Informed Species
An animal that belongs to an actual species, but looks nothing like its Real Life counterpart.


(permanent link) added: 2011-06-29 19:59:16 sponsor: EdnaWalker (last reply: 2011-07-11 22:13:33)

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Informed Species is about an animal that belongs to an actual species and often called that species, but hardly looks (or looks nothing) like its Real Life counterpart.

Imformed Species is related to Cartoon Creature and Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit", but there are differences that set Informed Species apart from the other two tropes. A Cartoon Creature is an ambiguous looking animal or an animal belonging to an ambiguous species. Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit" is about a new or unfamiliar animal species (or "smeerp") being referred to by the name of a more familiar (or "rabbit" counterpart) species.

Many older examples of Seldom Seen Species hardly look and act (if not, look and act nothing) like their Real Life equivalents.

Related to Cartoon Creature and Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit".


Examples:

Film
  • The Aracuan Bird from The Three Caballeros is pink, unlike its real world counterpart.
  • A few of the reviews for An American Tail when it first came out complained about how un-catlike Tiger looked.
  • Shifu the red panda from Kung Fu Panda, with his huge round ears, more whitish orangey fur, and dark brown hands, is not that easy to identify as a red panda, which has medium sized, rounded triangular ears and is more reddish with a black underside and legs.
  • Zilla, a.k.a., the American Godzilla, is an interesting variation. He's supposed to be a mutated marine iguana, but his physical structure is more akin to that of a theropod dinosaur. Of course, since he is mutated, this might be justified.
  • Cera from Land Before Time is hardly recognizeable as a Triceratops since she only has one horn.
    • Poor Ducky. Sources can't decide if she's a Parasaurlophus, an Edmontoaurus, or a Saurlophus since she doesn't really look completely like one or the other.
    • Likewise, Hyp and his father don't really look much like Hypsilophodons.
    • The "Yellow Bellies" from The Wisdom Of Friends hardly look like the dinosaurs they're supposed to be either.
  • Earl Sinclair from Dinosaurs is said to be a Megalosaurus, but looks nothing like the actual dinosaur.
    • Likewise, his wife Fran is supposed to be an Allosaurus. But, Allosaurus never had that Dilophosaurus-like crest on its head.
  • Rafiki in The Lion King is stated to be a baboon, but looks like the bastard child of a mandrill and a capuchin monkey.
    • Zazu from The Lion King is supposed to be a yellow-billed hornbill. And, while he does look like a bird with a yellow beak, he doesn't look much like the bird he's supposed to be.
  • Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio is so heavily anthropomorphized that he looks more like a little green man with a rabbit nose and no ears. Animator Ward Kimball, who designed him, admited that "he's a cricket because we say he's a cricket."

Newspaper Comics
  • Krazy Kat is not readily identifiable as a cat.
  • Nor is Mooch from Mutts.
  • Lampshaded in Bloom County that eventually Opus looked more like a puffin than a penguin.
  • Peanuts: More of an informed breed, but Snoopy and his brothers look nothing like real beagles.

Other
  • The University of Minnesota's mascot, Goldy Gopher doesn't look much like a gopher. Upon consultation the conclusion was he looks more like a chipmunk.

Puppets
  • Fozzie the bear from The Muppets is hard to identify as a bear.

Video Games
  • Sonic the Hedgehog looks little like his animal namesake. His spikes look more like styled hair and he hardly has a snout. Instead, he has a jellybean like nose that's close to face. Same goes with Amy, Shadow, and Silver who are also hedgehogs. Also, hedgehogs aren't blue, pink, black, or silver.
    • Knuckles is an echidna, but because his spikes look more like styled hair, he hardly has a snout, and has a jellybean like nose that's close to face, it wouldn't be too hard to mistake him for a "hedgehog".
  • King Dedede from the Kirby game series is not readily identifiable as a penguin.
  • Crash Bandicoot: Crash and Coco don't look much like bandicoots, Tiny the Tiger looks like some kind of big cat, but definitely not a tiger, and Dingodile has a crocodile tail but the rest of him looks like some kind of pig thing, not a dingo.
    • Tiny Tiger is he apparently was originally intended to be a Tasmanian tiger (an extinct Australian marsupial, not actually a cat) but in the game Crash of the Titans he was redesigned and looks more cat like now. (possibly a case where the game designer Did Not Do The Research)

Western Animation
  • The Tasmanian Devil and the Tasmanian She Devil from Looney Tunes are brown furred and look nothing like real Tasmanian Devils, which have black fur.
    • The Roadrunner also looks nothing like it's real-world counterpart. Roadrunners aren't bright purple/blue nor are they the same size as a coyote.
    • Another example is Hippety Hopper, the baby kangaroo that Sylvester always mistakes for a giant mouse. In Sylvester's defense Hippety does look far more like a giant mouse than an actual kangaroo.
    • Yoyo Dodo looks nothing like a real dodo.
    • Batty, the bat in the cartoon, "The Brave Little Bat," looks nothing like a bat, and looks like a mouse with wings instead.
  • Dizzy Devil (the purple Tasmanian devil), Rev Runner (the red roadrunner), and Gogo Dodo from Tiny Toon Adventures
  • Slam Tasmanian and Rev Runner from Loonatics Unleashed
  • Bonkers D. Bobcat hardly looks like a real bobcat. At least he has downward-facing cheek tufts though.
  • Bungo from Jungle Junction is said to be a "bunny", but, rabbits don't have long striped tails.
  • Who Who the ring tailed lemur from the Animaniacs episode, "Back In Style" hardly looks like a real ring tailed lemur and looks vaguely like a red panda instead.
  • Evil the cat from Earthworm Jim hardly looks like a cat at all; he looks like a white rat with pointed ears.
  • The protagonists of The Ren & Stimpy Show are not readily identifiable as a chihuahua dog and cat, respectively.
  • Arthur Read and his relatives are aardvarks, but aren't readily identifiable as such. Real aardvarks have giant noses. Arthur, D.W., and other Reads have no nose.
    • Averted in the books, in which Arthur's enormous nose is actually the driving force of the plot.
    • Also from Arthur, both Brain and the Tibble Twins are supposed to be bear cubs, but they look more like gophers than actual bears.
    • Likewise, Prunella is supposed to be a rat (like Mr. Ratburn), but her ears and hair make her look more like a poodle.
  • Pete the cat from the Classic Disney Shorts is so hard to identify as a cat that in Goof Troop, A Goofy Movie, and An Extremely Goofy Movie, he was treated more like a Dogface.
    • In Steamboat Willie, the first time Pete was portrayed as a cat, he looked somewhat reasonably like a cat and had a tail, but since the mid 1930s, he lost his tail and fell into this trope.
    • Junior, Pete's son from the Donald Duck cartoon "Bellboy Donald" is a cat, but not readily identifiable as such and looked more like Mickey Mouse with cat ears instead.
  • Chip and Skip from Camp Lazlo are supposed to be dung beetles, but look more like purple things.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Chipettes in the animated TV shows and movies look nothing like chipmunks.
  • Wendell T. Wolf from Taz-Mania is supposed to be a Tasmanian Wolf, but he looks more like a miniture version of Wile E. Coyote.
  • Jake from My Gym Partner SA Monkey is supposed to be a spider monkey but, while obviously a primate of some kind, looks little like the actual species. Lampshaded in one episode that shows his family at the zoo at first appear to look correct but after the humans leave they remove disguises showing they actually look like Jake.
  • Like Arthur, Cerebus the Aardvark looks little (if at all) like the real-life animal. He looks more like a gray pig-creature than an actual aardvark.
  • Dagget and Norbit from The Angry Beavers don't look an awful lot like beavers. This is constantly pointed out in the show, as most people assume that they are weasels.
  • The Tick owns a capybara named Speak (named because he once hallucinated it talking to him) who looks much more like some sort of mutant pug dog; in fact, the Tick was sure Speak was a dog until he took him to the vet.
  • Snook from It's a Big Big World is supposed to be a sloth, but he looks more like some weird furry creature.
    • Bob is supposed to be a Tarmandua, a type of anteater, but looks more like a cross between Gonzo and a cat.
  • The titular Aardvark from The Ant and the Aardvark doesn't look very much like an aardvark, having blue fur, a long snout more like that of an anteater's than an actual aardvark's, and long angularly bent ears.
  • Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio is so heavily anthropomorphized that he looks more like a little green man with no ears. Animator Ward Kimball, who designed him, admited that "he's a cricket because we say he's a cricket."
  • Cyrill Sneer and his son Cedric on The Raccoons are suposed to be aardvarks, but have pink fur and snouts that bend down. The show's creator did this on purpose so kids don't think that real aardvarks are greedy industrialists.

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