Weird Workday Discoveries: Animals I Want to (But Probably Shouldn’t) Keep as Pets

Posted: Friday, May 31st, 2013


Over the course of our workday, we editors often find ourselves learning all sorts of strange and amazing information about history, science and literature. We’d like to share some of our favorite finds with you. Today’s post is brought to you by Wikipedia and editor Jody Amable.

I’ve always known that the animal world is an extremely diverse place, but it wasn’t until I came to that I got a sense of just how diverse it is. Even posting coloring pages to the site requires a quick Google search in order to write a competent blurb, and that invariably leads to falling down a Wikipedia rabbit hole, so to speak, of articles on the furry and the feathered; the slimy and the scaly.

I’ve fallen in love with quite a few animals here at my desk. I like to imagine a world where I could fall asleep with a snow leopard curled up at my feet, but I’m adult enough to know why that’s a bad idea. Nonetheless, I continue to dream. Here are my top five (very impractical) picks for exotic pets:

5. Marmots

I usually end up on this page while looking for information on Groundhog Day.

Why They’re Adorable: Something about these guys just cracks me up.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Why They’d Make Bad Pets: When they sense danger, they use a shrill whistle to alert the rest of their colony to potential trouble. I have a feeling that would get old real fast.

4. Bearcats


Source: Wikipedia

More commonly known as binturongs. Instead of being brought to my attention through coloring page research, I was alerted to the existence of bearcats through a typo in a science activity, which called for a small stuffed animal toy. In the instructions, the writer had clearly meant to suggest either a bear- or cat-shaped toy, but in one instance it got squished together to read “toy bearcat.” “Bearcat…that’s a real thing, isn’t it?” I thought to myself. Straight to Wikipedia I went.

Why They’re Adorable: They’re pretty cute, especially when they’re sleeping (which they apparently do a lot of: search ‘binturong’ on Flickr and approximately half the results are photos of napping bearcats).

Source: Flickr

Source: Flickr


Why They’d Make Bad Pets: The San Diego Zoo says: “Binturongs have a very distinctive smell—that of buttered popcorn!” I love the smell of popcorn, but might not love it so much if it’s emanating from an animal.

3. Wombats

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

I ended up reading up on wombats while searching out information for a worksheet series on Australian animals. I became so smitten with wombats that in my next e-mail to the designer I made a point of telling him how much I wanted one for myself.

Why They’re Adorable: I’m just going to direct you to this video:

Ah, so sweet.

Why They’d Make Bad Pets: Everything’s fine until you make them mad:

They’re pretty defensive animals. They’ve been known to bite and head-butt humans that get too close to their home.

2. Wolverines

Am I the only one who thinks wolverines are kind of cute?

Why They’re Adorable: Look at that big wet nose! Just like a puppy!


1. Pudu

Pudu are the world’s smallest breed of deer. I’m not usually into miniature versions of animals — give me a bulldog over a Yorkie any day — but the Pudu has won me over in a really big way.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Why They’re Adorable: they’re the definition of – wait for it – doe-eyed.

Why They’d Make Bad Pets:

Come to think of it, I might be able to live with a pudu. Let me see if I can talk my landlord into it.

How about you: what’s the weirdest animal your kid has begged to bring home?

For more animal inspiration, check out this slideshow of some newly-discovered animal species: New Animal Species

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3 Responses to “Weird Workday Discoveries: Animals I Want to (But Probably Shouldn’t) Keep as Pets”

  1. Candice Abellon Says:

    So I hear that wombats wander around Australia like raccoons. Or maybe that was wallabies.

  2. Mack Levine Says:

    No capybaras, Jody? Come on

  3. Jody Amable Says:

    Oh, rest assured, capybaras are in my top 10.

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