First things first: POLE DANCING FOR JESUS. This is a real thing.
I was recently having a conversation about animals and in the midst of that conversation, I decided that since I know so many amazing animal facts it totally makes sense that I venture out into the world of self-employment and create a tour company wherein people hire me to drag them through the zoo to teach them fun and interesting lies facts about the animals. This is going to be great, I know it already. So, in preparation, I’m going to share with you some amazing animal trivia that I have been storing right up here in my mind grapes. Prepare to have your minds blown, Internets.
Animals, generally speaking, are a group of multi-cellular organisms that ingest other organisms for food. I didn’ t make the rules, this is just how it is. The word “animal” gets its derivation from the Latin “animalis” meaning “having breath” which when I first read that I thought it said “having breasts” and that’s just crazy talk! Although, let’s be honest, all the hottest animalis have breasts. Just sayin’. I’m a single lady on the prowl. *rowr* (Gross. I know. *shame*)
ALMOST all animals reproduce sexually and many animals asexually reproduce, meaning they wish real hard for a baby when they’re at Target in the baby clothes section where they’ve been aimlessly wandering and picking out onesies for two hours DON’T JUDGE ME.
Animals are generally assumed to have evolved from organisms with complex cell-structures called flagellated (meaning they have little whippy parts – highly technical term – to make them go) eukaryotes. Eukaryotes get their name from the Greek terms eu meaning “good” and karyon meaning “kernel” which, together, means “you carry it now, I’m getting tired, are we there yet?” Because animals are whiny and lazy. This is real science (this is not real science).
The first fossil evidence of animals appeared at the Trezona Formation in South Australia and has been dated back 665 million years unless you’re not into that, in which case nevermind all of this. Come back tomorrow and we’ll talk about Jesus.
There are several groups – called phylum – of animals (roughly 40 in all), the largest (by far) of which is Arthropoda, or insects and spiders, and I AM FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THEY WILL KILL US ALL. The Cnidarian group contains mostly aquatic creatures including sea anemones and jellyfish and I only single them out because one of their disgusting distinct features is that they have a digestive chamber with a single opening, which means it serves as both the mouth and the anus. So, you know, when someone says don’t shit where you eat they don’t necessarily know that some animals just can’t help it. How that all works I don’t really know and and I don’t care to find out.
Mammals are part of the Chordata phylum and all of the oldest fossils of this phylum are generally regarded as fish so WHEE! We come from fish, muthafuckas! There are roughly 5600 species of mammal and humans are one of them. Most mammals give birth to their young. A few lay eggs and SOME OF US ARE INCAPABLE OF BIRTHING ANYTHING BECAUSE OUR OVARIES ARE BROKEN. This doesn’t mean we’re bad people, okay!? We’re just trying to live our lives!
Anyhow, things get more technical and sciency from there and I don’t understand a lot of big science words so let’s just talk about modern day animals we all know and (mostly) love.
These animals aren’t giant pigs like I had originally expected. In fact, they aren’t pigs at all, they’re one of only two creatures in the family Hippopotamidae, the other of which is the pygmy hippopotamus and, really science, you should have just saved yourself some words and called the species Hippopotamus and said the two creature are wee and friggin’ huge. See? God, I don’t know why I am not consulted on these things from the start. I’m so smart, you guys. COME TO ME. GET MY IDEAS. Anyway, this word comes to us from the Greeks and it means “water horse” which is funny because THAT THING IS NOT WHAT A HORSE LOOKS LIKE AT ALL. Oh, you crazy Greeks…I love you. OPA! So, listen…their closest relatives are whales. WHALES! And this Wikipedia description is amazing because IS IT A HIPPO or IS IT LINSEY?: “barrel-shaped torso, enormous mouth and teeth, nearly hairless body, stubby legs and tremendous size.” The difference between Linsey and the hippopotamus is that a hippo can outrun humans and I can’t outrun anything ever. So if you’re going for a hike in the woods and you want to make sure you aren’t mauled by a bear, let me tag along because I am slow and delicious. But I digress. Hippos are one of the most aggressive animals in the world. They’ll knock your socks right off if you mess with them. So don’t even think about kicking sand in their faces or stealing their cocaine because they will come at you like there is no tomorrow and, actually, there won’t be a tomorrow. Not for you. Because you’ll be dead from hippo murder and how embarrassing for you to be stampeded by a hippo in front of your family while on safari. And don’t even try it at the zoo because that’s worse. At least in Africa they could say you died trying to save a baby zebra or something but no one’s gonna believe that at the zoo because don’t be stupid. Also, I saw this on TV once, they poop and flick it with their tiny tails and that’s just not right. Hippos are crazy. They probably shop at WalMart at 3am. They live in large groups of up to 30 and are called a herd or a dale or a bloat and I prefer bloat because that’s how I feel when I look at a hippo. There’s an old Christmas song called I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas which I actually have on my iPod, and alls I know is that Gayla Pevey didn’t know what the hell she was talking about when she sang that because hippos are giant monsters who flick poop with their tails. You can’t keep that in your living room. But if I had a hippo, I’d name it Pippin and he wouldn’t do that thing with the poop because I would teach him about manners.
Colossal squid are wicked awesome and HOLY CRAP they’re also ENORMOUS.Did you know squid had beaks? BEAKS! They can grow upward of 40 feet long (not the beaks, the squid) and they will come out of the water and suck your face right off with their long spindly sucker legs if you’re not good, but if YOU ARE GOOD they leave presents under the tree in December so you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout or THE COLOSSAL SQUID WILL GET YOU. I can’t wait to have kids, you guys. The squid comes in three parts – arms, tentacles and a mantle, but not like the kind you put your bowling trophies on and have around your fireplace because WEIRD. No…this mantle is the torso, which sort of looks like a torpedo and how awesome would it be if it were one!? But it isn’t. Anyhoo, the arms and tentacles each have three parts – a wrist called the carpus, a hand called the manus, and a finger called the fingus. JUST KIDDING, it’s called the dactylus and these all have hundreds of sucking suckers which have teeth, which is crazy, BUT BUT BUT they ALSO HAVE HOOKS. Some of which swivel! SOME OF WHICH WILL SWIVEL!!! They also have a little fin for “locomotion“. They have the largest eye of any living creature, not counting my sister’s when she was a baby, which helps them to see light way down in the deepest parts of the ocean. The main predator of the colossal squid is the sperm whale, many of which have sucker and hook (THEY SWIVEL!) marks on their backs. So these guys put up a good fight but in the end, they are too delicious.
GET IT OFF ME! GET IT OFF ME!
*SQUEAL!* I have a fierce internal debate about which wild animal is my favorite: the penguin, the elephant or Celine Dion. My answer may vary on any given day…and today, it’s the penguin. BECAUSE LOOK AT THEM! Also, have you *seen* March of the Penguins? HAVE YOU SEEN THOSE PENGUINS HUDDLED EN MASSE IN A FIERCE SNOWSTORM!? If you did and you remained dry-eyed then you’re going to hell. Plain and simple. Penguins! I could die just thinking about them.
The largest penguin is the Emperor Penguin and the smallest is the Little Blue Penguin, also known as the Fairy Penguin but not because he’s gay. Get that notion out of your head right now, because it isn’t true…he’s just stylish. Penguins are a flightless birds that spend half their time in the water where they eat things and evade predators. They don’t like to tell people about that very often because it’s sad BUT I HAVE SEEN PLANET EARTH and I know what’s going on! Penguins are eaten by whales and sharks every day. EVERY DAY THESE SWEET HELPLESS THINGS ARE VICIOUSLY MAULED. Nature is a cruel, cruel mother. When I was in Japan I went to the Ueno Zoo and saw some King Penguins. They let one out for a stroll and it started chasing people, which was awesome because PENGUIN RUNNING! I’m going to make a movie about penguins running, like Chariots of Fire, even though I don’t remember what the hell that movie was about because I saw it when I was in preschool for whatever fucking reason. Who makes 5 years old watch that shit? I went to a Montessori school though, so you know, that’s the high brow, sophisticated learning we did compared to the rest of you idiots. MONTESSORI MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO TEACH YOU ABOUT ANIMALIA. AND MAKE UP WORDS LIKE ANIMALIA! (Animalia is actually a real word that I did not make up). Back to penguins! When I was in Atlanta we went to the aquarium and saw penguins who were nesting and makin’ babies and they shit all over the wall. SO…if you want to adopt a couple hundred penguins be ready for that. I wish I’d know that 276 penguins ago but live and learn!
Total assholes. The end.
When I see a hedgehog I squeal at such a pitch that it’s like a dog whistle. LOOK AT IT! The hedgehog’s spines, or quills (of which there are roughly 6000) are hollow hairs made of keratin, a structural protein which also is one of the major components of human skin. They are known to roll up forming a ball of spines when threatened which is ADORABLE. I pointed a gun at one once and it’s true…they just roll right up! Sweet little things. When they’re not rolling up into cute little balls, their other form of defense if the same one my brother-in-law used when he and my sister came across a car thief in the alley behind their house – TURN AROUND AND RUN. Leave your wife holding that garbage and get the hell out of there (TRUE STORY). For the record I think running shouldn’t be considered a defensive maneuver. I wish hedgehogs knew karate because it’s about the only thing that could make them more awesome. They mainly communicate through grunts, SNUFFLES AND SQUEALS. I know, right? How ridiculously cute is that!? SNUFFLES AND SQUEALS. I’m doing both right now. There is an analogy about human intimacy referred to as the hedgehog’s dilemma. In the dilemma, hedgehogs attempt to get close to one another during cold weather, but because of their quills, cannot avoid hurting one another. This is what human relationships are all about – we want to get close to one another to enjoy a positive relationship, but we hurt and get hurt in return. Hedgehogs really teach us an important lesson. Also, they shit a lot. Someone told me that once.
There is no such thing.
These terrifying creatures all live in one location called Leah’s garage.They are dumb, stupid and dumb. The only thing dumber than a flying beetle is me. HAHA…not really. I’m smarter than you think!. I wrote someone’s admissions essay to Harvard and they GOT IN, so you know, I believe it means I got into Harvard, too. I’M PRACTICALLY A HARVARD GRADUATE! Not these guys, though. Oh no. They just fly around and slam into walls and the ceiling and then land upside down and lay there until they die. Seriously…they’re too stupid to get up, so they just lay there until death takes them Like I tried to do last summer so, okay, maybe I am not that smart after all.
This is a real thing. Seriously. THIS IS A REAL THING. I said it twice now so you have to believe me. Plus, this is a photo. I thought maybe the narwhal happened when a unicorn and a whale got drunk one night and one thing led to another and next thing you know it’s 14-15 months later and the whale sees a long horn protruding from her hoo-ha and out comes the narwhal! But that’s just something I made up just right now because, for the record, there is no such thing as a unicorn. The narwhal is one of two species in the Monodontidae family, the other being the beluga whale. Does anyone else get that Baby Beluga song that Michelle kept singing during that one episode of Full House stuck in their head every time someone mentions a beluga? No? Just me? Well, shit. The narwhal has what’s referred to as a forehead melon. A FOREHEAD MELON! YOU HEARD ME! HAHA! It’s funny to me. The melon is a fatty organ believed to be used for echolocation. Honeydew melons are my favorite. The term narwhal is derived from the Norse term nár, meaning corpse because it looks like a drowned sailor with it’s greyish coloring. FOR SERIOUS. THEY NAMED IT AFTER BLOATED CORPSES. I love science. The narwhal tusk (which is actually a tooth – can you imagine one of your teeth just growing and growing and growing from your face like that!?) is longest in males and it forms a helix, meaning it is twisty (another highly technical term). They can grow up to 10 feet in length. The purpose of the tusk is as a sexual characteristic, determining heirarchy, though they are rarely used for fighting…which is a shame because I’d totally stab anyone if I had one of those. What good is a pointy stick if not for poking and goring? Males do rub their tusks together from time to time in a show of social dominance, which sounds pretty gay if you ask me. Medieval legend says that the narwhal tusk is that of a unicorn and possesses magical powers, such as the ability to cure melancholy and I’m pretty sure that’s what my anti-depressants are made of because they are total fucking magic. WHEE!