On the beach, you’re likely to encounter many kinds of animals. Some of them live there all the time*; some are tourists making an infrequent trip**; a few are independently wealthy. The plover is in the latter camp, earning six figures from its medical career.

Special powers

The plover didn’t go to years of dental school to not be an amazing dentist. It went there because its parents pressured it.

Now I don’t know if you’ve been to the dentist lately, but it is a horrifying experience… for the patient. The plover’s business model flips this script, as it specializes in the treatment of the crocodile. The small plover plies its trade from the inside of the crocodile’s mouth.

croc and plover

In addition to its normal copay, the plover gets to keep whatever rare valuables it finds in the crocodile’s mouth. Its eBay seller rating is high as heck.


The plover has got the limpest handshake you’ll ever encounter. Granted, it’s technically a wingshake, but c’mon. It makes a fish look like trucker/cinematic hero Lincoln Hawk.

Over the Top

Which reminds me: the plover looks ridiculous in a hat, too. Mark that down as a weakness.

Number of legs



There are many kinds of the plover. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The piping plover, the only bird to have perfected indoor plumbing.
  • The killdeer, so named for its call, which is at the exact frequency needed to give the deer a fatal embolism.
  • The greater sand plover, who rules.
  • The lesser sand plover, who sucks.
  • The Javan plover, a rhinoceros who was switched at birth.
  • The Forbes’s plover, famous for its obsessive list-making.
  • The wrybill, who is totally the “Samantha” of the group.
  • Danny Plover, who is getting too old for this sand.
  • The Schindler’s plover: (see Forbes’s plover)


If its nest is threatened, the plover will put on a broken wing act, which is a one-“act” play in which it pretends to have a “broken wing.” Predators who were just about to literally eat babies will walk over to see if the plover is okay, at which point the small bird will poke them in the eye and fly away, returning only to take its bow and thank everyone who made the production possible: its agent, its acting coach Phillip, its family for its love and support, and everyone who still cares enough about the theater to come out to see an off-off-Broadway one-bird-show. This is usually when the predator eats the plover.

broken wing act

“I’m comin’ to join ya, Elizabeth!”

What if it fought a bear?

Now there’s some teeth the plover can’t handle.

Is it noble?


Final rating

Finally a bird providing a real service to society beyond deliciousness. It’s a shame it isn’t less pretentious.





*Beach bums

**Professional or amateur zoologists can identify these individuals by their fanny packs.

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