"Snails are not insects, i'll admit. But they're just as revolting to me. Snails are mollusks, you see, and are born wearing shells they cannot remove. Instead, their shells get bigger and bigger as they grow. Hoo! They must get heavy, don't you know! I suppose that's why they need a trail of mucus to move about. ..a truly foul form of transportation.."
"The pale chub is a river fish with simple black-and-silver coloring. Interestingly, the male's coloring becomes most vibrant when he's trying to attract a mate! Though normally plain, these fellows really know how to look stylish when they want to. Perhaps I could learn a thing or two from the pale chub.."
"I wonder... Do you know how to tell the difference between a Crucian Carp and a standard-issue Carp? It's quite easy to tell the two apart... One must simply locate the barbels. Or rather, the lack of them! And just what is a barbel, you ask? Well, a barbel looks a little something like a mustache. A run-of-the-mill Carp will sport this unsightly "facial hair", while a Crucian Carp is considerably better groomed! I tried to grow a mustache when I was younger. It never did fill in quite right.. All for the best in the end, as mustaches go so much better with noses than with beaks!"
"Ah, that graceful ballerina of the Cretaceous, the Iguanodon! When I say it was graceful, I mean the...ahem...rather low bar set by other large herbivores. Apparently it would nimbly dodge the attacks of predators and fight back with its thumb claws! It could even walk on two legs when it wanted to! Er...truly it was the most elegant and lithe of dinosaurs."
"Archaeopteryx's feathers led many people to believe it was the progenitor of the birds, eh wot... Sadly, further evidence indicates it's likely not a direct ancestor---more an evolutionary "uncle," if you will. Every time a specimen is found, new theories pop up. And new relatives come to roost in the family tree!"
"Good old Diplodocus---what would we do without you? This stout fellow embodied all the best in dinosaurs. Those sturdy legs, that magnificent tail, and, above all, that extraordinary neck! Did you know that its center of gravity was such that sitting up on its hind legs was probably too easy? What's more, paired with its long neck, this ability greatly increased its reach for eating plants! Best of all, Diplodocus probably grew its entire life, having no "adult size." Would that we were all so gifted!"
"You can't talk about Stegosaurus without talking about the distinctive diamond-shaped plates on its back. These plates, while made of bone, were not actually connected to the animal's skeleton! They simply grew out from the skin, remarkably enough, and were up to two feet tall and similarly wide. It's not clear exactly how the plates were arranged or what they were for. Yet more mysteries of the ancients!"
"Be warned, there is nowhere one might hide from the Mole Cricket. This plump pest has powerful front claws made for digging holes, and oh how it loves to burrow underground! A cousin to the grasshopper, it also has wings and can easily take to the air. And I swear this on my pinfeathers... Some have even been seen walking on water! Oh mercy, I may need a moment. This is making me feel rather woozy."
"Putrid Pondskaters! They walk on water, you know...which is most preposterous! It is a trick they perform by secreting oil onto the hairs of their feet. To which I say BLEEECH! And one must wonder... What will they do next? Walk on air? Walk through walls? Perish the thought."
"As if the average locust weren't large enough...we must suffer the Long Locust too! The wretched beasts are known for their unusually long hind legs as well as their elongated heads. But that is hardly the Long Locust's worst trait... I tell you, they spit brown goo when they're scared! Revolting behavior indeed! Ugh and ewww!"
"Sea bass is a name given to a variety of different species of saltwater fish. They are a varied bunch with some as small as four inches and some as staggeringly ginormous as eight feet! "Sea Bass" is a bit pedestrian, though. Many species have better names, such as "redbanded perch." Or the delightfully whimsical dusky grouper! Or the potato cod! WILL NO ONE THINK OF THE PINK MAOMAO?!"
"Well, first off, Squids are members of the mollusk family, just like the octopus. Many mollusks like snails and clams have shells, but the Squid's body is almost completely soft. The exception is a long, narrow bit of hard material going through its main body---the last remnant of its shell. Of course, having your shell INSIDE is not a best practice. Perhaps they lost the owner's manual!"
"Tiger Butterflies are known for their majestic wings, which many consider quite beautiful. Truth be told, I find them monstrous! Those strange striped patterns... They give this owl the goose bumps! And while you may imagine young Tiger Butterfly larvae to look like lovely green caterpillars... it's not so! Why, when Tiger Butterflies are but babes, they're covered in unsightly white, brown, and black spots. In this way, they camouflage themselves as...as...bird droppings! Putrid pests, indeed!"
" "Red Snapper" is the common name of dozens of fish species, and I wonder why it is so popular. Are there so many types of fish that are both a shade of red and have a tendency to snap? Were there no other names? What about "burgundy biter"? "Garnet grasper"? " Puce pincher"?"