Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Marsupial Spotlight: Kangaroo

Kangaroos are likely the most common animal we think of when the country of Australia comes up in conversation. There is a reason for that. They are entirely endemic to to that country. You will not find them anywhere else unless they are visiting as tourists generally accompanied by Jack Hannah. Just because they are only in one spot on the earth does not mean they are endangered. Quite the opposite. If you go to Australia, that place is infested with them!

They are not small either. Many kangaroos can go as high as seven feet. That is taller than most human beings! Pretty scary when you consider they stand upright like a person. Although, it is quite illegal, boxing matches were often arranged between a human and a kangaroo. The marsupial would nearly always win and sometimes kill the poor fellow who thought he could best the animal.

Kangaroos fight mainly by kickboxing. This is even worse when they get a running start. Kangaroos have extremely powerful legs which allow them to hop very fast--sometimes up to 25MPH! I once saw a video of a golfer who was trying to scoop a golf ball out of a water trap. A kangaroo came out of nowhere and kicked the man so hard that he flew into the water head first. It was hilarious, plus I don't think the kangaroo had a good reason to do it other than it was Wednesday.

Another aspect of the kangaroo that I am sure everyone knows is that they have a pouch on their belly--well, at least the females do. Kangaroos are apart of a family known as macropodidae, or you can just call them macropods. This means a number of things; however, the real focus of it is they have large pouches that have an opening which is horizontal to the body. It is a very useful tool for a mother.

The female's pouch is not simply for carrying their young. When the young kangaroo is born, they are placed in the pouch where the female's nipples are located. They latch onto them and the nipple swells up essentially trapping them there where they are fed milk whenever they need it. Unfortunately, if they break free of the nipple early, they die. When they grow up, this pouch serves as a wonderful pocket to ride in. Sound's fun, doesn't it?!

There are so many other things I want to mention about the kangaroo, but I just don't have time. Believe me, I will tell you about them in later spotlights, but for now, I have a very arduous fiction segment to contend with. Kangaroos are everywhere in fiction. I am sure everyone has a famous kangaroo that they love. For me, I grew up with the characters Kanga and Roo in the Disney "Winnie the Pooh" series of movies and shows. Kanga is the mother, and she exemplifies everything a mother should be perfectly. Roo is the perfect child, and I would have loved to have grown up with him. I have yet to read the books, but it is VERY high up on my list right now. I am likely to read them in a month or so.

"Skippy: Adventures in Bushtown" is a very cute Australian cartoon series from 1998 which features two kangaroos and a number of other Australian creatures. Skippy is actually a park ranger and his friend Matilda is remarkably cute. The only problem with the show that I had was the opening intro sequence is way too long. It was so long that by the time the actual episode began, I nearly expected to see credits rolling. Still, this is a fun little show for children.

In 1936, Terrytoons brought up Kiko the Kangaroo--a lovable marsupial who really knew how to throw a punch. I have seen a number of these cartoons and am very sad that he did not really last very long--only 10 short films! I always thought his momentary confusion about how things worked was cute. He had some very funny facial expressions which he really needed since he never ever spoke a word.

Here is a personal favorite of mine. In no less than two "Legend of Zelda" games, a lovable kangaroo by the name of Ricky appeared. He was both a supreme hopper and fighter and was rather proud of his abilities. He even allowed Link to ride about in his pouch while he dished out justice to all the monsters.

In the Johnny Bravo episode called, "Pouch Potato," Johnny is actually adopted by a mother kangaroo which is almost just too sweet to express in words. There are some images that are hard to get out of your head, and seeing a mommy kangaroo dote over someone like Johnny is one of them.

I have personally written a number of kangaroos into my literature. My unpublished story "Sugarfangs" has a very eager, overprotective kangaroo mother who doted much to harshly over the protagonist boy. It was all about how too much mommy can be a bad thing. In my published book "Wild," I had a short story called "Motherhood." In it, a mother kangaroo had a 30-year-old son still in her pouch which was to all a disgrace.

I also have a personal character I like to draw named Tooie Kangaroo. She is an anthropomorphic, large-breasted kangaroo who loves going on adventures. She is also a barbarian and very strong; although, she fails in the intelligence area. Often times, I have made her very stupid. She is currently appearing in a web comic called "The Questionable Quest," which I will link at the bottom of this blog. Tooie has been so popular that no less than 20 people have asked me permission so they can draw a picture of her themselves. Now, that's just awesome.

Kangaroos are big, bad, and awesome! They represent so many things--power, speed, motherhood. They are extremely inspiring; however, they're are many types of kangaroos that I will be spotlighting later. Stay tuned for more or else you might go hopping mad!

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at Also, if you want to see Tooie Kangaroo's web comic, you can access it by clicking on the following link: G'day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My Love of Marsupials

Whenever I think of marsupials, the two words that come to my mind are "Australia" and "Big." I think ever since the movie "Crocodile Dundee" came out, we have seen Australia as a big, dangerous place with big, dangerous animals, and the only way to survive there is by being a big, dangerous human being. And I am sure there is some truth to this--at least, for some of the less civilized areas. I actually found out that when you get off of a plane in Australia, you are commonly offered crocodile attack insurance. Enough said!

The most well-known marsupial is most certainly the kangaroo, and kangaroos are very big. I have been so fascinated by the marsupial that I have created a semi-popular character named Tooie who is a very large kangaroo girl. She was fairly well-liked, and many people drew fan-art of her over the years. However, there are far more marsupials than the kangaroo, and they are all quite interesting in their own way.

As a matter of fact, I have to say that marsupials tend to be very distinct of each other and often quite weird. I really do mean weird--by the way. Some of the stuff I read... Well, let's just say it gets freaky. There is a lot of diversity in this group, and that is the fun of it. I think most of all, that is what I really love about the fascinating world of the marsupial!

Marsupials also have a good number of well-known species which also have their place in fiction. I run into them quite a lot! I have also used a number of marsupials in my own fiction. Generally, they do make for interesting characters, and their personalities can be quite varied to fit the original animals.

Next week, I will be introducing you to them. There aren't quite as many as with the rodents and the musties, but I think the sheer diversity of the group will make up for what they lack in numbers. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Thank you for reading this blog. If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at Thanks!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mustelidae Spotlight: Potamotherium

So, this is the very last Mustelidae Spotlight that I will be writing. It has been a lot of fun for me to learn about the musties and all their dirty deeds. I think the contrast between the rodent spotlights and these blogs should be pretty clear. The musties lean more towards bad behavior. Both, however, seem to have their good fellows, and I find that very interesting.

For my final mustie spotlight, I bring you the prehistoric creature known as the potamotherium. Bones of this animal were first found in 1833 and have since been located in Europe and North America. They look a little like otters that have been stretched out like a rubber band. In fact, they probably are related to otters as they were believed to be semi-aquatic; although, there are many disagreements in this matter.

I remember having this problem back when I spotlighted the guinea pig. This is one of those animals that people argue over what they really are. The official call is that they are, indeed, mustelidae; however, others suggest that they may be related to sea lions, and even other say that they are actually early bears. So, what is my opinion?

My opinion is that they are VERY CLEARLY musties. Yes, there are some weird aspects to them, but if I am to go by the artist renderings alone, they clearly resemble all those creatures I have been spotlighting. Of course, my opinion means very little in the legit world of science.

What little research I have of the potamotherium is that they have a very flexible backbone which would make it very good at swimming. It also apparently had a poor sense of smell; however, it made up for it with excellent sight and hearing. Although, I could not figure out what its diet was, I think it is safe to assume that he would hunt up fish and small animals that live near the water.

I want to believe that the potamotherium was playful, but I am leaning towards it being more of a nastier demeanor than the otters. The only reason I say this is because I have trouble seeing happy, playful animals during the age of the dinosaurs. Maybe, they were playful, but I just don't see it.

Fiction-wise, I see them as being very a tribal and dangerous people. They live near rivers and are very hostile towards invaders. Who knows, maybe they originated the Weasel War Dance! Either way, that's how I see it.

For those of you who have been reading my spotlights--especially those who have been following me all the way back when I was doing my Rodent Spotlights--I just want to express my great appreciation for sticking around with me. I really enjoy these animals, and I am very happy to learn about them and share them with the world in my own screwball way. I promise that there will be more spotlights coming very soon. I hope you will all come back to see what shenanigans I get myself into. But for now, I must bid a fond adieu to mustelidae!

Thank you for reading this blog. If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at Au revoir!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Mustelidae Spotlight: Ekorus Ekakeram

Ekorus ekakeram--or just ekorus for short--is the scientific name for a prehistoric mustie who sadly does not walk our world anymore. Bones of this very interesting species have been found in both North America and Asia. Although they don't actually have a proper name, I am quite fond of ekorus. I think it sounds pretty jazzy. What do you think?

One thing you will find with prehistoric musties is how big they are. If you remember my rodent spotlights, this does seem to be a trend with prehistoric animals. I actually find the idea of it fun. Lord knows I would love to see a giant mouse running around the world today. In the case of the ekorus, this guy had a shoulder height of 2 feet. They had long legs and could likely achieve a decent speed. The modern musties generally have short legs and are more sneaky than fast--with few exceptions.

So the ekorus was more of a leopard style hunter. He would chase them down and tackle. Like most musties, they had some very nasty jaws that were very good for subduing prey. I looked into what kind of prey they likely hunted. The only two things mentioned was a three-toed horse called a eurygnathohippus and a large pig called a nyanzachoerus. However you look at it, it seems like the ekorus went after big game, and that is pretty cool. I am fairly certain that no modern mustie would go after a horse. Well... maybe a honey badger, but only because he doesn't give a crap.

That is all I know about the ekorus, but I don't think its really all that lacking. You get a pretty good feel for how they would likely have behaved when they were still alive. You really have to consider the fact that they were still musties, and there is a very awesome predatory side to being apart of that group. Mix that with the power, speed, and the relative size of a leopard, and you got a very interesting character for fiction.

Let's anthropomorphize this fellow for a moment. I actually see the ekorus being a strong force for villainy but not at all a mastermind. I see them more as sub-boss toughies that are very good at killing. I can even imagine them with armor and weapons. They are very big and strong. They still have that sneaky side that makes them clever enough to be a force to be reckoned with. I really like this, and I wouldn't mind if I saw a picture of them set up this way. It would likely be an interesting story too.

The ekorus is no longer here, but that doesn't mean he wasn't cool. Still, when you consider how crafty and dangerous the little ones are--not to mention stinky--it is probably a good idea we don't have to deal with the giant ones now-a-days.

Thank you for reading this blog. If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, email me at, or just carve it into a stone slab and send it via pterodactyl. Ug.