Tag Archives: Wikipedia at it again

Mud turtle

Mud turtle

This week, we here at Rate Every Animal turn our attention to a turtle whose name is mud: the mud turtle. It is not made of mud. It does not prey upon mud. It got its name by losing a wager that it could make that jump. The mud turtle made the fatal mistake of forgetting that it can’t make any jump.

Special powers

It plays this low-key, but the mud turtle is super-strong.

oaxaca mud turtle

Here is a photograph of it lifting a log several times its size off the ground with one claw. It’s a little hard to see at this angle.

The mud turtle can never get lost. It is its own home.

Weaknesses

The mud turtle can’t make any jump.

Also, it suffers from seasonal orientation-sadness affective disorder, or S.O.-S.A.D., which requires the use of a special lamp to effectively manage. Just ask anyone who keeps the mud turtle as a pet; they’ll confirm the use of such equipment.

Number of legs

Four.

Varieties

The mud turtle is not one unified species. The creatures under the mud turtle umbrella include:

  • The Tabasco mud turtle: The spicy one.
  • The striped mud turtle: The striped one.
  • The scorpion mud turtle: The mutant one.
  • The Durango mud turtle: A truck.
  • The Alamos mud turtle: The forgotten one.[1]

Wikipedia quote in which turkey cold cuts are a last resort

“As pets they are easy to care for, readily eating commercial turtle foods, feeder fish, worms, or if all else fails, turkey cold cuts. They tend to have ornery yet strangely endearing personalities and enjoy sunning themselves more than other mud turtles.”

This does not mean that the striped mud turtle suns itself more frequently. What it means is that all mud turtles sun themselves, but only the striped mud turtle really gets it, man. It appreciates sunning itself on another level.

What does Mark Trail think of it?

Mark Trail loves turtles

The mud turtle is under the protection of Mark Trail.

What if it fought a bear?

The mud turtle can’t even jump. It’s nowhere near nimble enough to take on a bear.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The mud turtle is a ponderous, sad creature, but a sturdy, gentle one. It resides in its own living house of bones. That’s pretty metal. Even if it weren’t, I couldn’t risk inciting the wrath of Mark Trail.

 

 

8/10

 

 

 

[1]Like some other turtles, its shell has no basement.

Tagged , , ,

Polar bear

Polar bear

There is a proud[citation needed] history of Olympic mascots, and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, have continued it. While previous years have featured such animals as the sasquatch, the unblinking camera controlled by the state, and the Izzy, this year the Olympic spirit is represented by a trio of animals – the snow hare, the snow leopard, and the polar bear (considered by many to be the snowiest of the bears).

Sochi Olympics polar bear

I can just hear the John Williams music.

Special powers

The polar bear has a layer of blubber, thick coat, and dense underfur to protect it from the cold of its Arctic home. It has an extensive puffy vest collection as well, but that’s strictly for fashion.

It is one of the largest land carnivores in the world. Larger even than that huge guy you swear you saw the last two times you were at the local all-you-can-eat buffet and it’s like what’s up does he just live there or what? Unlike that guy, the polar bear is an expert swimmer.

Weaknesses

The polar bear is hooked on coke.

goes nuts for the stuff

It loves it.

Its other great weakness is the secret it holds – that it is just a brown bear that got painted white. But don’t tell anybody that, and certainly don’t tell them you heard it from me.

Number of legs

Four.

Insightful Wikipedia quote

Was it in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back?

Yes. If you had read the Wikipedia quote, you would know that.

Favorite video game

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back.

What if it fought a bear?

It is a bear.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

I feel bad I told you the polar bear’s secret. Please don’t blackmail it. It doesn’t deserve that. It has enough problems already, because of The Environment. Oh, and I didn’t mention this before, but it rocks a pretty sweet look.

polar bears looking good

Looking good.

 

 

10/10

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Black house spider

Black house spider

And then along came a spider…

black house spider

Get it? It’s like Along Came Polly, but for a spider.

The black house spider is one of three closely related species, the other two being the grey house spider, which also exists primarily in Australia and New Zealand, and the White House spider, which exists primarily in the District of Columbia.

Special powers

One does not live in Australia or New Zealand without developing serious toughness to survive the daily onslaught of deadly snakes and goblins. The black house spider has some venom. It’s not the strongest stuff, but how strong is your venom? Exactly. Glass houses, bro.

It also has the standard spider ability of web building.

Weaknesses

The flip side of the black house spider’s web-making ability is that it has all the architectural understanding of that guy in your class who tried to make a tower out of single toothpicks stacked end-on-end, Kevin.

Also like Kevin, it has never read a novel to completion.

Number of legs

Eight.

This week in personal anecdotes of Wikipedians who are probably dead now

“I’ve had a great opportunity to study a fine specimen (female, with spiderlings) in my bathroom window for 6 months now. I must confess to feeding her blowflies that foolishly enter the house. My boy and I think it’s better than T.V. to watch her hunt and kill. It was a very exciting event when the hatchling first emerged. They are growing fast – probably tripled in size in the first few weeks. I have observed both mother and children ‘drinking’ from the web when I have a shower and steam up the bathroom. They spread out on the web and glean the little droplets of dew condensating on the strands. All this time, I have never seen the spiderlings eat anything and yet they are growing well. There are fewer than when first hatched. Do they eat each other? They don’t seem interested in the flies I feed her. It’s a mystery to me. I wondered if anyone had any ideas?Shaun Gardner (talk) 23:19, 13 December 2010 (UTC)”

What does Mark Trail think of it?

Mark Trail on spidersWhat if it fought a bear?

The White House spider could just order the bear arrested. The black house spider has no such recourse.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

It is man’s staunchest ally in the perpetual war against the insect world.

 

7.5/10

Tagged , , , , , ,

Mexican free-tailed bat

Mexican free-tailed bat

Today’s animal has a tail that demands to be free. From south of the border, it’s the Mexican free-tailed bat.

Mexican free-tailed bat

Myxican batiful dark twistailed freetasy.

Special powers

There can be millions of these things in just one cave. Think about that in your nightmares tonight, people who fear bats and/or large numbers!

The Mexican free-tailed bat is an expert at echolocation, which allows it to effortlessly find its way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Weaknesses

It loves to hang out in flammable spots.

Unlike certain other bats, it is not a dracula. While I applaud it for that, this means it doesn’t share in any of the special powers and benefits associated with being a dracula.

Number of legs

Two. Plus those wings though.

Military usage

During World War II, the United States army developed the bat bomb, which involved strapping bombs to bats and dropping them over enemy cities to flap their way into all the most flammable nooks and crannies. After the army accidentally set their own base on fire working on it, the research was transferred to the Navy under the name Project X-Ray. This was a clever codename, as the project to give a bat soldier X-ray-vision had a completely unrelated name (Project Burn Down Our Own Bases). The project was scrapped when America sobered up and remembered that it was literally the idea of Eleanor Roosevelt’s dentist friend.

Japan had its own program to rival America’s research by strapping bombs to their own native animal, the balloon.

balloon bomb

It’s tragic to see such a noble creature used to perpetuate violence.

Hobbies

Playing clarinet, sudoku, street racing, semi-professional Parcheesi.

#Relatable Wikipedia quote

“Mating can occur in an aggressive or passive form.”

What if it fought a bear?

The result depends on if the Mexican free-tailed bat is aggressive or passive that day.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

You maniacs. You blew it up. All because a dentist said you should. The Mexican free-tailed bat deserves better.

 

 

8.5/10

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Sea anemone

Sea anemone

My copy of the Kingfisher Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals calls the sea anemone “the best known of the so-called ‘flower animals.’” For several reasons, I’m finding it difficult to disagree with this assertion.

The sea anemone is the roommate of our old friend the clownfish. They like to think they make quite a wacky pairing, but their self-perceived zaniness far outweighs their actual zaniness. That said, they do keep a peppy bass beat on in the background when they’re both home and the sea anemone’s mouth and anus are one and the same, so they’re not entirely unzany.

Special powers

Its sharp wit.

Weaknesses

The sea anemone has no skeleton, which means it will never know the pleasure of drinking milk to give itself strong bones.

sea anemone

I’ve got strong bones, anemone, and you don’t. You got nothing on these bones.

It also suffers from low mobility and abysmal hustle.

Number of legs

No legs, but lots of tentacles.

Wikipedia’s Talk Page Says

“Also, there is a picture whose caption indicates two anemones are in ‘clone war’ but there is no description of what ‘clone war’ is, or maybe its vandalism, but I dont know enough.”

Indeed, years ago, the sea anemone served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs it to help him in his struggle against the Empire.

Varieties

The sea anemone comes in more flavors than jelly beans. These include:

  • Venus flytrap sea anemone:

    venus flytrap anemone

    Does what it says on the box.

  • Banded tube-dwelling anemone:

    banded tube-dwelling anemone

    A nightmare spider-squid.

  • Magnificent sea anemone:

    magnificent sea anemone

    Very full of itself. Was invented by Lewis Carroll.

  • Jewel anemone:

    it lived in a van a while

    The most poetic of the anemones, and a militant freegan.

  • Pale anemone:

    pale anemone

    And I looked, and behold a pale anemone: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.

  • Snakelocks anemone:

    Full name Snakelocks Percival Anemone II

    One of Harry Potter’s most fiendish nemeses.

  • Hidden anemone:

    One of the most elusive animals known.

    One of the most elusive animals known.

Is it a good roommate?

Yes.

What if it fought a bear?

Being outside the water might kill it before the bear could.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

I deduct six points for the pale anemone inevitably ushering in the apocalypse. But hey, good for it for cleaning its own dishes.

 

 

1/10

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Deepwater stingray

Deepwater stingray

There are superfans. There are Supertrains. There are Supertrain superfans. And then there’s the deepwater stingray. It is the biggest Supertrain fan of them all.

stingray

Not that it’s a big pool to draw from.

Despite the burning intensity of the deepwater stingray’s devotion to Supertrain, which is roughly comparable to one thousand suns, it also makes time for other pursuits and obsessions. The deepwater stingray is, to put it lightly, a great big nerd. It buys all the comics with “Justice League” in the title, even if they’re about Vibe.[1] It watches every episode of “Defiance.” It knows intimate details about Shadowrun.

These things make the deepwater stingray happy. What upsets it? Anything in a movie it deems a plot hole. Its definition of plot hole is very broad, as one can see reading its angry online missives. Please find below an excerpt of the deepwater stingray’s objections:

“Nobody went to the bathroom in this movie. You mean to tell me they ALL held it for WEEKS? Then in this scene the main character has totally different clothes? Where’d that come from? Did he have some kind of secret room full of outfits? And another thing: the villain is established as being really smart. But then at the end, the hero is all of a sudden slightly smarter than him! Ummm, plot hole much? You’d think a film of this budget would be a LITTLE more careful!”

Special powers

Like any other stingray, the deepwater stingray has a tail with a barbed sting on the end.

I mean, that’s pretty much the main thing. It’s right there in the name.

Weaknesses

It illegally downloads albums it doesn’t even want, and has at least twice ended up with viruses it really didn’t want as a result. Plus that one time it got an NWA album where all the swears were replaced with Swedish Chef sounds.[2]

Number of legs

No.

Wikipedia Talk Page Theater

Wikipedian 1 asserts: “Stingrays are fascinating creature…”

Wikipedian 2 rebuts: “No they aren’t”

What if it fought a bear?

It would complain that it makes no sense for the bear to be underwater. In this particular case, it would be right.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

Nobody loves Supertrain like the deepwater stingray loves Supertrain.

NOBODY.

 

3/10

 

 

 

[1]I’m just trying to start a beef with all the Vibe-heads out there.

[2]Actually, that was pretty borping awesome.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

You’ve likely met this week’s animal – you may even have fed it. It is that tiny avian the hummingbird. And by “tiny,” I mean “teeny tiny.” The bee hummingbird is the absolute smallest of all birds at 5 centimeters[1] long. Small though it may be, it is very prominent in the animal game – and for good reason, as we’ll see.

Special powers

The hummingbird can’t just fly; it even hovers. It can flit about in any direction it cares to, like gravity ain’t even no thing.

also, who needs legs?

It’s like, “Physics? Pffft.”

It accomplishes these feats of flight by flapping its wings incredibly fast – sometimes as fast as 80 wingbeats a second. Try doing anything even 40 times a second. Not so easy, huh? Well the hummingbird’s wings are twice as fast as that thing you couldn’t come close to doing. I bet you feel the fool now for doubting its impressiveness.

Also, in one species, laser breath.

Weaknesses

The hummingbird is constantly near death by starvation. Its quick little body burns up the fuel in its food so quickly that the hummingbird basically lives its life stuffing its face just to keep enough in the tank to get by. Its abysmal economy of energy is why the Hummer was named for this creature.

Number of legs

Two, barely.

Diet

The hummingbird eats up to 12 times own weight in nectar every day. To supplement all that sugar-water as part of this balanced breakfast, the hummingbird also dines on the occasional soft insect or spider.

YYUUMMMMM

A group of hummingbirds gather at the local watering nectaring hole.

Varieties

There are numerous species of hummingbird, each described by a different adjective. Just a sampling of these species follows:

  • ruby-throated
  • blue-throated
  • pepperoni-throated
  • normal-throated
  • giant
  • sassy
  • sensitive
  • fiery-tailed
  • sword-billed
  • laser-breathed
  • machine-gun-toed
  • Rufous
  • Anna’s
  • toxic
  • Allen’s
  • eloquent
  • cowardly
  • broad-tailed
  • tooth-billed
  • buff-bellied
  • black-chinned
  • bug-eyed
  • stiff-legged
  • spotty-lipped
  • worm-headed
  • hallelujah
  • holy —-
  • where’s the Tylenol

These, and the many other hummingbirds not named above, are all divided into nine warring clans:

  • the hermits, who keep mostly to themselves, biding their time for the others to kill each other off.
  • the mangoes, most laid-back of all the clans. Their house sigil is the Jimmy Buffett: Songs You Know By Heart cover.
  • the giant hummingbird, who pledges allegiance to no other.
  • the coquettes, immortal, wisest, and fairest of all hummingbirds, who were gifted three of the Rings of Power.
  • the mountain-gems, miners by trade and Hatfields by marriage. They have an especially bloody feud with the emeralds.
  • the bees, so small. So impossibly small.
  • the brilliants, whose name was given to them ironically some time around their leader’s sixth year of high school.
  • the topazes and jacobins, who formed an alliance in the earliest years of the Hummingbird Wars. Their consolidated might makes them the most landed of all the clans.
  • the emeralds, who spend most of their time plotting against the mountain-gems or Sonic the Hedgehog.

For centuries, these houses have clashed. Though it is currently something of a cold war, it is only a matter of time before conflict flares up again.

hummingbird at peace

The din of war has quieted to a… hum.

Wikipedia’s Talk Page Asks

“Does anyone know if hummingbirds can be or have been eaten? I bet they are succulent. Couldn’t find any infos on the world wide web.”

What if it fought a bear?

As if hummingbird would stop fighting hummingbird long enough to fight the bear. If it did find the time, when’s it going to eat? We’re probably looking at one hungry hummingbird and one victorious bear.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

Do you hear that? That low, almost imperceptible, constant hum? THE HUM – is it the work of the hummingbird, as its name suggests?[2] THE HUM wants you to know it can hear you too. THE HUM is the best listener you will ever know. Tell THE HUM your problems. Give over to it all your troubles, all your concerns, all your hopes, all your dreams. Give THE HUM your self. THE HUM must feed; it must always… feed.

HHHHUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

 

8/10

 

 

 

 

[1]Or about two inches, if you don’t speak Metric.

[2]Yes, it is.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Babirusa

Babirusa

At first glance, one might guess that the babirusa is just another mutant pig. Its fun-to-say name means “pig-deer,” in reference to its obvious pig nature and its four prominent tusks, which reminded people of deer antlers.

babirusa

If you squint.

It is not just another mutant pig, despite appearances. Nor was it invented by the effects wizards of Weta Workshop for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, despite appearances. The babirusa is its own bona fide species.

Special powers

The babirusa’s upper tusks are used for defense – to shield its face from damage. Its lower tusks are kept sharp for offense. A third set of tusks are rumored to exist for special teams, but no one has ever provided hard evidence of them.

It is an absolute wiz at an abacus. Unfortunately for the babirusa, in today’s modern age, this is one of the least marketable skills possible to have. The babirusa is convinced the abacus will come back as “retro-cool” in 2014. Though I’m loathe to admit it, that actually sounds pretty plausible.

Weaknesses

This is kind of a big one. The babirusa’s tusks, if not worn down, will grow to pierce its own skull.

come on now

what the heck

Why is this? What do the babirusa’s own tusks have against it that they will by default attempt to murder it? Did the babirusa have its upper tusks surgically transplanted from a serial killer? The babirusa denies this, but offers no explanation of its own.

Number of legs

Four.

Judgmental Wikipedia quote

“The female babirusa has only one pair of teats.”

Let’s see you do better, Wikipedia.

Online presence

The babirusa accesses the internet through the kid zone using AOL keywords “DIGIMON” or “CRISPIX.”

Favorite video game

Bomberman

What if it fought a bear?

Two tusks to defend, two tusks to stab that bear.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

The babirusa has many of the qualities of a pig, and what it lacks in tech-savvy, it more than makes up for in tusks. Just make sure you wear those bad boys down, babirusa. You’ll look like a real chump with your own tusk in your head.

 

 

9/10

Tagged , , , , , ,

Cicada

Cicada

The dictionary[1] defines “sap sucker” as “a loser or whack brother.” One such whack brother is the cicada. It loves nothing more than to latch onto a tree and just suck the sap right out of it. Well, okay, it loves one thing more, and that’s the crispety crunch of its Butterfinger, but honestly it mostly just loves the sap content in that (42%).

Even more than its sapsucking, the cicada is famous for how it sleeps underground for years at a time. Hidden there in Subterranea, waiting. Waiting for its moment… to strike.

cicada close-up

Summer is coming.

A time after it does emerge, it “moults,” by which I mean a second cicada horrifyingly bursts through the exoskeleton, instantly killing its host.

cicada begets cicada

Nobody knows how the other one gets in there.

Special powers

The cicada is one of the loudest insects in existence. Almost as loud as the gong beetle and Asian jewel airhorn.[2] If a sufficient amount of cicadas gather together, they can drown out even the most dedicated lawnmower driver or vuvuzela player.

Not only is it loud like a percussionist, the cicada has the beat-keeping ability of one. It can keep time to the trickiest of time signatures, even the really obscure ones. There are certain time signatures not even known to human composers, who lack the patience and gift for hibernation necessary to play them. I’m talking about bars that take years to complete. This is why you’ll occasionally hear reference to “cicadian rhythms.”

Weaknesses

Sleeping below the earth for years at a time has its disadvantages. The cicada misses bunches of episodes of The Simpsons. On the off chance that someone does journey beneath the crust and pass the tests of the molemen, an enemy of the cicada may be able to kill it in its slumber. Also, there’s the bad dreams.

Number of legs

Six.

Known aliases

Australians identify the cicada’s various types with names such as “cherry nose, brown baker, red eye, green grocer, green Monday, yellow Monday, whisky drinker, double drummer, and black prince.” As we learned in the kangaroo review, Australians are given far too much opportunity to give animals names.

Varieties

There are a couple particularly notable types of cicada. The annual jar fly hides below the surface not for years, but mere months – much like Bane of the League of Shadows.

Baaane!

“I will show you where I have made my home while preparing to bring justice. Then I will break you.”

Also like Bane, the annual jar fly can be filled with green beans or moonshine.

On the extreme end of the spectrum is the pharaoh cicada, which went underground in ancient times. It can be identified by the trailing bandages and stench of dust and embalming fluid. It boasts a number of magical powers and serves only the storm god Set.

Horrifying Wikipedia quote

“Female cicadas are prized for being meatier.[6]

Enemies

Somewhat predictably, the cicada does not get along with the cicada killer. It’s not quite clear what started the feud, but some theorize it had to do with the cicada killer’s name. One must admit it’s in poor taste.

What if it fought a bear?

If it’s awake, it can maybe sing the bear into submission.

If it’s asleep, it will be at an extreme underdog.[3]

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

Every summer or every 17 summers or once an age, the cicada awakens and sets about being just super-loud. Not to mention every cicada killing the one in front of (outside) it. It is an untrustworthy, treacherous creature in this regard, as well as in board games. It is loyal to at best Set, at worst nothing. That may work fine for Set, but it’s an annoyance for the rest of us. And the molemen have it even worse.

 

3.5/10

 

 

 

[1]The urban one of course. Do I look like I’m wearing suspenders to you? Okay, yes, I am. Good guess. But they’re not denim.

[2]Recently popular in hip-hop songs.

[3]Underbug.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Blue whale

Blue whale

Do you hear that sound? That beautiful sound? It’s the beautiful sound of the largest creature in the world, the blue whale. There are few animals who can equal the blue whale’s musical talents.

blue whale

Do NOT follow this animal at karaoke.

Unlike most underwater music, the blue whale’s songs have been appreciated far and wide.[1] It could make its bed out of platinum records. And let me tell you, its bed is huge. And comfortable, because it’s not actually made of platinum records. It keeps those in a trophy case.

Special powers

Its singing ability, obviously. Its ear for production and songwriting (an ear which it keeps inside rather than protruding ridiculously like most mammals).

Weaknesses

Mostly just gluten, according to it anyway.

Number of legs

N/A

Notable accomplishments

The blue whale’s long career has been incredibly varied. Beyond its accomplished solo career, the blue whale has fronted a handful of bands and served as producer for numerous diverse artists. It was a little embarrassed to be in Band Aid, but it was for a good cause and all, so it doesn’t want to look like a jerk.

When they performed their world-changing set at Woodstock, the blue whale filled in for a missing member of Sha Na Na.

The blue whale’s cover of Batdance set the records for most Grammys received and best record ever listened to.

Its long feud with Pitbull was the underlying subtext of Billy Joel’s diss song The Entertainer, which the blue whale produced.[2]

When country guy Scott Allenson could not fulfill his duties on a live episode of The Voice, the blue whale scatted notes for a national audience until Cee-lo could revive his fellow judge. It was the highest rated episode ever.

The blue whale is the only friend the being designated Buckethead has ever known.

Michael Jackson‘s trademark “shee-hee!” laugh is a flair he first heard the blue whale use. He bought the rights to the giggle from it for a secret price rumored to be around $900,000 (adjusted for inflation).

Wikipedia’s Talk Page Says

“Whales eat fruits and veggies. Digging is the ultimate experience.”

Wikipedia’s Talk Page Also Says

“hahaha this whale is huge and ugly and funky doodle digging is the ultimate experience…lol…”

What if it fought a bear?

Two words: Body slam. Game over.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

Well, it is huge and ugly and a total funky doodle. But it’s an immensely talented funky doodle. And any enemy of Pitbull is a friend of this blog.

Pitbull, stop it.

He knows what he did.

 

9.5/10

 

 

 

[1]Of course, some biased sources will tell you that everything’s better where it is wetter, but anyone who’s tried to eat potato chips at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico will tell you that’s wrong.

 

[2]Notice lyrics such as “So they cut it down to 305,” a clear reference to “Mr. 305” himself. The song also mentions Pitbull’s practice of performing with his hands deep in his trousers and his gimmicky all-palace tour.

Tagged , , , , , ,