Fruit bat

Fruit bat

Not as spooky as most other bats, the fruit bat is the perfect entry point into the order Chiroptera for beginners.

Special powers

It has the usual bat powers: flight, hanging upside-down from stuff. The fruit bat also has a tongue so long that when it’s not in use, most of it has to be stored in a pocket dimension within the fruit bat’s innards.

nyaaaaa

The fruit bat is part krampus.

It’s smart enough to eat fruit instead of bugs, a decision I’m sure most of us would agree with.

Weaknesses

The fruit bat feels a burning need to compose and publish comments on pornographic internet videos.

Despite there being 160 species of fruit bat, it lives exclusively in the Old World.[1] First off, that’s the past, man, and second, it’s just never been to Disney World? Euro Disney doesn’t count.

The fruit bat has no tail. It also lacks the facial skin folds that aid in echolocation in other bats. Fortunately, fruit is easier prey than insects.[2]

Number of legs

Two, plus wings.

Aliases

The fruit bat is also known as the megabat and flying fox. One of these names is inaccurate and the other seems braggy.

Celebrity birthdays

The fruit bat shares a birthday with…

  • Barenaked Ladies frontman Ed Robertson. An earlier version of the line “I’m the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral” was “I’m the kind of guy who cries at a child’s birthday party,” which itself was a replacement for the original line “I am like an opposites guy.”

  • The Premier League footballer known only as “¡Philip!

  • Kel Kimble, the man on whom the Nickelodeon character was based, as of 2000 tragically dead of a soda overdose.

What if it fought a bear?

Two animals or fruits enter. One animal or fruit leaves.

It doesn’t always win fights against fruit.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

“Megabat” may be braggy, but it’s not far off.

 

 

9/10

 

[1]There are bats that eat fruit in the New World, but they are from a different suborder. Don’t get it twisted.

[2]Hence the comparatively very low sales of fruit swatters.

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Blue jay

Blue jay

The crow family is not typically known for its good looks or outgoing nature, but today’s featured animal is something of a blue sheep in those regards. It’s the blue jay, and it’s both those things despite its familial ties.

Special powers

The blue jay has the gift of gab. The Kingfisher Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals uncharitably describes this by saying “The colorful but elusive jay is best known for its harsh, scraping call.”

It also has high-level television decision-making power. Along with its fellow executives, it has approved numerous new series to air in the 2015-16 season, as announced this week at “upfronts.”[1] These include…

Chicago Animal Control: From superstar producer Dick Wolf comes the latest tale of the men and women who keep the Windiest City safe. This team specializes in what can happen when our furry friends… become furry foes. From Wolf Films.

The Unit: Declassified: All your favorite heroes from the original run of The Unit are back in this special eventized limited edition foil-packaged series! Donald Palmsbert! Bill Ryan! Swan McTavish! Cara Burpentallh! Tex Negroni! Fott Scully! When a threat returns from their past infiltrates the highest levels of the government, only The Unit can be trusted to save the nation. From MiddKid Productions.

Pop Sensation: Contestants try desperately to win big prizes by popping balloons in several fast-paced party games, as hosted by Mr. T. From Millennium Squared Studios.

Thin-Skinned: Dr. Blake Berger (Adrian Pasdar) is one of the most talented dermatologists in the world. Ironically, the one skin the perpetually offended doctor can’t strengthen is his own. From Weebletone Signature.

Great Old One: This time, it’s Cthulhu who will start taking calls when the ancient water god comes up from the deep and helps Detective Joanna Thurston (Amber Stevens West) catch criminals. The mystery thickens when bodies start turning up related to a cult worshiping the Elder Things. From FlanderWest Studios.

Untitled Apparently Kid Project: A Pennsylvania child (Apparently Kid) strikes it rich at a carnival game and uses his newfound millionaire status to fund a documentary crew to follow his daily adventures. Apparently, it’s a wild ride! From Bruntwad Productions.

Oh Henry!: A sitcom about a man who just can’t stop overthinking things, and his friends who are at different points in their lives. Charles Shaughnessy, Larisa Oleynick and ALF star. From Cundleswick Studios.

Weaknesses

The blue jay experiences unironic emotion when hearing that Wiz Khalifa song from Furious 7.

It never uses crosswalks.

It has a neckbeard:

The sideburns are really something too.

The sideburns are really something too.

Number of legs

Two, plus wings.

Do I own a Beanie Baby of it?

Yes.

Unfortunate duties

Due to an ill-advised bet it made many years ago, the blue jay has to go every Friday to Hell to take sticks to the Devil. What does Satan do with sticks anyway?

Nothing good, we can presume.

Nothing good, we can presume.

What if it fought a bear?

It did try to fight a bear. The blue jay was so aggressive, the bear got freaked out and assumed against all evidence that the blue jay must know something about its fighting prowess that the bear didn’t, so it backed down. Score one for the blue jay.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

With the blue jay’s colors, it is probably my all-time number one favorite bird to look at. But those shows don’t look very good.

 

 

9.5/10

 

 

 

[1]This is a time when the networks are very “upfront” with everyone about how much they love Matthew Perry and Kyle Bornheimer.

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Barreleye

Barreleye

With most other animals, barrel-shaped eyes with an upward-facing default setting would be the weirdest thing about them. Not so for the barreleye. The barreleye does have those eyes, but it keeps them in a straight up see-through head.

It's not any happier about this than we are.

It’s not any happier about this than we are.

Special powers

The barreleye can see above itself very well. It loves the first row of the movie theatre.

Weaknesses

It’s always borrowing things from the siphonophores and not returning them. It has an excuse every time, but at a certain point, the problem is the barreleye’s.

It’s got no teeth.

Number of legs

None. Unless they’re just invisible. This requires further investigation. Uhhh incomplete.

Aliases

Spook fish, glass-head, ghostface swimmah, hombre.

What if it fought a bear?

There’s a pretty major weakness specifically highlighted on the barreleye.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

You’re an unreliable thief, barreleye. I see right through you. Sorry for the choice of words, but you know what I mean, weirdo.

 

 

3/10

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Praying mantis

Praying mantis

As one might guess, the praying mantis is very religious. Exactly what old god it prostrates itself before is known only to itself and to its victims when it whispers this secret just before biting their head off.

Special powers

The praying mantis is an expert in camouflage and cleanliness.

found you

I was lucky to find it and take this picture.

It is also very, very good at murder.

Weaknesses

The mantis is a Level 150 Nexus Paladin in its religion. That sounds impressive[1] until you hear that some of its peers at church are nearly Level 300. Don’t ask the mantis about it, though. Even hearing your question will taint the mantis’s aura with negativitatrons.

Number of legs

Six.

Fierceness factor

High.

Mating rituals

The female is larger than the male. It often starts eating the male immediately following coitus, as is its religious right. It is a voracious user of Tinder.

What’s its astrological sign?

Alibi. This is folded into its own belief set – how I don’t pretend to know.

What if it fought a bear?

It is a bug, and thus squashable.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The mantis doesn’t look so much like a real creature as it does concept art for a somewhat implausible movie alien. That’s pretty cool, if a little scary. Fortunately any fright is mitigated knowing that (a) it is far too small to bite my head off, and (b) we’re Facebook friends so I won’t come up on its Tinder.

That secretive religious stuff and all the murdering and cannibalism, though. That’s sketchy as all get out.

 

 

4.5/10

 

 

 

[1]If that’s the right word.

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Echidna

Echidna

Welcome back to Rate Every Animal! The hiatus was a little longer than planned, so today we bring you a real top-notch, primo selection: the echidna.

grade-A

Nice.

Special powers

The echidna is covered with spines. Even its four-headed penis[1] has its own kind of spines. It can become the world’s most dangerous volleyball.

no bump, no set, lots of spike

Do not serve this, Ice Man. You either, Maverick. I know you want to.

It has a bit of electroreception, a sense for electricity, and diggin’ claws.

Weaknesses

The echidna is a mammal, but it lays eggs. That’s what we call a serious identity crisis.

Also, it’s got no teeth.

Number of legs

Four.

The Kingfisher Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals Says

I have never been more disappointed in the Kingfisher Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals than when I saw it had no echidna entry.[2]

Wikipedia quote implying an unsettling disappointment

“Therefore, no one has ever seen an echidna ejaculate.”

What if it fought a bear?

The echidna goes so hard it left all its teeth on the hockey rinks of its youth. The bear lacks such dedication.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The echidna may just be making it up as it goes along, but it’s turned out wonderfully weird. I salute you, echidna. Please don’t show me your crazy penis.

 

 

9/10

 

 

 

[1]Oh, yeah, it has one of those too.

[2]Related: I have only rarely been more disappointed in my word processor than when I saw its spell check did not recognize “echidna.”

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Tetra

Tetra

As of this online web blog post, we are only a little more than a week away from Opening Day of the major league baseball season, the day when the commissioner opens up a baseball to find out what’s in there.[1] No one is more excited for baseball to begin than the tetra.

Look how big its smile is.

Look how big its smile is.

The tetra, you see, is a diehard baseball fan. It watches its favorite team play about 500 games a year, which is well over two thirds of a season! It can name the family lineage of Mr. Met going back six generations. It has a sizable collection of baseball cards, including…

    • Honus Wagner
    • Studs Bancker
    • Topsy Hartsel
    • Buddy Sachs
    • Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown
    • Boog Powell
    • Drum Duggan
    • Barclay Charles
    • Matt Stanchion
    • Knute Rockford
    • Bernie Titcomb
    • Slim Hardaway (a private investigator)
    • Harvey Kootz
    • Doc Abbey
    • Red Blackwell
    • Hamilton Leithauser
    • Chip Dipson
    • Dip Dobson
    • Bing Gardner
    • Cole Harbor Jr.
    • Fritz Ganon
    • Troy Brownfield
    • Phil Jimenez
    • Big Jim McLain
    • Slaw Johansson
    • Tom Ziljac
    • Chud Przlkzxby
    • Riggs Briggs
    • Leon J. Panetta
    • Flim Flammerman (a flim-flam man)
    • Slick Willie Gossett
    • Unus the Untouchabl
    • Gil Gilchrist
    • Billy Pope
    • Torg Arbuckle
    • Pudge Barrett
    • Sheen Splitcher
    • Jocko Blurst
    • Oyster Burns
    • Trent Hernandez
    • Keith Sweat
    • A six-foot party sub wearing a baseball cap
    • Buttercup Dickerson
    • Flip Chuntwad
    • Yutz Ploopie
    • Grim Fandango
    • Ngao Mbitu Lee
    • Jonah Beauregard
    • Jimmy Wolf
    • Ham Hamm
    • Bud Sexmagick
    • Walton Goggins
    • Cappy Fulmer
    • Stoddard
    • Leonard Snart
    • Bumpus Gunkle
    • Cradley Booper
    • Dread Forrestor The Tree Lord
    • Glenn John
    • Yahoo Sirius XM
    • Ned Geggus
    • Moses Farrell
    • Horace Hornswaggler
    • Dewey Defeatstruman
    • Jack Krampus
    • Muddy Samson
    • Dick Peppers
    • Ponyboy Dunn
    • Alabama (the band)
    • Otto Van Buxley
    • Spitwad Mullitzer
    • Oaky Pinewood
    • Ollie-Ollie-Oxenfree Smith
    • Fatty Mack
    • Charlie Schlong
    • The Baseball Furies
    • Scoops Turkel
    • Percy Childs
    • Denethor Driscoll
    • Beagle Bagley
    • Vic Wittels
    • Finn Berkelbach
    • Spuds MacKenzie
    • Dick Hunt
    • The Duke Ellington of Kicking Sand
    • Fivel Ladew
    • Pop Carroll
    • Pappy Figgemeier
    • Dad Yuengling
    • Pitch-A-Tron
    • Tug Mazzetti
    • Deacon Flick
    • Erve Scheffler
    • Air Bud

…As well as many other cards, too many[2] to list.

Special powers

The tetra is exceedingly patient.

Weaknesses

The tetra thinks its reflection is another fish. Way to go, idiot.

Number of legs

No.

Favorite video game

NHL: Eastside Hockey Manager 2007. I know; it’s inexplicable.

What if it fought a bear?

The tetra doesn’t stand a chance. The bear can just stop buying fish food.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

I should probably mention the tetra is a big-time embezzler. You can get way cooler fish for your aquarium who won’t abuse your trust for financial gain.

 

 

2/10

 

 

 

 

[1]Usually it’s more baseball, but if the commissioner sees his shadow, there may be six more weeks of spring training.

[2]Seven.

Programming note: Rate Every Animal will be on hiatus for a week or two. Hope to see you soon.

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Terror bird

Terror bird

It is more properly known as the phorusrhacid, but those who met it[1] knew it by another name: terror bird.

artist's interpretation

Its mom called it Elroy (she always preferred its middle name).

Special powers

The terror bird walked South America millions of years ago on big ol’ talons. It stood two or three meters tall, making it a very big boy. It would grab prey in its huge beak and smash it against the ground until it would stop moving. This technique is practiced today by the roadrunner[2] and Rob Lowe.

This is the terror bird's skull next to some keys. Have fun thinking about how big this thing was!

This is the terror bird’s skull next to some keys. Have fun thinking about how big this thing was!

Oh, and also it instilled terror in its foes with its demonic powers it learned from a correspondence course.

Weaknesses

It couldn’t fly.

It also couldn’t look in a mirror without accidentally terrifying itself, so its wigs were frequently askew.

Number of legs

Two.

Who terrifies the terror bird?

I don’t know, God I guess.

Fierceness factor

100%.

Reason for extinction

Stunted too hard on a crotch rocket.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear has not often known fear, but the terror bird could fix that.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The terror bird lives up to its name just on pure physicality, before you factor in the dark arts. It just had terrible decision-making.

 

8.5/10

 

 

 

[1]And those who don’t have a trophy room dedicated to commemorating their spelling bee triumphs.

[2]“Meep meep” translates roughly to “My thirst for blood shall soon be slaked.”

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Dana octopus squid

Dana octopus squid

Take a long, hard look at this critter.

dana octopus squid caught on camera

No short, soft looks.

Is it octopus? Is it squid? Is it Dana? I tricked you; it is the Dana octopus squid.

Special powers

The Dana octopus squid can flash bright lights from its arms to confuse and blind its enemies or communicate across long distances or put on the most complex shadow puppet plays you could ever care to witness.

On each of these arms – of which there are eight – are claws.

Weaknesses

Having claws on top of suckers on tentacles makes the Dana octopus squid just about the worst at hugs.

Number of legs

Eight.

Apology Corner

I’m sorry I tricked you earlier with my clever intro section prank.

Magazine subscriptions

No earthly post office will deliver to the deep deep sea the Dana octopus squid makes its home. It has to get by on whatever vintage Hustlers sink into its grasp.

What if it fought a bear?

It would demolish the bear.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

The Dana octopus squid is very mysterious, mildly pervy, and a genius in the art of shadow puppetry.

 

 

7.5/10

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Boll weevil

Boll weevil

The leaf-rolling weevil isn’t the only creative mind in the weevil family. While it writes for television and rolls leaves, the boll weevil specializes in ghostwriting lyrics for popular musicians and eating cotton.

Special powers

It’s real good at eating cotton.

boll weevil

Too good, some say.

There’s also the songwriting thing. It has contributed lines to many famous artists.

Drake:

“I watch Thundercats and think of you.
Think of you
Think of you
‘Cause you look like Cheetarah an’ you cheat wit’ Ira.
I see you driving in that Buick Lucerne.
You’re too good for a car with only a three-power-circle J.D. Power rating, girl.
I hope you know it.”

Modest Mouse:

Well we JUMped uUP O-ver the moOOn. And cauught our owwn tAIl.
And kept it in a CAUFfin. Of our OWN de-SIGN.
BUT ALL THESE JUNKYARD DOGS ARE SINKIN
A GREAT BIG CRAB STOLE ALL OUR JOB
WELLLLLL WE NEVER MET THE PEEEOPLE THAT WE WERE
IF YOU’RE CALLIN’ THAT A TROPHY THEN I’LL EAT A SACK OF SHIT
AHAHAHA.
AHAHAHA?”

The Hold Steady:

“She used to party on drugs that she bought from Jimmy and Shakey.
She got drunk and passed out; now everything’s aching.
Some townies came by in an ATV and offered ’em rides.
Jim said you can almost see heaven if you turn on the brights.”

Lil Wayne:

“Real Gs move in silence like lasagna.”

(The Gs refer to “Garfields.” This was a subtle jab at Tiny Wayne, a rapper looking to usurp Lil’, whose favorite comic character is Nermal.[1] Tiny Wayne quickly passed out of public consciousness as people could only barely hear his wee little voice.)

Jimmy Buffett:

(The boll weevil collaborated with Jimmy Buffett on the songs “Two Sandals and a Guitar,” “Pineapples on Mosquito Gulf,” “Beach Bumming,” “Heart of a Pirate, Soul of a Poet,” “Sunshine Soup,” “The Captain’s Daiquiri,” “Papaya in San Juan,” “I Wanna Dance With The Equator,” “Put A Lime In It,” and “Boat Drinks.”)

Weaknesses

Pesticide and patricide.

Number of legs

Six.

Circumstances of birth

The boll weevil is born inside a cottonball and eats its way out, just like that dream I had.

Does it have a monument named after it?

There's the plaque

Yes.

Related sports teams

The University of Arkansas at Monticello plays sports under the name of the boll weevil, and aren’t you jealous?

What if it fought a bear?

Little known fact, the bear is made of a kind of strong cotton and the boll weevil will tear that thing up.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

The boll weevil has accomplished a lot for a little bug. It’s actually kind of too bad its son will kill it.

 

 

6.5/10

 

 

 

[1]“Noooo,” Tiny Wayne is often heard to say as he opens the newspaper, “not Abu Dhabi again. You deserve a thousand Mondays, you cruel beast.”

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Lovebird

Lovebird

The lovebird and I have a lot in common. Mate for life? Check? Love to nuzzle beaks? Check. Enjoy the works of Sir Conan Arthur Doyle? Check. Beautiful plumage? Check.

Special powers

The lovebird is one of the greatest flautists of all time. It hides a micro-flute in its throat and pretends it’s just a natural singing voice, but it’s totally a micro-flute.

It mates for life.

It's not shallow about looks.

It’s not shallow about looks.

Weaknesses

It mates for life, so it has to listen to the irritating way its partner eats seeds until the day it dies.

The lovebird over-microwaves popcorn every time.

Number of legs

Two.

Nemeses

The lovebird is at constant word with the wrathbird, the fearbird and all the other negative emotionbirds.

What if it fought a bear?

The power of love is a curious thing. Make one bear weep, make another bear sing.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

Oh, lovebird. Why won’t you admit to your incredible musical ability? We want to celebrate you. But you don’t care. You’re sooooo happy.

What do you have that I don't? Wings and world-class talent? That's probably it.

What do you have that I don’t? Wings and world-class talent? That’s probably it.

 

 

8.5/10

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