“Today we are talking about a river horse whose looks are laughable and unphotographable. Yet they’re my favorite work of art.”
“And today we’re talking about a worm that’s more radiant than a locomotive. But more on that later.”
“And today we’re talking about a big black buzzard the binges on bear beef but more on that later.”
“And today we are talking about one of the biggest animal celebrities. I’m a little star struck already.”
“And today we’re talking about a big blubbery boy with wonderful whiskers with which they wade around in the water.”
“And today we are talking about a slippery sucker pup that has more than 15 ways to get out of danger.”
“And today we are talking about a bird that is a harbinger of doom and destruction. But more on that later.”
“And today we’re talking about the John Wick of weasels and like John Wick, you just don’t want to get in it’s way. But more on that later.”
The plains of sub-Saharan Africa are a dangerous place for mid- to smallish-sized mammals. There are lots of predators that want to make a meal out of you and your posterity. For the honey badger, there is no middle ground—it’s all or nothing. Don’t let its dame fool you, the badger is always ready to put up its dukes and fight to the death with anything that rubs it the wrong way. To be this aggro, the honey badger needs to have some interesting tools in its survival kit that can only be described here in Life Death and Taxonomy.
“…and today we’re talking about what is called the most dangerous bird in the world. But more on the truth of that later.”
We often think of birds as benign, graceful creatures, alighting on the forefingers of princesses and singing songs to one another as the sun crests the horizon. When in danger, these skittish creatures take to the air and find safety in the sky or even a tall tree. But not every bird is so gentle. And not every bird flees from a fight. One bird breaks the cultural standards of birdliness and kicks elegance to the curb. But strength and aggression is often a path to survival in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.
“And today we’re talking about a crustacean whose name sounds like an old-timey insult. ‘Hey, get back here you tongue-eating louse and I’ll give you what for!’”
Have you ever loaded your family into a big RV and taken to the open road? One undersea crustacean does something similar with its family. Only instead of the open road it’s the open ocean, and instead of a large and luxurious Winnebago, it’s a northern red snapper. It’s a big ocean for a small arthropod and hitching a ride on a wayward fish can really help them get around. But here’s the catch: they have to do something that borders on the grotesque and oceanesque to fill their bellies during their nautical adventures. But sometimes survival requires a sea parasite to get gross and gauche in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.
Thanks to Oh No Lit Class for the use of the intro Joke grotesque and oceanesque of their mini show Study Breaks!