeze.

 

APPETIZERS

 

Clams A l’Orange

Octopus Hearts A Cappella

Braised Duckling Feet in Bernaise Madoff

Chicken Finger and Pork Wing Platter

Chowder of the Day

Deep-fried Pork Belly Sliders

Honey-smoked Nacho Zingers

Pan-seared Orlando Salmon Flip-floppers

Beer-soaked Tequila Balls

 

MAIN

 

Sierra Nevada Battered Tilapia Cones

Re-pickled Goose Butt in Udon Alfredo

Goat’s Nodes a la Larry King

Barbecue Onion Nublets in a Cider Glaze

The Rabbit‘s Gambit

Chef’s Trio (pigeon, robin, and gerbil hog-tied to the railroad by a fiendish rogue with a list of demands)

Chicken-Fired Travel Cup Gravy Guzzler

Desultory Land Mussels In An Air Salt, Rock Salt, and Fire Salt Embalming

Sun-Dried Filet of Stork Leather On A Bed of Bone Marrow Salsa

Surf ‘n’ Turf (Angus steak and a skewer of Collin shrimp, with Steve potatoes prepared your way)

Turf ‘n’ Surf (our classic Surf ‘n’ Turf, in reverse)

East Virginia Brisket Splinters Drizzled With Hyper-Butter

Crisis on Infinite Turfs

Tarragon-Dashed Brussels Sprout Pockets Parmaggiano

Fair Trade Techno-Organic Cyber-Salad

Decanted Reducted Infused Disembodied Thai Peanut Un-Vapor

Slip-off-the-bone Rybz: An Authentic Simulacrum Sprinkled With Bacon-Inspired Protein Krunches®

Genuine World-Famous Sink Chunks

 

DESSERTS

 

Wasabi Rice Sorbet With One Fist-Sized Almond On Top

Barrel-aged Vanilla Mint Session

Vanilla-crusted Cedar Plank Barrel (serves 20)

Crème Braise Frisson Brulet Fraîche

Fudge-Sized Personal Pan Cereal-Style Marshmallow

LA KISS Presents Terminal Cancer By Chocolate

 

WINE

 

2012 Mad Australian Cabernet: A patois of plum and reveille, with notes of fetid armories.

2005 Bitches’ Gumbo Red: The wine of an illiterate, served in the commemorative Yoda cup of an imbecile.

2011 Chateau du Monde: A generous flim-flam, reconstituted and coronated for a new generation.

2009 Latverian Riesling: Supple with the piquant brine of a beloved janitor’s lanyard. A revelation for the trained mustache palate.

2008 Art Brut White: Connoisseurs of Grandmother’s dustiest cupboard will detect a hypothesis of marsh jewels.

2011 Grandeur Merlot: A tickle from a consumption-stricken youth born into wealth, followed by an afterthought of shame.

2008 Pellegrino: Heightens the senses, unseats the powerful, walks on the ceiling.

2001 Fellini White: The cast of J*A*G spits in your mouth.

2004 Greble Chardonnay: A resplendent slurry of false memories of vegetables that never were. Finish of Game of Thrones spoilers.

2002 Really Nice Wine: A really nice wine.

Weaknesses

The hornet is vulnerable to gasoline, napalm, dynamite, and missiles. This is not a comprehensive list.

The mortal hornet

The hornet can be physically destroyed.

Number of legs

Six.

Do I own a Beanie Baby of it?

No.

What if it fought a bear?

As there are no honey-based disagreements between the hornet and bear, they have no quarrel.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

I know people like the hornet’s restaurant, but I just don’t get it. Sorry.

 

 

7/10

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Octopus

Octopus

“Octopussy! She is Octopussy!
Beware her ink
You’re sure to sink
Into her sea of lies
Her advanced eyes
Will see you meet your doom
At the eight strong hands of Octopussy!”

 – Theme from Octopussy

Those lyrics are as true today as they were the day they were written. The octopus is not just a fanciful foe of James Bond. It is all too real, my friend.

octopus

This could be just an inch below your feet any time you’re in the ocean. Have fun!

Special powers

We mammals all have a heart inside us. Most others are the same way. The octopus, clearly just showing off, has three.[1]

Beyond this blood-pumping triple threat, the octopus has many special powers: poison, considerable intelligence – including tool use, ink squirting, the ability to change color at will, excellent vision, a salivary papilla which is a tooth-covered organ that shoots out from its sharp beak, etcetera.

There are even specializations on top of all that. The mimic octopus does impressions and is a wizard. Paul the Octopus was a psychic who predicted World Cup winners, but could not foresee his own untimely death in a car accident.

Weaknesses

We mammals all have a spooky skeleton inside us. Most others are the same way, or wear their skeletons on the outside, as bugs do. The octopus, however, has no skeleton at all.

Contrary to popular belief, the octopus hates gardening. The Beatles, in their famous song about the subject, were using irony. You like them now, right, kids?

Number of legs

Eight, two rows of suckers each.

Courtship

The male octopus has a special sperm-filled arm dedicated to this purpose, which it breaks off its own body and gifts to a female in a tasteful but creative ceremony. For a spell, flash mobs and jumbotrons were popular ways to make the offering, but are now looked on as cliché.

What if it fought a bear?

That bear you think you see is just the octopus doing a pretend. The real bear was defeated thirty-five minutes ago.

Is it noble?

The octopus’s motives are known only to itself.

Final rating

This inscrutable creature is very powerful indeed. Honestly, I’d say it’s OP and ready for a nerf. And no, I’m not just saying that because I am being repeatedly owned. I don’t need to learn 2 play, octopus! I know how 2 play just fine!

 

6.5/10

 

 

[1]Eat your super-sized singular heart out, Grinch.

 

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