Category Archives: noble

Earthworm

[Programming note: I should acknowledge that this blog sure doesn’t seem to be weekly any more. You can subscribe to get word when a new animal goes up either through the RSS feed or the email form near the bottom of every page, and of course I’ll always share the links on Twitter and Facebook.]

Earthworm

Maybe this is just homerism, but I truly believe that Earth has the greatest worms in the galaxy. Our flagship worm, of course, is the earthworm.

earthworm

Represent!

Of course even I must admit they and all our other worms could possibly be bested by the sand worms of Arrakis, if they really are as described, but I think all that’s just some of Frank Herbert’s signature hyperbole.

Special powers

There are two categories of time travel: Hot Tub and Not Tub. The earthworm’s falls into the latter, as it uses “wormholes” for interdimensional travel. All the major time periods, like the Jurassic Period, the Gilded Age, the Attitude Era… they’re all at the earthworm’s metaphorical fingertips.

Should it get injured in its adventures through time and space, the earthworm has a tremendous healing factor. It can regenerate from just a li’l nubbin’.[1]

Also, it possesses both male and female sex organs, allowing the earthworm to line up with its partner and perform what’s known as “Sixty-Nine 2, the sequel to the hit.”

Weaknesses

The earthworm has no skeleton anywhere – not on the inside, not on the outside, not even one stored away in a closet for a rainy day.

It also has no eyes. It thinks of this approach to having a body as “no frills” but in my opinion there are some corners you just don’t cut.

Number of legs

None.

Missed opportunities

It’s kind of messed up that the earthworm can visit all of time and space and all it does with this power is dig around in the dirt, but it makes the soil better for plants, so I shouldn’t complain. Thanks, I guess.

What if it fought a bear?

All the earthworm has to do is open a wormhole in the bear’s middle, destroying it both forwards and backwards along its timeline. That’s why you never see the bear fighting the earthworm. I’m sure you’ve wondered.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

Thank you for all you do, earthworm. But do something nice for yourself and get some eyes.

 

 

8.5/10

 

 

[1]Scientific term.

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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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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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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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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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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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