Author Archives: nscranor

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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American legless lizard

American legless lizard

Guys. Guys, can you all just this once, please please be cool? Puh-leeeeeeease. Just. Be. Cool. Okay?

The American legless lizard doesn’t know it’s a snake.

FOR ONCE.

BE. COOL.

It’s not your place or mine to tell the American legless lizard otherwise. It is our place to be cool.

Special powers

Unlike most snakes, the American legless lizard has eyelids. It likes to point this out as if it’s some kind of crucial difference that makes it not a snake. Just play along, all right?

It can detach its own tail to confound and horrify others.

As an American, it has all the freedoms granted it by the Bill of Rights. It doesn’t have to quarter anybody, and it doesn’t!

Weaknesses

The thing’s got no dang legs.

Number of legs

None.

Celebrity birthdays

The American legless lizard shares a birthday with…

  • Jan Berenstain, children’s author. People remember the author creating the “Berenstein Bears,” but it was actually “Berenstain’s Monsters.”
  • Mia Wasikowska, who died one hundred years ago this very night and hasn’t let it slow her down.

  • Melanie Williams, the secret third Williams sister.

Importance level of its Wikipedia article

Low.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear doesn’t care about detachable tails. It considers most tails detachable.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The American legless lizard needs to stop deluding itself. But I’m overstepping my bounds even by saying that in confidence.[1] I’m sorry. I should just be cool. The American legless lizard usually is. Cool, that is.

7/10

[1]This blog is just between you and me, right?

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Roadrunner

Roadrunner

The famous musical rapper Jay-Z once said, “Allow me to reintroduce myself.” That is inevitably what I would like to do in addition as well. My name is Randall. Nathan, who usually writes this Internet site, is my older cousin. In the past I have provided guest posts as a writing exorcism so that my essays at school will be better, more improved, and get good grades.

Today, I am rating the roadrunner, which I agreed to before I knew it was another bird, which I have stated before that I do not like because they are almost always very boring. This is the roadrunner:

Remember to put a caption in

Remember to put a caption in

Special powers

The roadrunner has the fastest running speed of any bird who can also fly. I’m not a sciencetist but I’ve been thinking about this a lot and I think it means there are birds that can’t fly that are faster at running. And there are birds that can fly faster, like for example’s sake the falcon, which is cool and good. For these reasons, I believe the Loony Toons cartoons are exaggerated.

Therefore, we can conclude that it is only sometimes able to trick coyotes into suicide.

Weaknesses

It can’t fly, despite being a stupid bird.

Number of legs

Two.

Number of toes

Four on each foot, half forward-ways and half backwards.

Chief imports and exports

According to the CIA Factbook, “Your search – roadrunner – did not match any documents.”

What if it fought a bear?

No offense, but so what if it did? I don’t think we should judge it because of the principal of don’t be a hater. I think if more people were as open-minded about not judging people for getting in fights, there would be less people in detention.

Is it noble?

I don’t know.

Final rating

The roadrunner may be a bird, but it at least is different enough that I didn’t realize that when I agreed to review it. This then does beg a question if Nathan decepted me on purpose. But at any rate, I will be kinder to the roadrunner in my rating than I would to a more typical and less unique bird.

In conclusion, the roadrunner is a land of contrasts.

 

 

4.5/10

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Pill bug

Pill bug

Let’s get it straight. The pill bug is no insect.

So what is this?

So what is this?

It is a land-based crustacean. While most other crustaceans live in the ocean or on the beach, the pill bug lives under a tree that fell over. That’s just poor judgment.

Special powers

The pill bug can curl up into a ball for defensive purposes and purposes of rolling around.

It can also uncurl.

It can also uncurl.

Weaknesses

Its poor judgment.

Number of legs

Fourteen.

Aliases

The pill bug is known to scientists as armadillidium vulgare. It is known in the flea circus as The Living Ball. It is known to its college friends as the potato bug, due to something crazy it did in the horticulture lab. It is known to its elementary friends as doodle bug, because young kids are bad at names. It is known as the sowbug to people who met it through a mutual acquaintance it didn’t expect to see again and gave a false name to years ago. It is known as the roly poly bug to its most intimate friends.

Other ratings of the pill bug

When asked to weigh in on the pill bug, 2016 presidential candidates had diverse opinions.

Marco Rubio: “The pill bug has been nothing but a disaster for America.”

Hillary Clinton: “I mean, maybe it’s not fun to have a pill bug. Maybe it’s more fun to have a dog or a cat. But you just have to suck it up and accept that sometimes your apartment complex doesn’t allow larger pets and it’s the most practical option. Thank you for your question, human friend.”

Rand Paul: “I don’t need the federal government coming in and telling me what is and isn’t an insect. To me, the pill bug is an insect, and if you want me to think otherwise, then get the people of America to pass a Constitutional amendment that says so. Until then, it’s my protected right.”

Jeb! Bush: “Uh, pass.”

Ted Cruz: “They are, however, cherished among children, who enjoy keeping them as pets.”[1]

Chris Christie: “On 9/11, the pill bug was nowhere to be seen. Not me, I was there when the first tower was hit right here in downtown! New! Jersey! Let me hear you! The Jerseyboys ride again!!”

Mike Huckabee: “I think we were too quick to rush to judgment about Charles Manson.”

Deez Nuts: “You know what else is roly poly?”

Bernie Sanders: “Look, it is outrageous that here, in the richest country on the planet, when 80% of species are insects, that we are calling a crustacean a bug. The bottom 2% of 31% of fallen trees, in real numbers, year over year, accounting for inflation, are home to 89% of pill bugs with on average 95% of their expected legs still attached. I don’t think it should be radical to point that out.”

Ben Carson: “You know… [unintelligible] a bug and it’s segmented [unintelligible]. I think it’s ridiculous [snoring].”

Jim Gilmore: “I am Jim Gilmore.”

Donald Trump: “The pill bug’s a loser; nobody respects it. Quite frankly, a lot of these crustaceans, they’re idiots, they’re parasites, they’re snapping people on their little butts with claws. And some, I assume, are nice. What I would do is get rid of the pill bug, get it out of here. And the second part of my plan is to solve all the problems.”

What if it fought a bear?

The pill bug can wait the bear out in a timed match, but it has no hope if it needs to get a KO.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

I’m aware I am stepping in a hot political controversy by taking a stance on the pill bug. But that’s the kind of risk I accepted when I decided to get into the animal-rating game. So get ready for a hot take…

 

 

5/10

 

 

 

 

[1]This quote turned out to be plagiarized word for word from Wikipedia.

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Jorunna parva

Jorunna parva

Both great successes and serial killers inspire copycats. We still don’t know which of those the rabbit is. The existence of its copycat the jorunna parva gets us no closer to figuring it out.

What... are... you...?

What… are… you…?

It is a sea slug.

Special powers

Those little protruberances that look like rabbit ears are sensory organs that guide it to food, mates and the best deals on mobile phones and accessories.

It’s big in Japan.

Also, I have bad news for would-be predators of the jorunna parva: it is extremely toxic.

Weaknesses

Because of that toxicity, it rarely gets hugs.

It’s not particularly mobile. It just sort of scoots along the ocean floor, never once jumping or running or dancing. It didn’t get Footloose at all.

Its hero worship of the rabbit runs deep. If the rabbit says it’s cool to do something, the jorunna parva will do it if it can. That’s fine when it comes to innocent stuff like eating carrots, but could easily lead the jorunna parva astray.

Number of legs

None.

Celebrity birthdays

The jorunna parva shares a birthday with…

  • Nate Silver, who grew up calling his birthday “numbers day” for the number on the cake and never stopped calling it that and it’s pretty weird now.

  • Shelvin Mack, professional basketball player and amateur Level 28 Ranger in his weekly D&D game.[1]

  • Keith Villa, founder of Blue Moon Brewing Company, who in the early days of his company would bring bags of oranges to bars to tell the bartenders about them. “Here comes the orange bag man we call Keith,” the bartenders would say. “He was born in a bag and he thought an orange was the sun.” And they were right.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear shouldn’t even touch the jorunna parva.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

The jorunna parva is the most charismatic sea slug, but that’s fainter praise than it deserves. I just hope it’s not idolizing a killing machine.

 

 

7.5/10

 

 

 

[1]Elven Shelvin, they call Mack. His character, they call Skleet LaRue.

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Hogfish

Hogfish

What’s up, everybody!

photo: jetskibrian.com

Hey hey hey, y’all!

Today I’d like to talk to you about the hogfish. So I will.

Special powers

The hogfish starts out female and then about three years into its life, becomes male. Because it does what it wants.

Weaknesses

The hogfish got its name by hogging all the popcorn. You’re ruining movie night, hogfish!

Number of legs

No.

Drink of choice

Coors Heavy – it’s ready to drink when the lead mountains turn blue and extra-toxic!

Wikipedia’s Talk Page Says

“Calling this fish a ‘dick’ is not vandalism.”

What if it fought a bear?

Why would it though?

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The hogfish is a decisive iconoclast. Despite the libel of Wikipedia’s Talk Page, that does not make it a bad person fish. Its ungiving stance toward food-sharing comes close, though.

 

 

7.5/10

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Bushbaby

Bushbaby

Bushbaby, bushbaby, give me your paw / Give me somethin’ with a sharp grooming claw.” It’s as true today as it was when musical parody artist Odd Toby sang it to the tune of Beach Baby by The First Class.

Special powers

Unlike most other animals larger than a bug, the bushbaby helps to pollinate plants, because it is more thoughtful than the others.

It's a good egg.

It’s a good egg.

The bushbaby has incredible jumping skills. It has been recorded doing a standing jump of 7 and a half feet. That’s really good. Perhaps too good.

It considers urine a viable communication strategy.

Oh, and obviously it has good night vision.

Weaknesses

The bushbaby’s sight comes at a price, with its eminently pokeable peepers.

Number of legs

Four.

Choice Wikipedia quote

“Social grooming is performed more often by males in the group. Females often reject the attempts made by the males to groom them.”

Women, right?

Aliases

The bushbaby is also known as the galago, WeezerFan90, and the nagapie (Afrikaans for “little night monkey”).

What if it fought a bear?

See the weaknesses category. The bushbaby’s gonna end up blind.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

As I alluded to earlier, the bushbaby’s preternatural leaping is so impressive, it possibly crosses the line from cool to scary. Picture this thing…

bushbaby-creepy

…with its enormous eyes and long, grasping, calloused fingers flying from ground level up to your face in an instant. And if it has something to say to you, it might be spraying urine as it does so. The bushbaby has good intentions, but it’s still creepy.

 

 

 

6.5/10

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Zebra

Zebra

When I began this internet web blog four years and 199 animals ago, I started with the aardvark. I did so because the aardvark is the first animal alphabetically, and I had to start somewhere. [Ed. Note: You did not have to start. We all wish you hadn’t.] Today, with my 200th animal rating, to celebrate the site’s fourth anniversary, I am featuring the other side of the coin dictionary: the zebra.[1]

There’s a critical question that comes with the territory when discussing the zebra. Namely, how do I tell it from the horse? Well boy have I got a lifehack for you. Just check for protruberances on the back of its hind legs called chestnuts! The horse has them on all four limbs, but the zebra only has the front two.[2]

Also, it has stripes.

Also, it has stripes.

Special powers

In a herd, the zebra’s stripes can create a disorienting effect that makes it hard to zero in on any one zebra. This is why the zebra is known as “the sniper’s foil.”

Furthermore, the zebra is capable of breeding with similar species, leading to the creation of the zorse, zony or zedonk (known collectively as zebroids).

Nice leggings, kid!

Nice leggings, kid!

Weaknesses

It can’t change its stripes.

Number of legs

Four.

Favorite video game

PaRappa The Rapper.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear will have to catch it first.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

“Zedonk” is one of the greatest words, and we owe its existence to the zebra. Beyond that, it’s just a rock-solid animal. It doesn’t have the incredible career of the horse, but it looks considerably cooler and won’t sell out its principles for an apple.

 

 

10/10

 

 

[1]To be clear, this is not my final animal rating. Fingers crossed that I don’t ride a rollercoaster that flies off the track and explodes before next week, despite what the prophecy predicts.

 

[2]I got this pro-tip from the Kingfisher Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals, in which “chestnuts” happens to land on a line-break and is essentially rendered as “chest-nuts,” which makes the word look a million times grosser.

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Slowbro

Slowbro

To make it up to you for last week being bereft of animal ratings, today we’re featuring a double shot of sorts: the Slowbro.

Two for the price of one.

Two for the price of one.

The Slowbro is a Pokémon,[1] which means it can be domesticated, trained to fight or carry humans across bodies of water, and fits in a small ball or a madman’s computer network. It is essentially a Slowpoke that is being bitten on the tail by what the Pokédex describes as a Shellder. This is the widely accepted explanation, despite the fact that that thing on its tail is clearly not a Shellder.

This is a Shellder. I don't need to be a Pokémon professor to see the difference.

This is a Shellder. I don’t need to be a Pokémon professor to see the difference.

Special powers

The Slowbro has access to water and psychic attacks, along with all their respective type advantages.

Perhaps more notably, it does not feel pain. That’s not just something some trainer tells you when he’s trying to brag; that’s a real fact.

Under special circumstances, it can transform itself into something called Mega-Slowbro.

Weaknesses

This is what Mega-Slowbro is:

Come on now. This is ridiculous. Even the Slowbro looks upset by this development.

Come on now. This is ridiculous. Even the Slowbro looks upset by this development.

Also: Bug, Ghost, Grass, Electric and Dark Types.

Number of legs

Two.

Insightful Bulbapedia Quote

“Slowbro is a combination of slow and bro (short for brother).”

What if it fought a bear?

Given that the bear is a Normal-type, neither animal would have an advantage.

Is it noble?

The Slowbro, yes. That thing called a Shellder? No.

Final rating

The Slowbro is an amiable sort with an apt name. That mystery creature with intentions to devour it alive is some kind of demonic parasite attempting to pass for a real animal – and insulting us with the transparency of its deception.

 

 

Slowbro: 7/10

“Shellder”: 1.5/10

 

 

 

[1]You may remember hearing about Pokémon on an episode of ABC’s Norm.

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Man o’ war

Man o’ war

When an animal also goes by the floating terror, there are going to be a lot of expectations on it. Will the man o’ war live up to either of its dramatic names? You be the judge.

Well, actually, I will be the judge but please feel free to write your own score down at home and show it to no one.

Well, actually, I will be the judge but please feel free to write your own score down at home and show it to no one.

Special powers

The man o’ war is equipped with a venomous sting.

Weaknesses

It has an extremely limited capacity to move itself. It floats on the ocean surface, subject to the whims of the winds and waves. It can manipulate gases inside itself to sink a little and use a “sail” on its body to give itself some direction. That is better than a stupid plant, but pretty pathetic for an animal.

Number of legs

Not applicable.

Nemeses

The man o’ war particularly despises the blanket octopus for its immunity to its venom, the loggerhead turtle for having skin too thick to sting (and for eating the man o’ war on the regular), and Meghan Trainor for canceling her planned concert in international waters in the mid-Atlantic. To a lesser (but still substantial) degree, it also hates everyone who has ever lived.

What is its secret?

The man o’ war’s deep secret is that it is not actually a single organism, but instead a colony of specialized “zooids” which cannot truly function individually.

What if it fought a bear?

That bear’s getting stung. Unless the wind gently blows the man o’ war somewhere else.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

It planned on trying to sting Meghan Trainor; I just know it. Fortunately for her and all us would-be victims, its aggression is balanced by its inability to move sizable distances with purpose. It is by far the animal most like if a piece of day-glo driftwood was holding a poison-tipped shiv and seethed with hatred at all life.

 

3/10

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