Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Creature Feature: Springhaas.

I was debating whether to do something cute or terrifying for today. The coin voted cute. Who am I to defy it?

Is it a rabbit? A baby kangaroo? A new, top-selling pet made by marketing committees and horrific adorable genetic splicing?

Furby, eat your chip out.

Oh, I wish. The springhaas/springhare (Pedetes capensis) is a vulnerable rodent from southern Africa. They are nocturnal animals that eat plants and insects. Most of their time is spent in burrows; their paws are equipped for digging and their ears are designed to keep sand out.

These guys have had taxidermists stumped for centuries. Is it a hare or a rodent? Should we lump it in with other rodents, or give it is own group? How many plushies of it should we order? Seriously, though, this little guy is pretty much his own group now. Adorable and weird have never looked so good together.

Despite being listed as "vulnerable," several people have springhares as pets. What, you thought they weren't cute enough to smuggle?

Even CITES couldn't stop this one from getting through.

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