Flying squirrel

Flying squirrel

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it the flying squirrel? Yes, it is.

See?

See?

Special powers

The obvious thing is that it, unlike other squirrels, can glide through the air with the greatest of ease.

Weaknesses

I feel obligated to mention that, despite the name, the flying squirrel does not have true flight. It’s more subject to the winds and less able to make sharp turns or gain altitude in midair. This makes it an appealing target for surface-to-air missiles – at least, cute little squirrel-proportioned surface-to-air missiles. Awwww!

Number of legs

Four.

Varieties

There are many kinds of flying squirrel. These include:

  • The Japanese dwarf flying squirrel, whose huge pure black eyes have it straddling the line between adorable and monstrous

    The Japanese dwarf flying squirrel, whose huge pure black eyes have it straddling the line between adorable and monstrous

  • The woolly flying squirrel, which falls in love quickly and often

  • The red giant flying squirrel, the “red giant” of flying squirrels

  • The arrow flying squirrel, which can’t show up to any function without telling you in detail the exact route it took to get there

  • Rocky J. Squirrel, who wears a little hat

  • The Bhutan giant flying squirrel, who just kept growing and growing its tail as a joke and didn't realize until too late that it had gone too far

    The Bhutan giant flying squirrel, who just kept growing and growing its tail as a joke and didn’t realize until too late that it had gone too far

  • The lesser pygmy flying squirrel, the worst pygmy flying squirrel

  • The Kashmir flying squirrel, which is RIGHT BEHIND YOU! I’m just joshing. April fool’s.

  • The hairy-footed flying squirrel, which can be easily spotted by its hairy feet

Potent quotables

“I believe that, like me, the people behind these robberies are extreme athletes.” – the flying squirrel

What if it fought a bear?

Flight will not save this squirrel. Gliding certainly won’t.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The fact that the flying squirrel even exists is wonderfully weird. It might seem on paper like an overly specific gimmick, and yet it has stood the test of time, unlike the snowboarding squirrel or water-skiing groundhog.[1]

 

 

9/10

 

 

 

[1]R.I.P.

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Elephant seal

Elephant seal

Who is king of the beach? Is it the bully who kicks sand in the nerd’s face in the Charles Atlas ads? Is it the nerd in the last panel once he’s bought the Charles Atlas book and now looks basically indistinguishable from the bully? Is it seagulls?

For many a beach, the answer is the elephant seal.

Hail to the chief.

Hail to the chief.

Special powers

The milk of the elephant seal is hyper-fatty. Like three to five times fattier than half-and-half. You know what else is fatty? Bacon. You love bacon, right, internet? Maybe you should make some t-shirts with elephant seal milk mashed up with Star Wars on them. Maybe Lando has a glass of it and he has a milk mustache on top of his human hair mustache. I don’t know. I’m just brainstorming here.

Anyway, the elephant seal is just jam-packed with blood. You won’t believe how much blood fits in this bad boy.

Weaknesses

Due to the name it has been given, the elephant seal is very self-conscious about the size of its ears. It’s so worried about this that the elephant seal doesn’t even realize that it doesn’t have any ears. Body dysmorphia isn’t logical, folks. Be kind to each other. Don’t name each other after the elephant.

Number of legs

Do the flippers count?

How does it solve its problems?

The elephant seal solves its disputes through violence. Specifically, it employs an ancient fighting style which focuses on headbutts, body slams, and battle snores.

What if it fought a bear?

The elephant seal gets a lot of mileage out of its great size advantage, which is not so much a factor against the bear. It would not adjust its tactics well enough to face such a battle, and so lose.

Is it noble?

No.

Thievery

Thievery

Final rating

It’s truly unfortunate that the elephant seal’s insecurities express themselves through angry conflicts and gross snorts. This big sack o’ blood is just a few months of therapy from being a worthy beach king.

 

 

7/10

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Nudibranch

Nudibranch

The nudibranch is happy you’re here.

“Welcome to my rating.”

“Welcome to my rating.”

Special powers

The nudibranch is very colorful.

nudibranch1

I don’t know if that really counts as a “special power.”

nudibranch3

But I like it.

nudibranch4

Weaknesses

The nudibranch’s simple eyes are useful for little more than distinguishing dark and light.

Furthermore, it lacks the protective shell that often comes standard in animals of this sort. And regardless of how much the nudibranch talks it up, optional satellite radio is not a satisfactory substitute.

Number of legs

None.

Role models

Just one: Turok the Dinosaur Hunter.

Aliases

Nudey, Dude-ibranch, Rude-ibranch, The Turok Liker.

Hobbies

It’s not exactly a hobby, but the nudibranch spends a LOT of time emulating Turok the Dinosaur Hunter in every aspect of its life it knows how.

Favorite video game

Bubble Bobble.

Super Bowl Storylines To Watch

  1. Which teams are playing?

  2. When is the game and how can I watch it? Or is it on the radio?

  3. Who has the “joe-mentum” going into the game?

  4. Which player likes Skittles the most?

  5. Will this be Peyton Manning’s last Coldplay concert?

  6. Can Carolina’s defense contain their excitement when they hear the pre-game music or will it get them too hyped and they’ll have to lay down and calm down?

  7. Where is everybody running so fast?

  8. Why are the bees disappearing?

  9. Who died and made special teams so special?

  10. What are the names of everyone who has ever died?

What if it fought a bear?

The nudibranch’s combat focus is purely dinosaur-based. The bear would confound it.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

Have fun watching the big game!

 

 

9.5/10

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Plesiosaur

Plesiosaur I’d like to apologize for the extended holiday break the blog took. I hope I still remember how to do one of these. If I’m not mistaken, I start out by saying the name of the plesiosaur.

large_nicholson_plesiosaur.jpg

Then there’s probably a picture of it, but God only knows what this thing I write underneath it is for.

Special powers Wait, hang on. This is too soon for this part. I think I describe it in general terms just a little bit. The plesiosaur is an enormous, extinct marine reptile. Many people incorrectly think it is a dinosaur, but although the plesiosaur passed the qualification exam, it never actually applied for its dinosaur license. It looks a lot like Nessie. Okay, that’s enough, right? Special powers The plesiosaur can swim. It can swim beautifully, in perfect sync with classical music. Weaknesses The plesiosaur is terrible at Simon. That wouldn’t normally be worth bringing up, but it plays Simon every single day and has never gotten even a little bit better. It’s baffling. Number of legs None? I doubt the flippers count. Prize possession The plesiosaur treasures the only scarf it could find that would fit its long, long neck: an infinity scarf. …Alright, what’s next? What if it fought a bear? Ugh, this again? Is it noble? Yes. Final rating Do you remember what this bit is based on? Seems awfully arbitrary. It’s a living creature – or was, in this case. It seems crass to reduce it to a number.     7.5/10

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Drongo

Drongo

The drongo may appear demonic, but it is a wholly earthborn fiend.

Hell is not responsible for this.

Hell is not responsible for this.

The drongo uses alarm calls when there is no predator in the area to scare off other animals so the drongo can swoop in and eat the food they left in their panic. It will even mimic other species’ calls to accomplish its nefarious purposes. Basically the drongo took shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre and made that its primary way of life.

Special powers

The drongo is an impressive impressionist.

It can fly.

Weaknesses

The drongo is a compulsive liar. It claimed to have made a full court basketball shot. It claimed to have an uncle who works at Nintendo who told him MISSINGNO was playable in Super Smash Bros. It claimed to speak Portuguese. It claimed it invented Facebook. It claimed bears are just big raccoons. It claimed to be the inspiration for the lyrics of Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better.” It claimed to have been in line first.

All these claims have been rated Pants on Fire by PolitiFact.

Number of legs

Two, plus wings.

Do I own a Beanie Baby of it?

The drongo sold me what it purported to be just that, but its tag describes it as a “Boinie Babby” by “Tyy Inc.” So, I’m inclined to guess no.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear has heard the lies the drongo spread about it, and it will have vengeance.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The drongo has been lying so long, it doesn’t even know itself what is real any more.

 

 

 

2/10

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Quokka

Quokka

The quokka is the happiest, goest, and luckiest animal this side of the giraffe.

And it's easy to tell. [Pic Mogens Johansen, The West Australian 6/08/13]

And it’s easy to tell.
[Pic Mogens Johansen, The West Australian 6/08/13]

Special powers

The quokka has no fear of humans.

Weaknesses

The quokka has no fear of humans.

quokka3Number of legs

Four.

History

The quokka was one of the first Australian animals that Europeans encountered. They mistook it variously for a cat or a big rat. They had no idea the weirdness they were in for. The quokka is an introductory course compared to the other stuff Australia has to offer.

Do I own a Beanie Baby of it?

I wish.

What if it fought a bear?

It would likely be just as delighted with this development as the last.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

Look at that face.

Who can say “any lower than 6/10” to that face?

Who can say “any lower than 6/10” to that face?

 

8.5/10

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Slug

Slug

It’s the sea slug of the land. It’s the naked snail. But what is it on its own terms?

It's slug!

It’s slug!

Well, yes, it’s slug.

Special powers

Anyone who witnesses the slug making love will become unable to eat or sleep for an extended period of time. The physical effects are temporary, but the psychological damage is forever.

Weaknesses

As the slug grows up, it undergoes a rite of passage known as torsion, in which its gut-parts up and move to the other side of its innards, moving its anus to up above its head for no readily apparent reason. I blame the impossible anus-on-head standards in the slug magazines and TV shows.

Also, it gets dangerously dry if it neglects to moisturize or is exposed to its kryptonite, salt.

Number of legs

None.

Drink of choice

The slug specifically loves Coke at McDonald’s, but risks its life to even enter given the mass quantities of salt found there. Also, people aren’t usually happy to see it at any eatery.

What if it fought a bear?

Advantage bear.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The slug’s weakness is embarrassingly common. Any chump within thirty feet of a kitchen can be its Lex Luthor. I’d be tempted to do just that, but I know that killing it won’t erase the memories of its sex tape from my mind. Nothing but my own death will – and that’ll take a lot more salt.

 

 

 

4/10

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Sun bear

Sun bear

The time has come to cover another of the sun’s avatars. Today, I give you: the sun bear.

Special powers

The aspect of the sun that the sun bear represents is its heat. Do not anger the sun bear. Do not hug the sun bear. Do not french kiss the sun bear.

The reason for that last one is unrelated to its thermodynamic powers.

The reason for that last one is unrelated to its thermodynamic powers.

According to the Kingfisher Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals, the sun bear “is an expert at getting bees’ nests out of trees.” This was a real wake-up call to me on the relative narrowness of what I think of as skills one could be called an “expert” at.

Also, it has a real long tongue and is great at climbing.

Weaknesses

The sun bear is the smallest of the bears at around 4 feet, 110 pounds. It developed its superb climbing skills so it wouldn’t have to ask for help to reach honey jars on the top shelf.

It has to share the nickname of “honey bear” with the kinkajou, who isn’t even a real bear. But due to the terms of a bet, it has a one-week-on, one-week-off partial custody of the moniker.

Number of legs

Four.

What does Mark Trail think of it?

He won't shut up about it.

He won’t shut up about it.

What if it fought a bear?

The sun bear has everything a bear has, minus size plus the heat of the sun. It wins.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The power of a bear, the heat of the sun, the dopey honey-loving personality of a pooh. Put it all together, what have you got? The sun bear. That should have been obvious, given the subject of the review.

 

 

9/10

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Sandhopper

Sandhopper

There are many hoppers. Grass. Sky. Fire. Heart. And the sandhopper.

If sand needs hopping, here's your man animal.

If sand needs hopping, here’s your man animal.

Special powers

The sandhopper’s signature move is leaping high into the air. Of all jumpers, it is one of the greatest at the act of jumping high.

Weaknesses

Though it jumps very high, the sandhopper has no directional control while doing so. I mean, beyond the vague idea of “up.” It’s got that one down. I mean, not “down.” You get the idea.

Beyond that, the sandhopper doesn’t know much.

Also, one antenna is much longer than the other. How dare it.

Number of legs

In an unprecendented moment for Rate Every Animal, I don’t actually know. I researched for entire minutes, and was unable to find the answer. I’m sorry I let you down.

Prize possession

The sandhopper’s prize possession is an Easy-Bake Oven with “THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS” written on it.

Potent quotables

“My favorite band is Various Artists. Only right answer. ‘Variety is the spice of life.’ – Anonymous.” – the sandhopper

What if it fought a bear?

The bear has no reason to fear the sandhopper’s random jumping.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

I find this dim-witted, uncontrollably-blasting-into-the-air crustacean rather charming, really. That asymmetrical antenna is gonna drive me crazy, though.

 

 

8.5/10

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John Dory

John Dory

Most animals don’t have human-style names. When they do, it’s often one a human gave them. And even then, it’s probably something like Snowball or Mayor Fuzzpants or Bella – names that very few humans actually have.

The John Dory is an exception.

It's like if somebody didn't play the fool sometimes.[1]

It’s like if somebody didn’t play the fool sometimes.[1]

Special powers

The John Dory has a name, social security number, and Ralphs card. It also has a false eye on the side of its body to trick predators and teachers who don’t know it’s really asleep.

Weaknesses

Its heavy plates slow it down.

The John Dory desperately wants to “go viral.” The only thing it has come up with toward this life goal is this image:

And what is .facebok?

This is the best it could come up with.

Number of legs

None.

Hollywood connections

You may not know that Zach Braff’s Scrubs character was loosely based on the John Dory.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear’s gonna fall for that fake-eye trick, I just know it.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

That “meme” is terrible, John Dory.

 

 

2.5/10

 

 

 

[1]That would never happen though. Bad example.

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