Category Archives: noble

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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Treehopper

Treehopper

Have you ever known a hat guy? The treehopper is the hat guy of the animal kingdom. Its usual “go-to” headgear is an unobtrusive green number. If you didn’t notice it was attached to its head you might think the treehopper was just a humpy little bug instead of a tremendously odd little bug.

Relatively reasonable.

Relatively reasonable.

Not all its hats are so subtle.

RImage  FRENCH GUYANA - SEPTEMBER 2005: Bocydium globulare, fullface. The sensory hairs or sensillae around the little balls may act as a warning for the insect by capturing air vibrations when any predators approach. (Photo by Patrick Landmann/Exclusive by Getty Images)

This is just too much.

Special powers

Some of these crazy hats have certain advantages. The hairy globes above serve as a disincentive for anyone considering eating the treehopper. Its antler hat gained it access to the hottest deer club in town.

“I don't see your name on the li-... Oh I'm sorry, sir. Welcome to Salt Lick.”

“I don’t see your name on the li-… Oh I’m sorry, sir. Welcome to Salt Lick.”

Weaknesses

It calls socks “foot hats.”

The treehopper’s more elaborate hats have drawbacks in terms of mobility.

The wings just seem overly optimistic here.

The wings just seem overly optimistic here.

Number of legs

Six.

Is it secretly balding?

I don’t know for sure, but it has to be, right?

Choice Wikipedia Quote

“Distinguishing males from females is accomplished only by looking at the genitalia.”

What if it fought a bear?

It would lose.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

It’s not intrinsically wrong to be a hat guy. But there’s limits, and the treehopper does not recognize them. It will go full Duchess-of-Chiquita-at-the-Kentucky-Derby, regardless of whether the venue is appropriate for it.

Dial it back, treehopper.

Like, a lot.

Like, way back.

 

2/10

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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.

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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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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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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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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.

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Tilapia

Tilapia

This past Sunday was Big Game Sunday, when two teams battle it out in the Gridiron Mega-Bonanza for the chance to hoist the sport’s highest honor, the Points-a-lot Metal Ball as fun-time good color paper falls all around them on the grassed court. But the sportsing isn’t the only thing drawing hundreds of viewers every year. Many around the world – the tilapia included – love to watch it… for the commercials!!!!!!!!

You hear the corporations' messages about the products on purpose? So subversive and interesting!!!!

You hear the corporations’ messages about the products on purpose? So subversive and interesting!!!!

In celebration of the tilapia, let’s look back at some of this year’s most notable advertisements.

  • A goofy five-o’-clock-shadowed dude in a plaid button-up tried to store Pace brand salsa inside William “The Refrigerator” Perry, to his gorgeous wife’s consternation.

  • Bud Light, in an effort to test whether he was truly Up For Whatever, tricked a rookie cop into smoking PCP and handling a murder weapon with bare hands.

  • GoDaddy just straight up showed forty technically non-explicit seconds of a porno.

  • Doc Brown, the character from Back to the Future, was shocked to learn that 2015 does not have flying cars or weather control, but does have brutally efficient Dyson vacuum cleaners. (Music: Savin’ the Day by Alessi Brothers)

  • An office’s boss was unexpectedly replaced with Jimmy Buffett, who installed margarita machines and let lizards roam the hallways freely. It was for Geico somehow.

  • A pleasant-looking five-o’-clock-shadowed dude in a skinny tie found himself slowly turning into John Turturro. This was played not for whimsy, but as body horror. The product it was advertising is unclear, as the only clue was the hashtag #DieVermandlung.

  • John Stamos ate all the yogurt!

  • Following footage of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Mountaintop” speech, the words “Anything is Lunchable” faded in.
  • Sam Elliott called America out as too much of a pansy to buy a commercially-available version of Grave Digger. “I dare you,” the actor intoned. “You won’t do it. You’re not a man; you’re a joke. America is not great. If it were, it would buy the Grave Digger Unlimited. You disgust me.” He gave the finger to a bald eagle, but they blurred it out. (Tagline: “America is a coward.” Music: Original composition by Hans Zimmer)

  • A nerd boy met a nerd girl and they waited three years until their braces were off to split a pack of Starburst candy. (Music: Waiting by Green Day)

  • We were treated to our very first look at the computer-animated designs for The Snorks that will be used in August’s Snorks film. (Music: Guess Who’s Back by Eminem, Tagline: “Those Mothersnorkers Are At It Again”)

  • An approachable five-o’-clock-shadowed dude in a flannel flipped a burger so high his grandma caught it from a third story window. A narrator informed us it would only take 15 seconds to write a family member out of your will with LegalBeagle.

  • Vin Diesel surfed one car onto another car to smash a third car back onto the aircraft carrier deck it was about to fall off of and then the second car exploded and The Rock caught him and cradled him like a huge baby and they locked arms like they were going to arm wrestle but you could tell it wasn’t out of aggression, it was just ’cause they’re family now. Lucas Black entered to say something and was immediately interrupted by the appearance of the title FURIOUS 7.

  • Nissan depicted a dad frequently taken away from his family by his job as a race car driver. (Music: Cat’s in the Cradle by Harry Chapin. Tagline: “Our relationship is irreparably damaged, father.”)

  • The Chocolate Rain guy, but this time he wanted orange rain! (Tagline: “Do you know about Fanta now?”)

  • Burger King showed that, even in light of national tragedy, it will bravely continue to offer sales like 50 chicken nuggets for $9.11. (Music: Slowed down children’s choir cover of Tubthumping)

  • A cartoon bee and a cartoon flower drank Coca-Colas together.

  • Nationwide threatened to kill a human child on live television unless 10,000 people switched to their coverage.

Special powers

The tilapia has bones in its throat that serve as a second jaw that does a little extra chewing and adds a lot of gross terror to an otherwise simple fish.

Its flesh tastes fine.

Weaknesses

The tilapia is the very definition of a basic fish. It… it can’t get enough pumpkin spice lattes or something? I don’t totally know what this means.

Number of legs

No.

What if it fought a bear?

It would lose.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The tilapia is sometimes known as St. Peter’s fish, because Jesus paid his and Peter’s taxes with money they found in the tilapia’s mouth. Tax season is coming up; give it a try! Brought to you by TaxSlayer. (Tagline: “Render unto Caesar whatever you find in a fish’s mouth.”)

 

 

4/10

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Rattlesnake

Rattlesnake

Rattlesnakes! The word alone fills most people with fear and anxiety, because they have no experience in dealing with snakes.”

So says the San Diego Zoo website, and I agree. Give it a try! Run wildly into the conference room at your job and scream “Rattlesnakes!” People will be… rattled.[1] That’s because they know nothing about dealing with snakes so they don’t know that the word itself does not carry a magical power. This might not work if you are employed at the snake store.

Meanwhile, if you’re employed at the Piggly Wiggly, Food Lion, or Winn-Dixie, you have a very good chance of meeting the rattlesnake as it rotates indecisively among all three for its grocery needs. Asked to explain its behavior, the rattlesnake drawls, “This ‘conomy won’t ever make a fool out of an Alabama lieutenant.” (See Notable accomplishments)

Special powers

The rattlesnake is venomous. That’s pretty common for a snake. Less common is the rattle at the end of its tail for which it is named. The rattlesnake uses it to warn others away and to lay down sick beats.

Also, it can see your heat signature like a dang Predator.

See like a Predator

But without the predilection for murdering future governors.

Weaknesses

The rattlesnake does not employ constricting in its killing, nor in its personal life. It is not a hugger.

It gasps “Lord almighty it’s Spook’ums” every time it sees the Scream mask.

Jeepers.

Jeepers.

Number of legs

No.

Notable accomplishments

The rattlesnake has been honored with the title of Alabama lieutenant – a sort of off-brand Kentucky colonel. The position’s duties include wearing a seersucker suit, drinking juleps, and keeping the secret of Boggy Cove. The rattlesnake innovated what it calls the tequila julep, a cocktail which is several ingredients more complicated than it sounds. The International Bartenders Association condemned the drink as criminal.

In high school, the rattlesnake was voted Most Likely To Be Run Over By An ATV He Or She Is Driving On Four Separate Occasions. This prognostication proved false for two reasons. Firstly, this has only happened twice to the rattlesnake; in its third ATV accident, it could not be called the driver. Secondly, one of the rattlesnake’s classmates surpassed it, having run over himself with an ATV six times.

The rattlesnake is a beloved referee/emcee in a local independent wrestling organization. It holds the high score in Beer Beer, a variant of Beer Pong that replaces the pong elements with more beer.

What if it fought a bear?

The rattlesnake has seen the Power Team perform two dozen times, so it’s picked up some moves.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The rattlesnake is just a good ol’ boy. Never meaning no harm. Giving a fair warning before it engages in its combat dance. I do advise against going drinking with it.

 

 

7.5/10

 

Programming Note: Rate Every Animal will take a couple weeks off for the holidays. Please join us when we return in 2015.

 

 

[1]Sunglasses spontaneously appeared on my face as I wrote this.

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