Category Archives: reptiles

Dwarf pipe snake

Dwarf pipe snake

The dwarf pipe snake is easy to understand. All you have to do is picture the Asian pipe snake, but pretend it doesn’t have a chin groove. You’re almost there, but also…

Actually, forget it. Who can think about the dwarf pipe snake at a time like this? We are in the middle of award season, and it is getting heated. I’m talking about the Globes, the Grammys, the Latin Grammys, the Prussian Grammys, the Venusian MegaGrammys, the PGAs, the DGAs, the SAGs, the J*A*Gs, the People’s Choice Awards, all leading up to the Oscars just a mere seven months from now. There’s a lot to analyze, so let’s take a look first at some animals who are top contenders this year.

Top contenders

As always, the blue whale is a heavy[1] favorite in all the music categories. It should win all manner of Grammys and get ever closer to its goal of filling its bathtub entirely with the things. And it has one big bathtub, friend.

Speaking of music, the drake has a strong possibility of winning Best Rap Song for “Started From The Bottom” about finding a choice piece of bread that sank to the lake floor.

male duck

“You’re a good hen and you know it.”

Everyone is looking to the porcupine to win Pointiest Quills, and not just because the voters are all petrified it will kill someone if it loses. That award genuinely seems tailor-made for it, honestly, especially the part where its name has already been etched into it by the sculptor at quill-point.

Achievement in Noses is the proboscis monkey‘s to lose.

And of course, the tree frog is expected to take home Wackest Living Creature for the ninety-sixth year running.

Dark horse picks

If you’re going to win your office awards pool, you can’t just pick the big names everyone expects to win. You need to select some lower profile animals who have a good shot at pulling off the upset.

Animals like the mule. It doesn’t have the pedigree of some other nominees, but don’t underestimate the appeal of youth and a good personal story. It just might surprise people and knock off an obvious favorite like the dark horse.

black horse

It’s hard to beat.

I freely admit this is a long shot, but if Tim Allen does rush in from nowhere to slam K.K. Barrett from the top rope and win Best Production Design, a category in which he is neither nominated nor eligible, I will win $956 million. I couldn’t afford not to place that bet.

Snubs and flubs

The various bodies that hand out awards this time of year aren’t infallible, I’m afraid. After all, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was made up by a sixth-grader and has only continued to exist out of momentum. That’s just one example. The others have their own problems[2], and so have fallen into some serious flubs, not to mention snubs as well.

Foremost among these is totally ignoring the cat for its supporting performance in Inside Llewyn Davis. You know how people sometimes say New York City is like its own character? Well, the cat is a million times better in Inside Llewyn Davis than New York is in any movie, though maybe not Barkhad Abdi good. But still, it deserved a nomination.

what an odd couple

Shame on you, Oscar.

Consider next the ridiculous nomination of the bat for Achievement in Fruit-Eating Among Mammals. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I think the bat isn’t a world-class fruit-eater. I vote to induct it into the Hall of Fame every year I can. My issue is that as you can tell by its wings, the bat is clearly a bird. Duh-doy.

Speaking of categorization controversy, there has been much talk of the California condor being deemed ineligible in the meat-eating categories because, according to the academy, its meals are derivative of another animal’s kill.

What to watch for

Awards season isn’t all just a list of winners and losers nominees. Much of the excitement[citation needed] comes from the ceremonies themselves. Who will wow on the red carpet? Who will beach themselves on the red carpet and nearly asphyxiate to death? Will someone make a hilarious and timely joke about Kanye West upstaging Taylor Swift five years ago?

The chamois is sure to pull some kind of mysterious stunt to promote its next project.

The whole fashion industry is on the edge of their seats to see the swan‘s wardrobe after last year’s “human” dress that got everyone talking (none of it complimentary). But hey, she felt like a princess, albeit a creepy Thomas Harris nightmare princess. It will be a hard act to follow at any rate.

Keep an eye on the presenters this year. If you look closely, you may find that a full 58% of them forget to read the teleprompter out loud and instead just mouth the words along with it. Thanks to tape delay, these presenters can immediately dub themselves before the East Coast feed even notices.

Final rating

The dwarf pipe snake is boring.

 

2/10

 

 

 

 

 

[1]Both figuratively and literally.

[2]Word is, J.D. Power killed and ate two Associates this year.

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Agama

Agama

My little cousin Randall needed to work on his writing and I needed to get a review of the agama written.

agama

Pictured here looking smug.

So please enjoy what he turned in:

 

Hi, my name is Randall. Today I’d like to talk to you about the agama. Urbandictionary.com defines “agama” as “Did you mean: param?” I tend to agree, enthusiastically. This essay will explain why and the reasons for why.

The agama is a lizard that looks like this:

red-headed agama

It looks this way.

I know about the agama in a direct personal experience from my own life, personally. Specifically what I mean by this is that my classmate LaTeisha[1] has an agama as a pet. This one time in class, LaTeisha told Mr. Foster “That’s what my dad said to my mom!” It was extremely hilarious. Alex’s mom said she shouldn’t have done a thing like such as that, but Mrs. Anderson laughed when we told her about it even though she pretended not to.

Special powers

The agama has very many cool colors, which is cool, for because it’s like the reptile version of human tattoos, which are the coolest thing you can put on a person’s skin. I’m gonna get one that’s a tribal symbol, because I’m like very in tune with nature as well as brotherhood. My dad won’t let me get one yet, though, so I got one on my iPod case, which is like an iPod’s skin.

Weaknesses

The agama is not a good-looking animal in terms of its attractiveness. It has a long tail, so it defiantly gets points for that. But like Beyonce is defiantly the most beautiful creature to ever walk this earth OR the moon’s, and she doesn’t have any tails at all. So I think this proves that a tail does not make an animal better looking.

Also, it does not breathe fire, and that is some bullcrap – pardon my lingo.

Gunfire

This is a cool picture I found.

Number of legs

Four.

Wikipedia article status

The agama article has been rated as “Low-importance.” Sick burn.

What if it fought a bear?

Okay, so like everybody thinks President Lincoln was just this Presidential person, but I saw in the documentary Ibrahim Lincoln the Vampire Slayer, directed by Stefan Spielberger, that he was also very much a vampire-hunter. It’s like, if Lincoln can sign the Exclamation Provocation when half the states are against it and a bunch more didn’t even know they were states yet like Colorado and Hawaii and Cuba, AND kill vampires, then I believe in my opinion that the agama can kill a bear, no offense. God bless America, and the United States in addition.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

Baby Got Back is a great song but it is also very much lyrics that are true in my life. In a conclusionary fashion, I would suggest that if Sir Mix-Em-All were writing it today, he would title it “Baby Got Agama,” which would actually be very much a better match for the anaconda. Last but not firstly, if I have calculated rightly I will be hitting my word count right about approximately now at this moment. Don’t check the margins. They’re fine.

 

8.5/10

 

 

 

[1]Who is white by the way. NOW who’s the racist simplestiltskin?[2]

[2]I don’t know what Randall means by this. I think the last part is supposed to be “simpleton.” –Nathan

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Gila monster

Gila monster

After I confirmed that the vampire bat is in fact a dracula, you may now wonder whether the Gila monster is truly a monster.

 

gila monster

What is that thing?

The truth is that’s a ridiculous question. There is no difference between animals and monsters, except how society sees them. Now don’t you feel bigoted?[1]

Special powers

Should the Gila monster offer to lick you, do NOT fall for it! It’s not an innocent gesture of friendship; it’s a trap. You see, the Gila monster is venomous.

I know you’re probably upset at it for trying to trick you, but do NOT kill it, not even in a duel on the field of honor. The Gila monster is protected from harm by diplomatic immunity.

Weaknesses

The Gila monster is incredibly slow-moving. If you say “Heads up,” by the time the Gila monster looks up, the frisbee you were warning it about has already hit it right in the nards.

It spends a vast majority of its time underground, because it is a “doomsday prepper.” The Gila monster has many paranoid theories for what will end the world, but it is confident that whatever it is will happen within its lifetime and be preventable by having a bunker obsessively well-stocked with Kraft Cheese and Macaroni.

Number of legs

Four.

Notable accomplishments

It invented taquitos, also known as “flautas.”

flautas

The Gila monster’s crowning achievement.

Wikipedia’s Talk Page Asks

“My daughter says that the gilamonster does not defecate; she says it instead uses this as poison. Can this be true?”

Wikipedia’s Talk Page Says Without Anyone Prompting It

“color: they are black and orange”

What if it fought a bear?

Assuming it is not the giant Gila monster, the bear would break it like a Kit-Kat before the monster could even notice the frisbees hitting them both in the nards.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The Gila monster is a sluggish crackpot that abuses its diplomatic immunity to run drug rings.[2] On the other hand, taquitos are delicious.

 

 

3.5/10

 

 

 

[1]I mean, take a look at the scorpion and then tell me the monster-animal distinction is meaningful.

[2]Allegedly.

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Kingsnake

Kingsnake

I don’t know if you’ve ever pinned a snake up against a wall in an alley and demanded to know who it’s working for, but the answer is always the same: the kingsnake.

kingsnake

It runs things.

Special powers

The kingsnake rules over all snakes. The powers of all these slithering beasts are at its command.

Beyond being able to summon all manner of serpent to its aid, it has powers inherent in itself. Namely, biting and shape-shifting. (See Forms)

Weaknesses

It’s got no legs!

Number of legs

None at all.

Professions

The kingsnake is a full-time supervillain.

grey-banded kingsnake

It doesn’t matter how many legs it has. What matters is its plan.

It has been a part of many schemes to rule/destroy various nations/the planet. Most have failed, though notably it did spend quite some time as Genghis Khan’s replacement until Luke Cage restored the integrity of the timestream, as well as the $200 the kingsnake owed him.

Luke Cage

Where’s his money, honey?

The kingsnake’s lobbying has also been cited as a major reason for the appointment of Justice Hugo Black, the first “out” supervillain to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Forms

What follows is a partial list of forms the kingsnake may take, for purposes of combat, deception, amusement, or vanity:

  • Florida kingsnake: The conceit of this character is that it has a “swamp persona” threatening to overtake at all times. It was funny the first couple times.
  • Baja Cape kingsnake: A much more flamboyant version of the kingsnake.
  • Mole kingsnake: This is to the kingsnake as the moleman is to man.[1]
  • Black kingsnake: The kingsnake’s most offensive impression.
  • Milk snake: This is the kingsnake’s take on the coral snake, but due to dyslexia, it’s just a little off. It was also once mistaken for a milkshake. Long story short, it inspired the creation of curly straws.
  • Coffee snake: This version of the kingsnake is baller at karaoke.
  • Scarlet kingsnake: An expert mixologist.
Image from West Texas Herpetological Society.

PRO-TIP: A fun way to remember the difference is through a mnemonic device, such as a rhyme.

What if it fought a bear?

The kingsnake has gone toe-to-toe with the likes of the Challengers of the Unknown and MI6 and lived to tell the tale; the bear should be no trouble.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The kingsnake is master of all it surveys, snakewise. Its dedication is incredible. But that dedication is primarily toward evil ends. And a bunch of the characters it does are kind of half-baked.

 

6/10

 

 

[1]If you like this joke, read it again in the salamander review! – Smilin’ Stan

 

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Anaconda

Anaconda

If you’ve ever gone to the grocery store only to discover yet another blood orchid shortage, you’ve been affected by the actions of today’s animal: the anaconda.

The anaconda, you see, is the self-fashioned guardian of the blood orchid.  It has never taken kindly to interlopers shipping it out to big box retailers in massive quantities to overwhelm mom and pop blood orchid shops.

anaconda

The anaconda: Friend to small business.

Special powers

The anaconda is one of the largest snakes on Earth.* And it’s not because of obesity. I’m talking about pure muscle, baby.

That muscle can be used to swim, even though it doesn’t have a single limb to desperately flail, nor a voice with which to scream for help oh no please help not like this, which is how I understand swimming to work.

Weaknesses

The anaconda will never be able to play “Classical Gas” on guitar like it so desperately wants.

Mason Williams

And Mason Williams will never let it forget that.

Because of the way it swallows its prey (hint: “whole”), it frequently has great big bumps in its middle, which can make navigating narrow spots difficult. If you’ve ever seen the anaconda caught halfway into a doggy door with an undigested peccary trapped on the other side, you know what a pathetic sight it is.

Number of legs

Hahaha, be serious.

Computer proficiency

The anaconda is capable in Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, and is branching out to Android and iOS. It invented the programming language “Python.”

Does it want none?

Yes, unless you got buns, hon.

How do you know?

My source for this information is the anaconda’s close personal friend Sir Mix-a-lot the Honest, the knight known for his inability to lie. A famous origin myth says that Mix-a-lot once chopped down an innocent cherry tree in the prime of its life, but confessed to his crime and received a shortened sentence.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear is a tough one for the anaconda, as it would take two to three bites, while the anaconda prefers those that can be handled in one.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

With its varied interests investing it in the worlds of blood orchids, fiscal policy, computer programming, animal-devouring, big butts, and more, the anaconda is one of the most well-rounded of all animals. Except when it just ate a peccary. Then the roundedness is a bit stretched out.

Mason Williams

“All that won’t get it any closer to meeting the Smothers Brothers!”

8.5/10

 
*It’s one of the smallest on Mars, and is roughly the median for Serpento the Viper Planet.

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Komodo dragon

Komodo dragon

There is an island where lives a fascinating creature with a misleading name: the komodo dragon.

Komodo dragon

Nickname “Dr. Nomodo”

I say misleading because the komodo dragon is not a true dragon. It lacks wings. Its fire-breathing is poor at best. It does, however, love guarding gold.

Special powers

Terrible as it is at it, the komodo dragon does breathe some fire, which is more than most can claim. It is also very very big for a lizard. Its tongue is tremendously talented; it can taste from 800 yards away, detect smells as subtle as 0.01 PU* per million, and play the piano.

Komodo dragon tongue

The komodo’s tongue prefers old standards and showtunes.

The komodo dragon is also an excellent baker.

Weaknesses

The fire-breathing is really bad. Just really shoddy work. Beyond that, the komodo dragon is terrified to leave its island, much as people with agoraphobia are terrified to go to agoras.

Also, an inability to snap.

Number of legs

Four.

Blood style (on a scale of hot to cold)

The komodo dragon is an ectotherm. It requires external heat in order to remain active. From time to time, it can be self-sufficient by warming itself with its own fire breath. While this would be case closed for a true dragon, this strategy is far from reliable for the komodo. So, it supplements that with other sources of heat, such as Snuggies, lamps, laying on the vent, and freshly baked bread (see Special powers).

Horrifying Wikipedia quote

“Copious amounts of red saliva that the Komodo dragons produce help to lubricate the food, but swallowing is still a long process (15–20 minutes to swallow a goat).”

What if it fought a bear?

If the komodo dragon’s gold was in danger of being stolen by the bear (which is plausible considering the bear’s track record as a thief), it would shut that bear down.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

It’s not hard to see why the komodo dragon doesn’t want to leave its island. It’s a cool place, and surprisingly cozy for a volcanic base (dated though the wood-paneled walls may be). Still, it’s a very insular life to live. And this ties in a bit with its gold, too. How about sharing some of that with the world, komodo dragon? You don’t even have an economy!

Still, it’s a challenge to stay mad at someone who can play “Chopsticks” with its tongue.

 

7.5/10

 

 

*Standing for “Pee-you Units”

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Gharial

Gharial

The gharial is a strange animal indeed. It is a crocodilian, but it does not have the tough guy demeanor of most such beasts. The gharial is an awkward, soft-spoken animal, uncomfortable in its own leathery skin.

Gharial

Pictured: The gharial pretending it didn't want to go to prom anyway.

Special powers

The gharial is a Level 63 Chaotic Good Paladin with a number of magic powers. It keeps its character sheet laminated to protect it in the waterways of India.

Weaknesses

The gharial’s slender snout greatly limits the size of things it can eat/fight. If you punch the male gharial in the bulbous protuberance on the end of its snout, it must tell you its secrets.

gharial

And boy does it look punchable.

Number of legs

Four.

Diet

The gharial subsists almost entirely on Filet-o-Fishes, Mountain Dew LiveWire, and, every few months, McRibs. How it stays so slim is anyone’s guess.

Imposters

A number of extremely popular animals have inspired tribute acts. The false gharial is an oddity, as the gharial itself is a rather obscure creature to start with. One might think it would have to be especially convincing to compensate for the original’s lack of cachet, but it’s not even that good. I mean, it knows the main A-sides, but good luck getting even a slightly deep cut out of it. It is, however, a licensed reverend.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear is only a Level 8 Ranger, so the gharial doesn’t have much to worry about.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The gharial is the nerd of crocodiles. It always smells like McDonald’s. And honestly, the secrets you get from punching it aren’t that good.

 

4/10

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Desert tortoise

Desert tortoise

You’re in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down and see a tortoise. It’s crawling toward you. You reach down and you flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t. Not without your help. But you’re not helping. Why is that?

…All right, now that the spambots are gone, let’s talk desert tortoise. You know turtles, right? And you know deserts? Very good. Well, marry those concepts and you basically get the desert tortoise.

Desert tortoise

No, it’s not made of sand.

Special powers

The desert tortoise constantly carries a defensive shell (see Fashion sense).

It is smart (see Weaknesses).

Weaknesses

The desert tortoise is famously slow. Not mentally, mind you. The tortoise’s brain is still sharp thanks to its regular use of crosswords and other kinds of puzzles and games. In fact, it is thought to be good enough to be a grandmaster of chess, but it has never made it out to a high-level competitive event to prove it.

Its body, though. That thing moves like molasses over peanut butter. What I’m trying to say here is the desert tortoise is sticky.

Number of legs

Four.

Wikipedia article status

The neutrality of the desert tortoise article is disputed.

Fashion sense

The desert tortoise, like all tortoises and turtles, is a never-nude. It wears its shell at all times – even in the shower.* Cartoons would like you to think that the desert tortoise stores an entire studio apartment’s worth of belongings in there, but this is a lie. There is only room for one accent lamp and a small sectional.

What if it fought a bear?

Two hops and the desert tortoise is dispatched. Three if it has wings.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The desert tortoise, due to its long life and its voyage to the reaches of space between 1908 and 1981, has seen things you wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. C-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

Roy Batty

Time to die.

 

7.5/10

 

 

 

*Just kidding. It takes baths.

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Iguana

Iguana

When one thinks of standard lizards, it is not long before one comes to the iguana.

iguana

Oh man, it’s here already.

It arrived so much sooner than I expected. I expected it soon. Just not that soon.

Anyway, the iguana embodies pretty much everything that one associates with lizards as a group, and adds a lot of weird bumps into the mix.

Special powers

Like the brine shrimp, the iguana also boasts a psychic third eye. Its psychic powers, however, are typically more telekinetic in nature. The iguana can move rocks of middling size, sticks, children’s clothing, Magic-brand eight-balls, etcetera.*

Weaknesses

The iguana has a dewlap, which is a nice way of saying it’s fat.

Number of legs

Four.

Petability

Some people keep iguanas as pets. The iguana mostly falls in line, but it doesn’t really do anything. It is also a little off-beat via not being a cat or a dog, so you have to explain why you went with it of all things. And to take this category more literally, how much joy can you really get from petting it?

I don’t ask these questions to cast aspersions on you, potential iguana-owner. I ask them because they are the very questions you need to ask yourself before you commit to being the iguana guy.

Notable Iguana Guys

  • Johnny Depp (actor)
  • Martin van Buren (president)
  • Bret Michaels (musician)
  • Hugo Chavez (performance artist)
  • Nicola Tesla (inventor)
  • David Bowie (Nicola Tesla)
  • Jeff Daniels (designer of The Grid)
  • Bad “Port of Call New Orleans” Lieutenant (lieutenant)

What if it fought a bear?

The bear would eat a big chunk of iguana and immediately regret it. Because: gross.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

Okay, now I will cast aspersions on you, iguana-owner.**

 

4.5/10

 

 

*Despite what certain Muppets will assert about telekinesis, size matter does.

**Except you, David Bowie. We’ll always be friends.

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