Category Archives: mammals

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.

Tagged , , ,

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

Tagged , , , ,

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

Tagged , , , , , ,

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

Tagged , , , ,

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.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Red-handed tamarin

Red-handed tamarin

Because the red-handed tamarin has gold hands, it is also known as the golden-handed tamarin.

You can see why.

You can see why.

Because of its ability to turn everything it touches into gold, it is also known as the Midas tamarin.

Special powers

The red-handed tamarin turns everything it touches into gold. It is the richest, loneliest monkey.

It is an extremely nimble climber, strong jumper and wise counselor.

The locust pictured above got very good advice in the moment before it died a golden death.

The locust pictured above got very good advice in the moment before it died a golden death.

Weaknesses

It turns everything it touches into gold. You can’t eat gold. And neither can the red-handed tamarin. An unpaid intern feeds it smoothies every day to a) keep the red-handed tamarin alive and b) have more experience on her résumé. Some critics say the red-handed tamarin should just eat things with gold silverware[1], but the red-handed tamarin has blocked them all on Twitter.

Number of legs

Four.

Celebrity birthdays

The red-handed tamarin shares a birthday with…

  • Ian Craig Marsh, who convinced his bandmates in The Human League not to name themselves The Definitely Not Sentient Plants Bunch.

  • Emily Cranston, developer of the Rally’s “You Gotta Eat” campaign, which was the second draft of her original slogan pitch “It’s Better Than Starving!”

  • Spuds MacKenzie, the original party animal.

Potent quotables

“Major League is a slam dunk!” – the tamarin’s review of the 1989 film Major League

What if it fought a bear?

One touch and the red-handed tamarin has a new bear statue.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

Don’t touch the red-handed tamarin.

 

 

2.5/10

 

 

[1]Goldware.

Tagged , , , , ,

Peccary

Peccary

Did you know Josh T. from elementary school isn’t the only one to sometimes go by “skunk pig?” So does the peccary!

sooo good for its skin

Dirt is its favorite.

Unlike Josh T., the peccary works in the music industry. Currently, it is waist-deep in sorting through Billy Joel’s submitted lyrics for a sequel song to We Didn’t Start the Fire, which seem especially tonally inappropriate and possibly present some copyright implications.[1]

Special powers

The peccary’s stomach has three chambers, a mere thirty-three short of ideal.

It’s real good at identifying any monument on sight. Washington? Boom. Identified. Arc de Triomphe? Knew it in a heartbeat. Atomic Bomb Dome? You can’t trick the peccary with that one.

Weaknesses

Unlike the pig, the peccary only has three toes per hind foot.

It has ordered and ate the new hot dog bites pizza from Pizza Hut twice already.

Number of legs

Four.

Potent quotables

“People like to say nothing rhymes with purple but what about nurple?”

 – the peccary

Sample lyrics from We Still Didn’t Start That Fire From Before

James Cameron’s Avatar! Obama’s healthcare law!

Guitar Hero! Pikachu! Hurricane in the bayou!

Teletubbies might be gay! They can get married anyway!

Dubstep! Kangaskhan! FOX airs and cancels The Swan!

Peter Pan Live on NBC! Seriously!

Man’ti Te’o’s girlfriend! One Direction meets their end!

The Blacklist! I Can’t Breathe! Entourage on silver screens!

Edward Snowden! WikiLeaks! Robin Thicke! Eyebrows on fleek!

Ghost Protocol! Magnemite! Meowth! Drone strikes!

Politoed! Benghazi! Ash says goodbye to Butterfree!

Zubat! Zubat! Zubat Zubat Zubat!

What’s its astrological sign?

Tumor.

What if it fought a bear?

It would lose, but it would squirm and squeal in a way that really drags the whole thing out.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The pig got a 9. The skunk got a 2. I give the “skunk pig” a…

 

5/10

 

 

 

[1]It’s a task the blue whale delegated to it.

Tagged , , , , ,

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.

Tagged , , ,

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.”

Tagged , , , , ,

Maned wolf

Maned wolf

Are you ever looking at the fox and thinking, “Man, this is a pretty good animal, but I wish it were taller. And not in a proportional way. Like, taller in a bizarre stretched out way.” Well fret no longer, weirdo! The maned wolf is there for you.

oops

There it is. Ol’ Forgot-To-Check-Maintain-Aspect-Ratio.

It’s not actually a fox on stilts, though that rumor has dogged it all its life.[1] It’s not actually a wolf either, despite the name.

Special powers

The maned wolf communicates through urine. That’s a code no spy will want to spend time breaking. It once peed all over a manuscript in what was interpreted as a grave insult to the author, but turned out to be extensive notes for editing. Emily Brontë incorporated the maned wolf’s ideas and her draft of what was then called “Wuthering Lengths” was drastically improved.

Also, for a canine? It’s real tall.

Weaknesses

That communicative pee I mentioned happens to smell strongly of weed[2], which leads to it getting hassled by law enforcement and disqualified from jobs that drug test.

It never has enough leg room.

Number of legs

Four, and they go alllll the way to the paws.

Diet

The maned wolf eats a variety of animals and plants, but most of all it loves to chow down on wolf apples. As a treat named for its most famous connoisseur, the wolf apple is considered “Nature’s Scooby Snack.”

What’s its astrological sign?

Diplodicus.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear’s fighting style is not particularly suited to dealing with the kickboxing flair of the maned wolf’s.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The maned wolf uses the good looks of the fox (its greatest strength), with a unique twist, but loses the fox’s greatest weakness (its personality). It loses a half-point for insufficient mane, as I don’t take well to false advertising. As for the pee thing… I mean, honestly, the writing tips are good but everything else about it makes that aspect at best a wash.

But if you have a good heart, a tolerance for pot smell, and access to wolf apples, the maned wolf can be the best friend you’ll ever have. Better than Brian, even. And Brian was your best man.

 

 

8/10

 

 

 

 

[1]No pun intended, one pun achieved – 360 no scope. Kobe!

 

[2]I’m talkin’ ’bout ganja, reefer, grass, kush, first national dank, wacky tobaccy, zany cabbage, Mephisto’s leaf, Mary Kay, funky monkey, hummus deluxe, Google Plus, McNuggets, hash, nip, kemp, gronk, chum, the chancellor’s herb.

Tagged , , , , , ,