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[[quoteright:286:[[WesternAnimation/DuckTales http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/beagles_vs_beagles_3611.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:286:The Beagle Boys, and real beagles...\\
not seeing it.]]

->''"Here's Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog, rolling at high speed through a cartoon world just like real-life hedgehogs don't."''
-->-- '''Creator/CharlieBrooker'''

Sometimes, whether due to a specific visual style or use of [[SlidingScaleOfAnthropomorphism anthropomorphism]], a character who belongs to a clearly-identified RealLife species ends up looking nothing like what that species actually does.

Some examples are understandable and forgivable, especially if they are also an example of SeldomSeenSpecies but for the most part TropesAreTools and so is making a character look less like their real world species counterpart due to TheLawOfConservationOfDetail, being able to tell a story easier (as MostWritersAreHuman) and sometimes simply because it looks [[RuleOfCool cool]] and/or [[RuleOfFun fun]]. ViewerSpeciesConfusion is a subtrope based on the audience reaction to a creature and IAmNotWeasel for in-universe reactions.

This is related to the CartoonCreature (whose actual species is entirely ambiguous), and CallASmeerpARabbit (which is about the ''name'' of their species, and not the species itself).

Many older examples of SeldomSeenSpecies look and act very little (or nothing) like their RealLife equivalents.

!!Example subpages:
* InformedSpecies/{{Film}}
* InformedSpecies/VideoGames
* InformedSpecies/WesternAnimation

!!Other examples:


[[folder:List of Common Examples]]
* Most cartoon fireflies look nothing like their real-life counterparts, the only indication of such being a firefly is the light on its abdomen.
* Most cartoon fleas look nothing like their real-life counterparts, instead looking like nondescript cartoon "bugs" or even tiny human-like creatures.
* Most reindeer appearing in many Christmas specials look absolutely nothing like their real-life counterparts, instead looking more like mule deer, roe deer, or white tailed deer. Regardless of shape and markings, they are invariably depicted as deer-sized (in reality reindeer are closer to the size of horses).
* Many cartoon alligators look more like crocodiles, often having thinner V-shaped snouts and the lower teeth visible when their mouths are closed. Real alligators have wider U-shaped snouts, and their lower teeth are hidden underneath the upper jaw making it an overbite.
* Many cartoon carnivores - occasionally even cats! - are drawn with pointed noses. Civets, raccoons, foxes, meerkats and to some extent weasels, badgers, and skunks ''do'' have these features - but dogs, bears (black bears have a somewhat pointed snout and are usually depicted with blunter snouts than in real life), and seals have much blunter snouts than they're commonly expected to have. And cats, of course, probably have the most human-looking faces of any mammals except primates.
* Many cartoon catfishes and dogfishes are often depicted as a cross between a fish and a cat or dog respectively. Although this may have been for a VisualPun.
* Many cartoon seals are often drawn as resembling sea lions, namely having an upright frame and occasionally ear flaps. However, this may be acceptable if they were fur seals.
* Many cartoon parrots and toucans are portrayed not resembling any real species, particularly having bizarre coloring and patterns. They are also always drawn with typical "chicken-feet" with three toes in front and one in back (real parrots and toucans have two toes pointing forwards and two pointing backwards).
* Many cartoon crows and ravens are drawn with yellow beaks and feet which makes them more closely resemble blackbirds or choughs.
* Many cartoon rabbits and hares are drawn with noses more similar to a cat's or a dog's, rather than "V"-shaped noses like in real life. They also often have their incisors sticking out out of their mouths just like a beaver or a gopher. The same thing also occurs with squirrels, chipmunks, hamsters and guinea pigs.
* Most cartoon porpoises look nothing like real porpoises, instead looking more like bottlenose dolphins. Real porpoises have shorter mouths, blunt snouts, and triangular dorsal fins.
* Most media depictions of dinosaurs [[ArtisticLicensePaleontology do not resemble the real animals]]. For example, ''Velociraptor'' is [[RaptorAttack almost always portrayed]] resembling the larger ''Deinonychus'' or ''Utahraptor'', ''Troodon'' is often shown lacking the sickle-shaped claw on its feet making it resemble ''Compsognathus'' or ''Coelophysis'', ''Allosaurus'' often looks more like a downsized ''TyrannosaurusRex'' with three-fingered hands and longer arms, ''Spinosaurus'' is depicted as a giant ''Baryonyx'' with a half-circular sail on its back[[note]]In works made after ''Film/JurassicParkIII'', before it was usually portrayed as a sail-backed carnosaur[[/note]], ''Apatosaurus'' and ''Brontosaurus'' often have longer necks and thinner frames more akin to ''Diplodocus'', ''Ankylosaurus'' is usually portrayed with spiky armor like ''Euoplocephalus'' and/or spikes along its sides like a nodosaur, etc.
* Most media depictions of pterosaurs [[PteroSoarer look practically nothing like the real animals]]. Common errors include leathery bat-like wings (the wing structure of pterosaurs was actually quite different from that of any extant flying vertebrate), teeth and long bony tails in genera that lacked either of these features, grasping talons like those of a bird of prey (as far as we can tell from fossils pterosaur feet seem highly unsuitable for grasping), and a covering of scales instead of pycnofibres (pycnofibres being the fur-like structures that many, if not all pterosaurs were coated with in life).

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The tanukis in ''Manga/AnimalLand'' look less like real life tanukis and more like small humans in bear-like costumes.
* One episode of ''Manga/BumpetyBoo'' involved a KillerGorilla, which looked little like a gorilla and resembled a Bigfoot instead.
* In ''Anime/{{Needless}}'', Miu's "teddy bear" is actually a rabbit, except it looks like a teddy bear, not a rabbit. Even the characters are like "That's a RABBIT???" upon finding out.
* Plue from ''Manga/RaveMaster'' is supposedly a dog. Despite not having any ears, having a drill as a nose, loves lollipop candies, can walk on two legs, deflating when exposed to hot water, and generally looking for all the world like a tiny snowman, Plue is a dog. [[CloudCuckooLander Elie]] thought Plue is an insect instead.
* The cats from "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1971)" don't really look like cats, they look more like little bears with whiskers that look like they might have been designed by Dr. Seuss.

* ComicBook/{{Cerebus|TheAardvark}}, in the very early issues, looked reasonably like a bipedal aardvark, but as the comic progressed and [[ArtEvolution Dave Sim's art improved]], Cerebus looked less and less like an aardvark and more like a gray pig-creature.
* Guess which species [[http://www.kaukapedia.com/index.php?title=Datei:Lupo.jpg these]] [[http://www.kaukapedia.com/index.php?title=Datei:Knox_.jpg two]] characters from German comic ''Fix & Foxi'' are supposed to be. [[spoiler:The first one's a wolf - his name "Lupo" should be a hint - and the second one a raven,]] but honestly, could you have told?
* As noted by the page image, the Beagle Boys from the ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse, who despite being more canine than the other DogFaces, still don't look enough like beagles. In a minor case, while DonaldDuck's cousin Gladstone Gander is a goose there's basically no difference between him and the ducks.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The picture of Undertow, the ''Pristichampsus'' in Nathanoraptor's ''WesternAnimation/IceAge'' 5 fanfic, on the author's deviantART page, reveals he looks more like a featherless ''Velociraptor'' than a ''Pristichampsus'', or even anything vaguely crocodilian.
* Narf the Mouse from ''WebAnimation/ZanyToTheMax''. He only looks ''somewhat'' like a mouse. In fact, he doesn't look at all like a mouse except for his ears, tail, and buck teeth! [[InvisibleAnatomy He doesn't even have visible arms!]]

* Many animals in the various Creator/DrSeuss books.
* The eponymous WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}} of the picture books and later animated TV series is billed as an aardvark. In the earliest books there is some trace of a resemblance, and the elongated nose is actually relevant to the plot (though it resembles that of an anteater's more than an aardvark's.) Later in the series, you wouldn't know unless you were told.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Franchise/PowerRangers,'' AnimalMecha often don't look much like the animal they're supposed to be. However, sometimes, the zord's name was changed from ''Franchise/SuperSentai'', where it resembles the animal it was ''originally'' named for (''Series/PowerRangersRPM'' especially, where a lot of the less badass animal motifs in ''Series/EngineSentaiGoOnger'' were renamed but you can't do anything about the sentai StockFootage).
* Cat from ''Series/RedDwarf'' is a highly humanoid creature with absolutely no visual clues as to his real species. However, Cat is actually stated to be a creature ''evolved'' from the spectacularly inbred descendants of Lister's pet cat.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Lampshaded in ''ComicStrip/BloomCounty'' that [[ArtEvolution eventually]] Opus looked more like a puffin than a penguin.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'':
** Garfield looked reasonably enough like a chubby cat in the earlier comics. His more recent incarnations appear to look less obstinately feline, but he still looks somewhat reasonably like a feline.
** Also, Odie, who Jim Davis declared to be a beagle but is even less similar to it than Snoopy. (in the live-action movies he's a dachshund; in [[http://images.ucomics.com/comics/ga/2007/ga070826.gif this strip]], Garfield declares he's a "purebred clown")
* ComicStrip/KrazyKat is not readily identifiable as a cat. (S)he looks somewhat like Yakko, Wakko, and Dot from ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'', but with a flesh-colored face and pink nose.
* Mooch the cat from ''ComicStrip/{{Mutts}}'' is not readily identifiable as a cat and [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mooch.gif looks rather like]] [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/untitled_1.bmp Yakko Warner]] from ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'', except with smaller, more pointed ears, a bigger nose, and without the cheek tufts and tan colored pants. The resemblance would be even more noticeable if Mooch were drawn in the same style Yakko is drawn, or if Yakko were drawn in the same style Mooch is drawn.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'': More of an informed breed, but Snoopy and his brothers look nothing like real beagles. Notably Snoopy wasn't originally intended to be a beagle, and even denied being one in an early strip.
* Winslow from ''ComicStrip/PricklyCity'' is supposed to be a coyote pup, but he looks more like a cross between a bobcat and a Cairn Terrier.
* Pogo from ''ComicStrip/{{Pogo}}'' looks nothing like a possum; he looks more like a monkey.
* In ''ComicStrip/MotherGooseAndGrimm'', while Grimm is clearly a dog, he doesn't really share much of resemblance with Bull Terriers, which he's stated to be. Combined with ArtEvolution, in the earlier strips he actually did look a lot like the particular breed.

* The University of Minnesota's mascot, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldy_Gopher Goldy Gopher]] doesn't look much like a gopher. [[http://www.mndaily.com/2003/07/21/goldie-really-gopher Upon consultation]] the conclusion was he looks more like a chipmunk.
* Given that seeing a lion in 18th century Brazil was difficult, the ones made by local sculptor [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleijadinho Aleijadinho]] [[http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FoE-D8uvs6w/Th2gr2zZpbI/AAAAAAAAAl4/1Js-Uls1YHM/s1600/images.do.jpg looked like monkeys]] - most notably in [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Congonhas_sanctuary_of_Bom_Jesus_prophet_Daniel.jpg his statue of Daniel]] in a series with Literature/TheBible's prophets. (which also includes another example, [[http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2326/2462644259_dc29b24950.jpg the whale carved on Jonah's statue]])
* Sea monkeys are a good example. The cartoons on the packages look nothing like the brine shrimp they are in real life. They are not monkeys either. This is probably an intentional attempt to fool gullible kids into buying them - a kingdom of merpeople in your aquarium sounds cooler than a bunch of brine shrimp.
* Because only the ivory made its way to Europe for a long time, [[http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/book-review-sea-monsters-on-medieval-and-renaissance-maps/ walruses were initially depicted as elephants]], and later as pig-fish hybrids.
* In a real life example, it's a known issue that many dogs in animal shelters are mislabeled. They don't give them DNA checks, so the people just check if they have enough characteristics of a certain type of dog and categorize them as such. Due to how dogs work, mixed breeds can look a variety of ways despite their heritage. This means that just about any dog could be called a "Lab mix" or "Pit Bull/Staffie mix" even if they contain very little or none of those breeds in them, and often times they don't truly resemble the breeds much either.

* ''Series/{{Dinosaurs}}'':
** Earl Sinclair is said to be a Megalosaurus, but looks nothing like the actual dinosaur.
** Likewise, his wife Fran is supposed to be an Allosaurus. Allosaurus never had that Dilophosaurus-like crest on its head.
** B. P. Richfield is meant to be a Triceratops, but has the spiky frill of a Styracosaurus.
* ''Series/ItsABigBigWorld'':
** Snook is supposed to be a modern-day tree sloth, but he looks more like a prehistoric ground sloth instead.
** Bob is supposed to be a Tamandua, a type of anteater, but looks more like a cross between Gonzo and a cat.
* Franchise/TheMuppets:
** Fozzie Bear is hard to identify as a bear; he has more of a toy teddy bear or even koala look to him while other Muppet bears like Bobo look like actual bears.
** Pepe -- if he didn't tell you he was a king prawn would you have ''any'' idea what he was? He's clearly some kind of crustacean, so...they got us to "within a subphylum", anyway.
** Sam the Eagle, while clearly a bird, doesn't really look much like an American Bald Eagle as he has none of the standard markings.
* ''Series/SesameStreet'':
** An animated music video about animal families featured featured a chickadee as one of the featured animals, but the chickadee looked more like an Baltimore oriole (a bright orange bird) than an actual chickadee (actual chickadees have gray bodies, black heads, and white cheeks).
** Rosita was meant to be a fruit bat but she looks more like a blue Elmo or a mutated flying squirrel than a bat. After 13 years they removed her wing flaps and {{retcon}}ned her into being a Monster. The in-series reason for this is that she 'lost' her wings while flying through a cave.
** Big Bird looked much more like an actual bird in the beginning - and even then, he never looked as avian as his sidekick Little Bird.

* Many animals in ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' are informed species. Birds in general often fall victim to this, as do most cats. The toys of feline characters tend to fall into a very similar (but not actually resembling any actual cat) build.
* In ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'''s 2007 line, the Barraki have launchers used to fire squids that look more like lampreys than actual squids and are also stated to be vampiric like the latter.
* ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'':
** G2 bombed in most places, bar [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff a few European countries]], because of this. The toys no longer resembled ''ponies'', they looked like ordinary ''horses''. While there is a lot of overlap between the two due to being the same species, ponies are overall shorter and stockier than other horses.
** G1 had "Dream Beauties" which were essentially a predecessor to G2. They didn't look like ponies, with the official consensus seeming to be that they were "teenage ponies". That didn't make much sense though, since most previous ponies were adults and ponies don't suddenly become long-legged during adolescence.
** G3.5 ponies just look off. They don't really resemble anything, besides maybe some sort of dog-horse mix. Their proportions are completely wrong even for SuperDeformed ponies.
** Just like [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic the cartoon]], G4 ponies less resemble horses and more resemble weird looking dogs. Proper looking equine do appear though, such as the Saddle Arabian delegates who look like Arabian horses. Celestia and Luna also resemble horses, though they're supposed to be tall ponies.

* Carson the Muskrat in ''Webcomic/DorkTower''. He looks more like Snoopy than like an actual muskrat. This is lampshaded in one strip where he goes as himself to a costume event and gets told "[[YourCostumeNeedsWork Worst muskrat costume ever!]]"
* In ''Webcomic/{{Narbonic}}'', none of Helen's gerbils look anything like real gerbils. Whether they look like in-universe gerbils that are not the creations of a MadScientist varies between strips.
* Layla Flaafy from Webcomic/{{Sonichu}}, looks absolutely ''nothing'' like the Pokemon Flaafy except possibly for her curly hair, instead just being a sort of generic furry. WordOfGod (well, word of troll) says that she was created by one of the author's [[{{Troll}} internet girlfriends]] and it was his idea to make her a Flaafy despite [[LazyArtist not changing her design at all.]]