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Killer Rabbit / Real Life

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  • In general, an animal with large, forward-facing eyes will look cute to humans. An animal with this feature is almost always a vicious predator. If not, they are a primate or a sloth, which are also listed here.
  • Pretty much anything that isn't newborn and isn't obviously dangerous has potential to be this. Natural Selection is the biological equivalent of Training from Hell on this planet. Even the vegetarians can rip the unwary a new one. Hell, even the vegetables can.
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  • The more brightly-colored and striking an animal is, the more poisonous its skin is likely to be. This applies to insects, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. It's theorized that these bright, striking colors act as a warning for predators that says "do not eat me, I'm poisonous". Some species, such as the king snake, go so far as to imitate this look despite not being poisonous themselves.
  • Many docile and adorable house pets that look totally cute and non-dangerous will go into a Killer Rabbit mode when they feel seriously threatened. A nice, cute hamster or an extremely friendly and docile pet rat can inflict some serious damage to its owner or anyone who gets close to it once it feels it's a Last Stand situation ("a cornered rat bites the cat").

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  • The trope namer itself. With those teeth, rabbits can inflict quite a bit of damage. During mating season, male rabbits are known to castrate rival males to ensure their own breeding rights with no anaesthesia. They also headbutt, and their kicks pack quite a bit of power for their size, to the point that they can break their own spine if they kick hard enough. Some rabbits are known to attack snakes. One gained fame for trying to board Jimmy Carter's fishing boat in 1979. It was even nicknamed "Killer Rabbit" by the media.
    • There was also a story circulating in Russia about a naturalist who observed a rabbit attacked by an eagle turn on his back and eviscerate the eagle with the claws on its hind legs. The eagle apparently died a horrible death.
    • This youtube video shows a mother rabbit dealing a world of pain to the large snake trying to eat her babies. The serpent can't get away fast enough.
    • New Yorkers have supposedly photographed a group of feral rabbits that eat (among other scraps) chicken wings. (Warning: Don't Try This at Home.)
    • Female rabbits (called does) are highly territorial and will attack male rabbits (called bucks) that enter their spaces. Therefore, rabbit breeders know to put the doe into the buck's enclosure rather than vice-versa.
    • The above behaviors are all characteristic of rabbits that haven't been neutered or spayed, which, in addition to rendering them incapable of reproducing, also removes the source of the hormones that causes them to exhibit violent and territorial behaviors (un-fixed bucks in particular are notorious for "spraying" everything around them with urine to mark their territories). Spaying a doe, in addition, protects her from contracting uterine/reproductive-system cancer, which has a very nasty and common tendency to afflict un-fixed does after the age of 3 (some sources say 80% of does who haven't been spayed come down with this type of cancer eventually). Short version: spayed/neutered rabbits are happier (un-fixed rabbits are essentially slaves to their hormones), much better behaved and, when overall healthy and well-cared-for, much longer-lived.
    • Because rabbits are highly social creatures that are often happiest with bondmates (rabbits with whom they've established a close emotional connection), many pet-rabbit owners introduce their bunnies to potential friends and keep them together with each other in order to encourage a lifelong relationship to form. The catch, however, is that the human needs to closely monitor the bunnies to keep them from getting into fights with one another; as described above, the battling buns are liable to injure each other severely with their teeth and hind feet claws in such encounters. In fact, experienced rabbit bonders know to wear sturdy gloves to keep from being bitten when separating fighting rabbits. Fortunately, rabbits, like many other animals, exhibit warning signals (such as body and ear posture, growling and lunging) when they're angry. Also, as noted above, it's strongly recommended that any potential pair of rabbit bondmates be neutered or spayed before attempting to bring them together.
    • A final note: a rabbit bite is very different (not only in the obvious sense of severity, but also in motivation) from a rabbit nip. Well-treated rabbits virtually never bite except in truly dire situations, but a well-cared for, loved house bunny will frequently nip, more or less lightly, their humans. When they do that, they're communicating, in a rather emphatic fashion, with you (some house-rabbit authorities call a nip the rabbit equivalent of an exclamation point). When your rabbit nips you, they want your attention for one reason or another; they may want pets/rubs/playtime, treats, food, or just for the big clumsy human to get out of their way.

Canines and Felines:

  • Domesticated dogs and cats still have hunter's instincts, and will often attack small animals they come across even if they're not hungry. Cats in particular, due to their mobility and stealthiness, are well equipped to hunt down various small animals such as birds and rodents that might be lurking in your back yard. Because they don't need the food, cats will often just play with their catches rather than eat them. For an added bonus, cats have a lot of bacteria in their mouths, which can make their bites surprisingly nasty - second only to that of a human being, in terms of infectiousness. (If a cat bites you, and the bite leaves more than a scratch, go get medical treatment! Do not pass 'Go'. Do not collect $200. Just get yourself to urgent care, stat.) Cats were largely domesticated because their ancestors' presence was tolerated due to them being very good at pest control, which became extremely important around 10,000 years ago when humans decided to settle down and take up agriculture.
    • Dogs are also famous for attacking other people and even large predators that decide to threaten their owner. This is expected from large breeds like rottweilers, but even the smallest of dogs are known to turn absolutely fierce when their master is in danger. Cats have also been known to do this, but much less often.
    • Siberian Huskies. The Chukchi tribes that originally bred them would turn the dogs loose in the summer, forcing them to fend for themselves. This led them to having a very strong prey drive. Any Husky owner will tell you just how quickly they will chase small animals such as birds, rabbits, squirrels, cats, and even small dogs if they spot one.
    • Dachshunds, a.k.a. wiener dogs. They look adorable. They're also bred to go into badger holes and lure the badger out, making them cute Killer-Rabbit Killers, or at least the Hyper Competent Attack Dogs thereof. It should be no surprise the dachshund was also used to hunt wild boar in some instances. Hell, drag them to Africa and take them on a big cat safari. They just don't give a fuck. It is a good day to die.
      • There's at least one known instance of a Dachshund killing a very, very aggressive German Shepherd by luring it under a parked car and, using its smaller size to maneuver, tearing its throat out. Helps that their teeth are not a small dog's teeth.
    • Chow Chows basically just look like big balls of fluff, but they have a reputation for being aggressive - to the point that the words "chow" or "chow mix" are basically codes for "be on your guard" in your average veterinary clinic.
      • There's a reason Chow Chows have been described as the dog that looks like a lion and thinks like a cat. Or a dog version of Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy. Pit Bulls and Rottweilers go for your limbs, to hurt you. Chows go for your throat to go for the kill. They were originally bred in Northern Mongolia and Siberia to hunt, herd, pull sleds, and guard royalty.
    • Show breeds of Cocker Spaniel are subject to a phenomenon known as "Cocker Spaniel Rage," in which they flip out and attack for no apparent reason. That's right, Lady may one day try to kill you out of the blue.
    • Chihuahuas have a lot of bad tempers and like to attack in packs, like a horde of angry rats. Some people have been savagely mauled by packs of the tiny pups, including a police officer in a 2005 incident. Unfortunately, many careless owners underestimate their potential for aggression, and allow their fearfulness to go unchecked, leading to their reputation of being an aggressive breed.
    • Patterdale terriers and Jagd terriers (German hunting terriers) are still used for boar hunting and vermin hunting. Unlike many dogs, they still have the original strength and ferocity since they did not become just show dogs like dachshunds.
    • Do not go to pet a dingo. They might look like Labrador Retrievers, but they're very much not domesticated, so they're very dangerous.
    • Foxes. They're cute, admirable, beautiful creatures. Also shy, retiring, and liable to do a fade into the underbrush long before a big blundering human catches sight of them. Except sometimes they turn quite friendly, even tame, and approach humans wanting to play and be petted. This is when they are at their most deadly dangerous. These are the symptoms of rabies in foxes. Even touching the fox will transfer the rabies virus to, say, your hand, and if you then rub your eyes, you won't know you're infected until it's too late. A good reason why foxes are cunning and manipulative by nature. This might also be part of the origin of the Kitsune, as it is typical behavior for Kitsune to act nice and convincing (occasionally by Voluntary Shapeshifting) only to disappear when you start to notice you've been outfoxed badly.
  • The black-footed cat is the smallest species of wild cat found in Africa, averaging a little over two feet long from head to tail. They're also very skilled hunters, with prey kill ratios as high as 60%.
    • To put that into perspective, lions, the apex land predator of Africa, only have a kill rate of 17-19%. Makes you wonder who the real king of the jungle is...
  • This cat apparently went absolutely ballistic, started trying to attack everyone in the house, and was only eventually stopped when the police arrived and trapped it. As seen on My Cat from Hell, he was suffering from feline hyperesthesia syndrome, which normally results in the cat attacking itself in confusion. It can be worsened by stress and treated with anti-seizure medications.


  • Koalas. It's not hard to piss them off, especially if you interrupt one of their 19 hours of sleep, and they have huge teeth and claws that can do some real damage when you rile them up. Please stay away from them.
  • Wombats can do a fair amount of damage too - one naturalist ended up with a 2cm (3/4 inch) deep bite in his leg. Through a gumboot, trousers, and thick socks. And if they get some speed up (40 kmh/24.85 mph at maximum, despite being generally slow) they can knock grown men over. This being Australia, their main defence against predators is to hide in a hole and use their cartilage-heavy, armour-plated arse to keep themselves from serious harm note  — and their modified pelvic bone that forms the aforementioned armor-plating is sturdy enough to crush a dingo's skull, if one manages to get its head into the hole before it's completely blocked off. Australia is potholed to Death World for a reason.
    • There's been instances of cars hitting wombats and flipping over. The wombat was fine. The car? Not so much.
      • They also had some impressive extinct relatives, such as the hippopotamus-sized Diprotodon (which may have inspired the mythical Bunyip) and there's even evidence that Thylacoleo (Marsupial Lions) were also wombat relatives.
      • For anyone who hasn't seen one in person, it's important to keep in mind that even extant wombats are much larger than they look in photos without anything to compare them to. Their proportions may make them look reminiscent of groundhogs, but they can top 70 pounds and over three feet long.
  • The kangaroo. Kangaroos are cute (especially because they carry the baby in their pouch), but they attack by kicking the victim, rupturing their organs and crushing their bones.
    • Big truck crashes into kangaroo. Kangaroo wins.
    • Kangaroo mom thinks a drone is getting too nosy.
    • Obviously the main thing people fear about kangaroos are their massive legs and feet. But they have a lot of upper body strength too. Just look at the muscles on this red kangaroo. Also, they have big claws
    • Also not well known is the fact that kangaroos, are, in fact, ripped as hell and not at all afraid to use it if you piss them off.
  • Sugar gliders might be all cute and cuddly on the outside, but on the inside, they are the stuff of nightmares. For example: a book tells of a breeder, who thought it would be swell to add little button quail in a cage that housed a colony of sugar gliders, fully expecting them to be friends. Big mistake. As it turned out, sugar gliders eat birds and thus slaughtered all of the quail effortlessly. What do sugar gliders do to prey? They dispatch their helpless victims with a quick bite to the head, before ripping them limb from limb, grabbing and munching body parts with the unbridled enthusiasm of a kid digging into a bucket of KFC.
  • Tasmanian devils. They're actually much cuter in real life than the cartoon character, but they are obligate carnivores with the strongest bite of any mammal, able to take down prey as large as a kangaroo. Not to mention they're extremely temperamental and loud.
  • Somewhat inverted with North American opossums. They look like giant rats and have 50 teeth with big, sharp canines (especially the males), which they show off as defense with loud hissing, which makes them unfairly associated with aggression and rabies. But it's a bluff; they're usually quite docile, and much less likely than other wild mammals to carry rabies, due to their cooler body temperature and tough immune system.


  • Humans. We are much cuter (from a human point of view, at least) and weaker than many animals, and can eat things that are not supposed to be eaten by anything (spicy foods are supposed to be repulsive to mammals, potatoes, almonds and many other foods are poisonous and yet we found a way to not only make them edible, but base entire cuisines around them), and blowfish is supposed to be an insta-kill but we have not only decided that it is a delicacy, we have started farming the fish), and have eaten many animals bigger than us that were unlucky enough to first meet humans after we had perfected our hunting techniques (big animals that are still around were either lucky enough to see us perfecting our techniques and learned to fear us, lucky enough to live near better preys and have time to learn to fear us while we exterminated something else, or lucky enough to be domesticated) to extinction. Everything fearsome on this world, including bears, sharks, tigers, crocodile, and pretty much anything on this list, fear starving humans, because, with modern hunting techniques and weapons, the only reason they're still alive is that we learned restraint.
    • And humans also deserve bonus points for also being dangerous to the itty-bitty microorganisms/zombie-like almost-organisms (viruses) of the world too. We've managed to destroy wild smallpox virus and now it's all but extinct (with a couple of reservoirs in some hopefully very well-guarded labs floating about.) The only reason why some viruses even exist is because of the modern phenomena of non-vaccinating, otherwise we could easily kill viruses that are centuries old in less than a decade. Polio is the next virus that is most likely to forever disappear.
  • Chimpanzees. Most funny and human among the whole lot of funny monkeys, right? In reality they are insanely strong (a 70 kg/154 lb male can lift up to 300 kg/661.4 lbs; less surprising when you take a look at those muscles) and very dangerous when pissed off. Some have killed adult people and even kidnapped and eaten human babies. Intra-species murder, wars between bands, and even cannibalism aren't unknown in them either. In other words, they're more dangerous than the gorilla.
    • Except for humans, though, apes' exceptionally strong arms are essentially useless except for pulling. Gorillas and chimps don't have the right musculature and could likely be outpunched by a young human child. Doesn't stop them from tearing off your arms or ripping your face to shreds.
  • The slow loris, a tiny nocturnal primate with cartoonishly huge eyes swallowing its head, is one of the few venomous mammals. It produces a toxin in its elbow that is activated with its saliva and can give a toxic bite that can trigger a fatal anaphylactic shock.
  • Orangutans may appear to be docile and peaceful animals (and for the most part, they are), but that's mostly just the females and youngsters. A full grown male is 200 lbs (90.7 kg) of muscle that could very easily rip you limb from limb if they feel threatened by you. There's a reason why you never see people interact with the males in shows filmed at Orangutan rehabilitation centers. They're just too dangerous. Terry Pratchett did his research on this one - the Librarian of Discworld's Unseen University is frequently described as looking like a 300lb (136.1 kg) burlap sack... but never call him a monkey or you'll find out that it's a sack filled with muscle.


  • A article in the London newspaper Metro involved a viper that was rescued from a house in China. The rescuers tried to feed it a live mouse and the mouse killed it after a half-hour struggle. They could only theorize it had run out of venom during the capture.
  • Squirrels are cute, nervous, and fuzzy. Harmless, right? Or are they arboreal piranhas?
  • Grasshopper mice are tiny, fuzzy, and cute. They also howl like wolves and supplement their usual diet of insects with venomous scorpions, spiders, centipedes, and the occasional snake.
  • Norway lemmings. Some local names for them reportedly translate to killer mice.
  • Often rats in many cases. Not only do rats tend to look a lot more aggressive and disease-ridden than their other rodent cousins such as the mouse, they can be more aggressive, and are just as susceptible to carrying and spreading contagious diseases. And can be even worse pests than mice in many cases. Inverted with domesticated rats, which are sweet-tempered and friendly despite their species' bad reputation.
  • A Belorussian man was attacked and killed by a Beaver, and similar, non fatal attacks have occurred in other places. The US Army survival manual specifically suggests not attempting to trap a beaver unless you can kill it from a distance because of the grievous wounds it can inflict with its teeth. The only close-killing method recommended? Grab it by the tail and hit a tree with it.
  • Porcupines also deserve a mention. Most people assume that porcupines are just a bunch of pudgy, clumsy looking rodents who only managed to avoid being a predator's meal by virtue of being too spiky to eat. However, old-World porcupines will take the offensive by turning around and running towards persistent attackers with their spiny backsides, hoping to stab them. The Indian Crested Porcupine does this so effectively that brushes with predators like leopards and tigers often result in severe injury or even death. The lucky ones that manage to survive often are forced to become man-eaters because of their injuries. It's for this reason that porcupines have very few predators.
  • Jimmy the Groundhog, awakened from a sound sleep to appear on television in a local Groundhog Day prognostication ceremony, expressed his disapproval of being dragged from his nice comfy nest by biting the mayor on the ear. Given the strength and sharpness of rodents' incisors, the man was lucky not to lose the ear.


  • Mustelids (ferrets, minks, weasels, martens, sables, polecats, otters, badgers, and wolverines) are unbelievably strong for their size. They are not afraid to fight back fiercely when threatened by greater predators, despite their cute, fluffy appearance. There's a reason why badger is a verb and Wolverine is a superhero. The entire group has this trait making them some of the deadliest predators in their habitat.
    • It should be noted, though, that the European Badger is a shy social animal (they live in small family groups) that prefers to avoid confrontation and will only fight back when it is unable to escape. The badger's dubious reputation as a ferocious animal actually comes from the old "sport" of "Badger Baiting". Which, sadly, pretty much consisted of trapping a badger and forcing it to fight to the death against hunting dogs.
  • The badger's reputation of reluctant ferocity and toughness is well deserved. Their skulls and hides are incredibly thick, and layered with tough muscle that makes them highly resistant to 'cudgels, blades, and shot' according to monographs from periods when they were hunted. In addition, their burrowing claws are capable of doing massive damage. Their thick skull is built in such a way that once a badger locks into a bite it must be dislodged with crowbars post-mortem. Beware the Nice Ones indeed.
  • The Honey Badger, their more irritable African cousin. It is kinda cute, but it has thick, tough skin that acts as some sort of body armor, giving it some protection against the claws of large animals such as lions. Its skin is too thick for the fangs of venomous snakes to penetrate, so it can eat those. It sometimes attacks (small or young) crocodiles. There's a reason "Honey badger don't care" became a meme.
    • These things have been known to chase off, full-grown lions. How? it uses its small size and speed to run right under the lion, and try to rip its balls off. Also, these little guys will growl, hiss and charge at their attackers to frighten them away. And, if that doesn't work? They produce a rather foul smell from their behinds, much like skunks. And it's quite effective in driving predators away. And while anyone knows they really like honey due to their name, how it gets said honey note  isn't as well-known.
    • They're also very smart, being one of the few animals that have been documented using tools; a Honey Badger was filmed using a log to help it reach a small bird that was tangled in some vines. And then there are the adventures of one badger named Stoffel, as he keeps escaping his enclosure in a South African zoo.
    • Young cheetahs, when rolled up for a rest, look just like a honey badger when rolled up for a rest. This is a mimicry-type security measure - for the cheetah...
    • To put it into the perspective of how tough the honey badger is, a leopard was filmed strangling one to death in her jaws for hours, all the while the badger was still struggling whenever she seemed to release her grip. This wasn't even a young, healthy honey badger; this one was literally a granny by comparison!
    • Even if a snake were to successfully penetrate the honey badger's hide, the venom still won't kill it; they have the ability to tank the venom from snakebites. One particular honey badger was bitten several times by a pit viper he'd stolen food from, and by the time the venom took effect, the badger was halfway done with the viper...a couple of hours and a good power nap later, the honey badger got back up and proceeded to finish eating the snake. Honey Badger don't care, indeed!
  • Wolverines, in particular, are dangerous little bastards.
    • Grizzly bears are known to give these things a wide berth, and for good reason: they're known to take on prey items larger than themselves, like moose and the aforementioned grizzly bears. They normally attack large prey by waiting on the treetops as they pass by, before dropping on them and tearing into their backs like a very angry backpack. There is also an incident where one wolverine that escaped its enclosure in a zoo killed a polar bear by biting onto its neck and strangling it to death.
    • Wolverines can also climb a 13,000 foot (3.96 km) peak in just one and a half hours. In the middle of January in fifteen feet of snow.
    • Because of a special set of teeth that rotate 90 degrees, wolverines are one of the few mammals that eat bones, even if frozen.
  • Even the weaker ones, such as the Least Weasel and the Stoat, despite looking delicate and unassuming, are actually capable of killing prey five times their size. Even the much stronger Wildcat and the aggressive sewer rat will usually avoid confronting them. Indeed, Least Weasels are known to go down into rat nests and kill everything there. And there's a good reason they are (in fiction) used to counter those mythical beasts.
  • There's also the fisher, one of the few animals which will attack and eat porcupines.
  • Otters, especially one account of a river otter killing an alligator and eating it.
  • A man named Joseph Carter (whose YouTube channel can be found here) has been experimenting with using minks for exterminating rats and other vermin due to their ability to fit into places that dogs can't go. He acquires his minks by going to fur farms and picking out the most aggressive and crazy mink he can find. He then has to train the mink to stop attacking him constantly. He calls this sport Minkenry and wrote a book about it.
  • Skunks. They're cute, gentle, yet cunning, and will totally ruin your day if you even make a wrong move around them.
    • They also have little fear of humans. (Only one animal regularly preys on them — the great horned owl, who has essentially no sense of smell.) So they are more likely than most wild creatures to come close enough for regrettable misunderstandings to happen.


  • Anteaters don't even have teeth, but they've got claws to compensate. And if you ever see one of these walking on their hind legs, run. It wants to hug you, and if you put two and two together, you'll realize it isn't a friendly hug (the biggest anteaters have been known to kill jaguars this way).
  • Armadillos; generally they'll flee from any humans by burrowing, and prefer to lock themselves in place; if you try to root them from a surface it will take effort to dig through, but most Armadillos carry leprosy, which they're immune to. A single swipe on raw skin could very easily give you one of the most feared contagious diseases in world history.
  • Shrews are fuzzy and tiny, which is a recipe for textbook cuteness. Gram for gram, they're also the most voraciously-bloodthirsty predators on the planet, killing prey many times their own size and eating anything that moves, and consuming triple their body weight daily. There's a reason why they got the number one spot for "Most Extreme Predator" in The Most Extreme. Some of them have venomous saliva as well, so be glad these things are so little.
    • One of the worst examples may be the Arctic Shrew; despite living in one of the most barren places in the world, it's a voracious predator that needs a daily food intake equating to three or more times its body-weight. In no small part because of this appetite, they're also hyper-territorial; they regularly kill and eat each other, but if two Arctic Shrews are placed together but they can't get within tooth's range of each other, then one of them will spontaneously die, and science has yet to find an explanation as to why.
  • While Bulls are already perceived for being badasses, Cows aren't that much far behind in that regard.
  • Due to causing vehicular accidents, the deadliest animal in the USA is the deer. Moose are even worse. Think you're safe in your two-ton cage of speeding metal? Think again, hitting a deer or moose can easily cause a fatal accident. Moose legs are also uniquely suited to slide up a car hood and through the windshield in a collision.
    • Not to mention their antlers, sharp hooves, and teeth. An annoyed horse will just bite your hand really hard then let go, to tell you to stay away. A deer that thinks you're trying to kill it, however, bites your hand, then tries to rip your hand off.
    • Red deer regularly devour birds, rodents, and even smaller deer.
    • Not to mention the fact that apparently Moose eyes don't reflect light so it's very hard to notice them in the dark. They are also quite aggressive and territorial. There's a reason the Banbaro is based on a moose.
    • If she feels like it, even a moose calf can put you in a world of pain with those hooves.
    • Speaking of vehicular accident, take a look at this video of a moose walking along a road... with a car that is smaller than it as a comparison. Any wonder why moose are bad for cars?
    • Subverted, however, with Siberian musk deer. Seen from afar, it's an adorable Bambi. Seen from up close, it's an adorable Bambi with creepy vampire fangs. Despite the look, it's not a particularly dangerous animal.
  • Popular perception of dolphins pictures them as happy and cheerful, but their bodies have more than enough strength to severely hurt and even kill small sharks and humans, two species of badass apex predators. Dolphins also tend to torture their prey before killing them. And then there's the fact that certain dolphins can be Monster Clowns or Jerkass Gods trying to screw Anything That Moves, including you, if they get half a chance. Think twice about their smile.
    • Orcas or killer whales. They're beautiful and majestic and adorable if you see videos of them interacting with humans. But these guys are the top predator in every ocean, even the Arctic. They use their brains and massive size to take down prey, which is basically anything in the ocean. They even eat sharks (including great white sharks, which are known to flee when orcas are in their presence), rays, dolphins, and whales. Not just smaller ones like narwhals but also they go after large ones like humpback whales. Polar bears frantically scramble onto the ice for safety if they detect orcas are nearby.
  • The Giant Panda. Another contender for "cutest bear" (it is a card-carrying member of the bear family, as shown by molecular genetics), a truly ridiculous amount of time, effort, and money has gone into saving these fat and lazy animals. Some people might think pandas are vegetarians because they only eat bamboo. They only eat bamboo because it's one of the only things that can't outrun them, being plants. Give an adult 200 pound (90.7 kg) panda a chance, and it will kill and eat small animals, possibly including children. Fun fact: Pandas actually have a carnivore digestive system. Its round face is the result of powerful jaw muscles, which attach from the top of the head to the jaw.
    • A National Geographic article once told about a panda named Zhen Zhen who terrorized a camp, demolishing tents and attacking people.
  • Giraffes, despite being the tallest land animal, seem like gentle, peaceful giants, but one decides to reenact a certain scene in Jurassic Park in this video. To ward off predators, they have powerful kicks that can disembowel a lion.
  • The Hippopotamus species have a popular reputation for being fat and contented creatures. However, they are highly territorial and kill more people in Africa than lions. Including killing lions. And despite their huge size, they can outrun humans. To put this in perspective, Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, described a short boat ride over hippo-occupied water as the scariest moment of his life. Steve Irwin. Because they are so scary, they deserve some more information.
    • First off, they are the second-largest land animal on the planet (only beaten by the elephant and tied with the rhinoceros).
    • Their jaws can open to almost 180 degrees and their teeth, which are razor sharp and can grow to the size of bowling pins, can bite down with a force of over 8,000 Newtons. They have been known to bite crocodiles in half.
    • Their skin is six inches (15 cm) thick and can stop large-caliber bullets. It makes up one-quarter of its body weight. It also sweats a blood-red liquid that it uses as sunscreen.
    • Unlike most animals' dominance fights, which are largely ceremonial and end with minor injuries, male hippos fight to the death for territory, which comes with food and mates.
    • Pablo Escobar, the kingpin of the largest drug gang the world has ever seen, had 4 pet hippos and he allegedly used them for corpse disposal. After Escobar's death; the hippos escaped their captivity, became an invasive species that increased from 4 to 80, and are considered to be a threat to the Colombian ecosystem because it's the ideal environment for hippos. In summary: Colombia is plagued by inbred, man-eating, sex-addicted hippos, the townsfolk don't see the danger in having a bunch of random hippos wander through their towns, and the government made it illegal to hunt those hippos after a controversial photo.
    • And without hippos, the rivers where they live would die. Large animals produce large amounts of fertilizer. Hippos produce over 120 lbs. (54.4 kg) a day. They also distribute it by means of twirling their tails at high speed—a case of shit literally hitting the fan.
    • They are also considered very unpredictable, attacking people whenever they feel like it. They can't swim so they just stand at the bottom of the rivers and can just pop up out of nowhere and go after a boat.
    • Hippos are also faster than you'd originally think, so imagine a 3,000 pound (1,361 kg) beast with a giant mouth and teeth charging toward you at 25 mph.
    • It is not just humans or crocodiles they attack, as any unfortunate impala or buffalo in their space can attest to. In fact, hippos are so unpredictable and aggressive, that some can and will take on animals above their weight class like elephants and rhinos. There is even a video out there of a hippo savagely killing a Rhino bigger than it by biting and drowning it in a watering hole.
    • While the rule always counts, it is especially true for hippos: never, ever get close to a baby hippo. Especially not if you don't see mama. And god help you if you are too close.
  • Silly as it may sound, there are such things as guard llamas. Single llamas living with other livestock (including cattle and poultry) often become very protective of their charges. Unlike most domestic herbivores, llamas will go on the offensive and attack any predators that threaten the herd. As a result, dogs and coyotes have been injured and even killed by llamas. A study done on the effectiveness of guard llamas and sheep found that average sheep losses dropped from 26 sheep per year to 8 sheep per year when the camelids were put into place. To the sheep ranchers, everything really is better with llamas.
  • Moles. That's right, the blinky/blind, fuzzy, shy-but-friendly little guys. These guys may be cute, but they are vicious little blighters: they are predators capable of hunting underground, and burrowing their own tunnels to do so, and are incredibly territorial and cannibalistic- put two moles together for any length of time and you end up with one fat mole.
  • Pigs are generally thought of as ugly, fat, listless, and generally harmless creatures... unless you are a pig farmer. The editor has been told that a farmer being trampled (and subsequently eaten) is not unheard of.
    • Modern swine are much more docile than their Iron Age ancestors, which were more like barely tamed boar. In Ancient Rome, pig farming was infamous for the extreme danger involved. Think about that the next time you read The Odyssey, which was set in Ancient Greece (and therefore even older)—Eumaeus had to be a badass to do his job, so he would have been no slouch in the climactic battlenote 
    • Remember that oddly dramatic moment in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy fell into the pig pen and literally everyone got terrified? Dorothy is a 12-year old girl who was under the hooves of one of the most vicious animals humans ever decided to keep.
    • Perhaps best illustrated by the attitude of the veterinary profession. Cows that can kick and gore and break bones? Stocks, tranquilizer, good to go. Horses that can do the same? Experienced equestrian, tranquilizer, no problem. Sheep? Pshh, sit 'em on their rumps, end of problem. Pigs? WE NEED LOTS OF DRUGS AND HALF A DOZEN NURSES AND A FARMER WITH A METAL CATCHPOLE AND A REALLY STURDY METAL PEN AND EXCELLENT EARPLUGS, AND IF I DON'T MAKE IT OUT, HERE'S MY WILL.
  • The platypus looks like an adorable beaver-duck, but the poisonous stinger of the males contains one of the nastier venoms known to man. It causes immediate hyperalgesia in humans, which is acute hypersensitivity to pain that can't even be dulled by painkillers without resorting to possibly lethal dosages and can last weeks to months. In other words: it won't kill you, but it will make you wish that it did.
  • Raccoons, anyone? They look like fuzzy little puppy-cat things with domino masks, but their teeth and claws can kill pets and send people to the emergency room. To top it off, they're the biggest carrier of rabies in North America (though domestic dogs are the biggest rabies vector in general). That's not mentioning the fact that they also tend to have really, really nasty tempers and utterly zero fear of humans.
  • When people think of seals and other pinnipeds, they tend to visualize the cute, adorable circus or aquarium animals that have been trained to honk horns or bounding happily on the beach. People even consider them to be the sea's equivalent of a dog, and they are not too far from each other in the tree of life. However, sea lions are immensely aggressive and have been known to seriously maul humans, in addition to routinely killing each other. Antarctic expeditions have been attacked a few times and at least one person has been killed by leopard seals in the past. And if they climb up onto docks, or even into cities? Don't try to approach them. It will end in a visit to the hospital, possibly without one hand. The goofy-looking elephant seals with the silly, drooping noses can also be dangerous. Here's a video of one having a disagreement with a parking lot... looking strangely adorable while doing so. Something to keep in mind is that the closest living relative of the pinniped family is the bear family.
  • Sloths. They're big, sleepy, slow-moving critters... living in jungles. Y'know, where EVERYTHING tries to eat you. Think about that for a second. In case you need help for thinking, these white things make even their predators - the harpy eagle and the jaguar - be careful with them.
    • The Three-Toed Sloth are really lethargic animals; they simply don't have the reflexes or strength to fight back predators due to their weekly diet; those big claws are grappling hooks keeping them stuck to branches without even using their very thin muscles. The only reason they aren't targeted often by predators is because they are far too high up on branches too thin for heavy jaguars to climb, and are camouflaged, while being protected by the canopy. There IS an infestation of nasty pests living on a very moldy three-toed sloth.
    • That being said, this video by Andrew Ucles shows the dangers of handling this seemingly gentle creature: after struggling to detach the sloth from its tree, he handled and fawned over it like a human baby, when the sloth took his arm as something to latch onto...
    • The Two-Toed sloth on the other hand, is very aggressive; they bite surprisingly quick and hard with very sharp teeth, and one was reported to have slashed a dog. Unlike the other sloths, these can eat small birds and reptiles.
    • The sloth's ancestors were roughly the size of elephants and could basically do whatever the fuck they wanted without having to fear predators.
  • The Sun Bear Is the smallest member of the bear family. They are also known to be highly aggressive and attack humans
  • Sheep are usually docile in real life, but not the male rams. Their horns are there for a reason. They are known to attack random people during the breeding season, sometimes even fatally. And then we get this.
  • Although many people may say that bats are creepy, many of them are actually very cute, especially flying foxes because they have faces that look like puppies due to their large eyes and dog-like snouts and they mainly eat fruit. Almost all bats are quite harmless to humans. But you must never handle a bat unless you have been vaccinated, as they tend to carry rabies and other deadly viruses.

  • The Secretary Bird of Africa looks beautiful and seems relatively harmless at first, but they are actually ferocious predators. They very closely resemble the small predatory dinosaurs known as raptors that lived millions of years ago, such as Velociraptor and Troodon. They are endowed with a sharp, curved beak and razor-sharp claws on their feet. Their kicks are very powerful, and they regularly prey on snakes note . They snap the snake's spinal cord with their kicks and then proceed to tear up its body with their claws and beak and eat it. They've been known to take on Black Mambas and win. They can be very aggressive towards humans sometimes, and they can allegedly shatter a human hand with a kick. In other words, if you're looking for a living, real-life Jurassic Park, look no further than this.
  • The prehistoric Bullockornis resembles a human-sized duck. With a viciously sharp beak the demon duck of doom makes Velociraptor look like an adorable bunny in comparison. Ironically, Bullockornis and other dromornithids are now considered to be herbivores. But given what its modern herbivore relatives like the other infamous Aussie bird, the cassowary, can and will do, this isn't much reassurance.
  • While emus don't fall under the generally accepted category of "cute", they are essentially human-sized birds with fluffy feathers and big, expressive eyes. They can also kick you to death in a matter of seconds. Most of those tall, long-legged, flightless birds aren't that harmless. Ostriches are reputed to be able to disembowel a lion.
    • The emu's relative the Cassowary is essentially a Velociraptor with a beak. Also, Eye Scream, they are attracted to shiny objects, like human eyes. Which are at beak level. The cassowary, a rather silly-looking flightless bird best known for having an oddly-shaped head, also sports a set of claws that make it pretty much the closest modern-day equivalent of a velociraptor. If you manage to piss one off, it can and will eviscerate you with a swift kick from its incredibly strong legs (though the actual danger is often overblown), and there are numerous attacks and one case of death-by-cassowary on record. They have been known to eat metal.
      • In other words, these guys are the last of the Old-School Dinosaurs.
      • Baby cassowaries are adorable creatures, being about the height of a duck and covered in soft, fluffy yellow and black down feathers. They also make a rather endearing contact call that serves to alert their father, who's almost always not far behind, ready to kick any potential threat to death.
  • Great tits. They're relatives of the chickadees, have a name that induces giggles, and in winter they prey on hibernating bats by ripping their heads off.
  • Swans: graceful, regal, a symbol of love ... and equipped with wings strong enough to break your arm at a blow if you come near their eggs. It also doesn't help that they're generally really mean motherfuckers even outside of mating/egg season. Swans are often considered as being among the animal kingdom's greatest parents and not for no good reason; if you're stupid enough to intrude or threaten a family of swans, one will lead the offspring to safety while the other, usually the father, sticks around to beat the absolute shit out of you and will only stop after you're well away from his or her mate and children.
  • Shrikes are small, cute songbirds that are actually quite vicious carnivores. They kill their prey (including insects, frogs, lizards, rodents, and smaller birds) by impaling them on thorns, and then use the neatly strung-up corpses as a larder.
  • The pelican, a waddly goofy-looking bird with a weird neck and beak pouch. The larger ones can eat a pigeon in one swallow.
  • Australian magpies are very ear and eye-pleasing songbirds, but they do have a reputation for attacking people who come near their nests.
  • Keas. They're just as cute as any other parrot, but they can also badly damage or destroy cars, mainly by tearing at the metal or windshield wipers with their powerful bills. They also eat meat, sometimes even opportunistically feeding on the flesh of live sheep.
  • Pygmy Falcons are smaller than pigeons and are much cuter than what most people would expect from a bird of prey. Just like its larger namesake counterparts, it has all the hunting skills and instincts of its more badass-looking relatives, preying on reptiles, insects, and small mammals in Africa.
  • Hooded pitohuis are brightly colored, seemingly normal-looking songbirds. They're also one of the very few poisonous birds in the world, with a strong toxin in their feathers and skin. The toxin makes anyone who touches it feel like their hands are on fire.
  • Geese are nasty pieces of work. They don't look that threatening (in fact the Canada goose actually looks quite pretty with its black, white, and brown feathers) but they're as aggressive as an attack dog and have one hell of a bite. Is it any wonder that some farmers use them as guard animals?
    • The Scottish Whiskey distillery Ballantine's first guarded their distillery with German Shepherd dogs because the people of the close-by village Dumbarton occasionally stole their Whiskey. The villagers quickly made it a joke to run over with sausages and steaks, feed the dogs, and then steal extra Whiskey. So Ballantine's got guard geese. Not a single villager did ever dare get close to that area anymore, and the geese were famously nicknamed "The Scotch Watch".
    • There are some videos that show one particular goose aggressively harassing and battling an angry elephant. And yes, the elephant is actually fighting back: charging, swatting, kicking, and punching the goose with blows quick and powerful enough to kill anything else. Yet the bird keeps going and it still gives the giant animal hell.
  • A lot of small parrots can count. Their main food source is seeds, so their beaks are very sharp and perfect for breaking hard surfaces, their claws are sharp as well and even those bred to be more friendly can cause great pain when provoked. There have been humans that had their fingernails pulled out by parakeets and their entire finger severed by other small parrots.
  • Chickens are fat and fluffy and cute, right? Well, yes, but their beaks and claws are also sharp, and there have been multiple instances of chickens stealing mice out from under cats' noses and eating them. An aggressive chicken (or an entire flock of them), especially a rooster, is no joke.
    • There have been several instances where foxes have broken into chicken coops to prey on the chickens, only to get swarmed and pecked to death. Having roosters helps too since they can be aggressive to intruders and are generally bigger than hens.
    • This Tumblr post has stories from several different people about chickens devouring a mouse and leaving nothing but bones, chickens trying to cannibalize each other, peacocks beating mice to death and swallowing them whole, and peacocks pecking venomous copperhead snakes into oblivion.
  • Many species of owl can be quite adorable, but they are very deadly predators for a reason. If the Fighter, Mage, Thief trope could be applied to birds, then owls automatically qualify as the Thief due to the fact that their feathers can muffle the sound of their wingbeats so that they could sneak up on prey.
    • Some species, such as the Australian Boobook can also be pretty vicious.

    Fish and other non-mammalian sealife 


  • The blue-ringed octopus. Not exactly cute, but it definitely wouldn't look very threatening, despite being one of the most poisonous sea creatures known to man. As comedian Billy Connolly says "It wouldn't fit in the palm of your hand, but if this thing's in a bad mood you don't make it to the *** phone!"
  • The striped pajama squid. It is exactly as adorable as you'd expect from the name, but it's also the second-most venomous cephalopod after the blue-ringed octopus.
  • Octopi are mostly known as tiny and occasionally even cute little animals that have amazing abilities to fit into the smallest cracks and change their skin to match any surface. So when the staff of a marine aquarium decided to move their North Pacific Giant Octopus into a tank with their sharks, they didn't expect it to have any trouble staying safe. And then each night more and more of the sharks were disappearing or found dead.
    • They're sneaky bastards, too. Another captive octopus lived in a separate aquarium on a shelf opposite another one with fish and crabs. Nobody could figure out where the crabs were disappearing to each night, because it always returned to its own tank before morning...


  • Inverted with the Horseshoe Crab. They have dangerous-looking spikes on their tails and bodies and tails that look like stingray tails, but they're harmless and can't really hurt you.
  • The mantis shrimp is a small, often colorful little critter that lives in coral dens and mostly keeps to itself. To eat its dinner of mollusks and crustaceans though, the mantis shrimp doesn't bother with prying them open: it blasts them open with its clublike arms, which strike with the acceleration of a .22 bullet. The force generated per area is so powerful that the mantis shrimp can completely miss its target and still do damage by force alone. Their movement is also so fast that it literally boils the water around their claws to a temperature similar to the surface temperature of the sun. Captive mantis shrimp have been known to crack or shatter aquarium glass with a single blow. They have another name: thumbsplitters.


  • Betta fish are small and very colorful, known to be ideal for beginner fish owners due to their hardy nature or because they are just that beautiful. They are also infamous for their extremely aggressive behavior: A Betta will rip another fish to shreds if it has the motive and the opportunity to do so, as many unfortunate people who made the mistake to put two or more Betta together on the same tank or bowl can testify. They'll even attack mirrors that are put in front of them, thinking it's another fish. There's a reason they are also known by another name: Siamese fighting fish.
    • Not to mention after a male Betta mates and breeds with a female Betta, the male will literally chase her away from the nest they made, otherwise she'll eat the eggs. And if the female Betta doesn't leave, the male will kill her.
    • And also recently in 2014, a group of Betta species was found living well in the environment of Adelaide River Floodplain, meaning they are invasive species that will pose a great threat to native fish, frogs, and other animals in the wetlands. So yes, they now managed to start colonizing Australia.
  • The porcupine puffer is a friendly-looking curious fish that also happens to be a vicious predator. Yes, you read that right. Porcupine puffers (like all pufferfish) have teeth that are formed into a beak-like shape that's razor-sharp. Likewise, they have powerful jaws that allow them to crack open the shells of creatures like clams and snails. Here's one eating a hermit crab.
    • They're not short on defenses either. Like all puffers, they can inflate their bodies to intimidate predators, and they have the added bonus of being covered in sharp pointy spines (hence how they got their name). And, if those defenses don't work...Well, did we mention that their bodies contain a poison that's 1200 times deadlier than cyanide?
    • Their smaller cousins, the Green-Spotted Puffer, are like tiny adorable piranha when they're hungry. Don't believe us? Here's a pair of them (and a Figure "8" Puffer) eating a crayfish while it's still alive.
    • Pufferfish are also notoriously territorial, even the little ones, to the point where they'll attack any other fish in the same tank. Now, that may not seem like much, until you realize that they are known to attack fish much larger than themselves. There are many accounts of fish owners putting a larger fish in the same tank as the puffers only to check on the tank the next day and find the larger fish is dead. Turns out the larger fish died a slow agonizing death because the puffers would repeatedly attack and tear it to shreds.
  • The Lionfish is a small (only around 18 inches/46 cm at longest), colorful, harmless-looking fish. However, it is also extremely poisonous, and can easily give divers intense pain if they touch its spikes. They are also a massive invasive species on the East Coast of the United States and the Caribbean as their poison protects them from most predators.

Jellyfish (and their cousins)

  • From the right perspective, jellyfish can look like gracefully flowing gossamer, living chandeliers. But one touch and you'll know what days of agony is like if you're lucky; if not, and it's one of the nastier species, you'll learn what a few minutes of agony and the afterlife are like.
  • Man-o-wars. Look like jellyfish but are really a colony of different organisms where one is a purple floating sac and the rest are tentacles that make digestion and attack. From outside the water, it looks beautiful. Under the water, they are painful and, in some cases, can kill a person.
    • As if that weren't bad enough, even beached or dead Man-O-Wars and severed tentacles can still pose a danger, being just as potent as a living specimen for hours, if not days, after the death of the organism or detachment of the tentacle. A tentacle can drift undetected for days in the water and an unwary swimmer might not know what stung them.
  • The Irukandji Jellyfish. They are the smallest jellyfish (the biggest is 25cm/10 in. with at most 1m/3-foot long tentacles) and also own the title of most venomous jellyfish. Most jellyfish will kill or burn you with their venom, but the Irukandji Jellyfish does not (unless you have a weak condition or weak heart). Its venom creates the Irukandji syndrome. To quote, the symptoms are "excruciating muscle cramps in the arms and legs, severe pain in the back and kidneys, a burning sensation of the skin and face, headaches, nausea, restlessness, sweating, vomiting, an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and psychological phenomena such as the feeling of impending doom". People that get stung by an Irukandji Jellyfish have 10-30 minutes to get to land before they have to suffer through the worst pain of their entire life. Symptoms generally take 4-30 hours to improve but can take up to two weeks to resolve completely and there is no antidote other than giving extreme painkillers. Here is a short video of two divers explaining their pure agony.
    • When suffering from the effects of the venom, the maximum amount of morphine a doctor can give a patient makes the patient feel like only their spine is crushing and their skin is being burned off with a bunsen burner.
    • To repeat: you look perfectly fine, but not only are you in such horrible pain that you wished the venom would simply kill you but there is also absolutely nothing that can help you other than waiting and taking intravenous opioids for potentially weeks.
    • One man once happened to swallow one. He ended up in hospital for over a year and spend parts of that under narcosis because the doctors couldn't treat his pain in any other way. A French tourist once swallowed one as well. She had heart disease and the blood pressure rise killed her. The man who spent the year in the hospital would probably have loved to switch places.
    • The worst is that they are so tiny, you usually didn't even know what stung you until you are in hospital. You just feel the sting, maybe know to treat it quickly with vinegar, and then your doctor will tell you the good news of you not dying and the bad news of you having to take a long and very unpleasant vacation break.
    • They originally only were found around Australia. Thanks to global warming, they can now be encountered in all tropical waters of this world. There has been an increase of Irukandji syndrome in U.S. states such as Florida. Oh, joy.
  • One of the biggest warnings that anyone will receive when doing amateur diving on or near tropical coral reefs is "don't touch the fire coral". Fire coral isn't a true species of coral, it's actually more closely related to jellyfish and anemones. This is what one variety looks like. Like jellyfish, they have nematocysts, which shoot out and deliver venom into anything that touches the fire coral. If you so much as brush one with your bare skin, you will be in some of the worst pain of your life.


  • The cone snails. Many people pick them up because they're pretty... and get a deadly neurotoxic harpoon stuck right into them. Due to the speed at which the snail fires the harpoon, they are actually the fastest snails on earth. The toxin is so deadly that the cone snail is nicknamed the "cigarette snail" - you have just enough time to smoke a cigarette before you die. The only way to survive is to be put on life support until the poison wears off.
  • The clione, nicknamed the "sea angel," sure looks pretty as it peacefully swims through the water...until it opens its many-tendriled mouth to catch its prey.
  • The Glaucus atlanticus (yes, as in that Glaucus) is a tiny, bright blue sea slug with a sleek, elegant body. Due to its size normally capping at 3cm (like this) it looks both tiny and innocent enough. However, this small creature is known to eat Portuguese Man o' Wars that are also on this page. Handling it results in quite a painful sting to boot.


  • An awful lot of tropical reef fishes and invertebrates, including the drop-dead gorgeous ones popular for saltwater aquaria, are deadly poisonous, and even the nonvenomous species may sport razor-sharp spines for protection. Heck, even the coral can cut you to ribbons if the current makes you bump into it.

  • There are some tree frogs, small and rather beautiful. And whether they are alive or dead, merely touching them with one's bare skin is a bad idea. With a tip of blowgun dart, on the other hand...well, they're not called poison dart frogs for nothing. Fortunately, the ones in captivity are not fed the ants that cause them to produce said toxins.
  • Most large frogs:
    • The American Bullfrog is a particularly accurate example of this trope for an amphibian. Funny-looking, not particularly fast, no obviously deadly attributes. But it will eat anything. ANYTHING. In Southwestern areas, it will jump out of the water at night to hunt lizards, rodents, scorpions, and tarantulas. If a scorpion is too big to swallow, it will chomp down on it, then fold it in half with its forelegs and shove it down its gullet.
    • The African Bullfrogs, Pacman frogs, and Budgett's frogs are popular in the pet trade for various reasons... Besides looking adorable and seemingly placid when at rest, they are in fact voracious predators and can be VERY aggressive when threatened. As demonstrated across a lot of videos around the internet, these frogs will respond to offenders by opening their huge mouths as a show of force, revealing their odontoids and biting down... Adult ones can draw blood on the human hand. The Pacman frogs and Budgett's frogs can make unsettling screams at the offender as well.
    • Pacman frogs are also called "Wide-mouthed frogs" for a reason; they have proportionately the largest mouth of any animal, and in the wild, they are batshit-insanely voracious, even compared to other voracious animals like Shrews or Bullfrogs. They will bite and try to swallow anything that breathes, including other Pacman frogs, and they'll never let go. Some wild Pacman frogs are horrifyingly suicidal; it doesn't matter if the Pacman frog's prey is larger, alive, and halfway in the Pacman frog's throat, those smaller frogs will die trying to swallow larger Pacman frogs. It's a mystery why they are only number 4 in The Most Extreme gluttons.

  • Velociraptor itself is an example of this trope. Even when it doesn't look like the one in Jurassic Park, a coyote-sized, feathery chicken-like dinosaur is perfectly capable of taking on a full-grown Protoceratops ten times its size, while alone. Tiny, cute, but it can kill you in an instant.
  • Leopard Geckos are adorable, harmless-looking desert lizards, more well-known for their easygoing nature as a pet than for their ability to kill venomous scorpions twice their size.
    • Many species of gecko can be difficult to handle on account of their grouchy natures and willingness to bite their owners when upset. Even if many of them won't do much lasting damage or even draw blood, it can still be mighty painful to have an irate lizard clamped onto your hand.
  • If you think Snakes Are Sexy or even cute at all, baby venomous snakes fall under this, especially baby cobras. They have huge eyes and a cute stripey pattern. They're no less venomous than adult snakes and sometimes even inject more venom than an adult snake would because they haven't learned how to use it yet.
  • Turtles are often bought as children's pets on account of their cuteness, which is generally not the best idea for inexperienced owners. Aside from their care being much more involved than most people tend to realize, they typically aren't friendly creatures and will deliver a nasty bite when frightened or annoyed.
    • Tortoises are also capable of this, though they generally have more easygoing temperaments.
    • What's commonly overlooked in turtles and tortoises is their territorial nature: as seen in this video, if an animal they deem to be a rival - for food, mates; etc. - trespasses on their territory, the turtle or tortoise will pursue them to the end of their territory, which can be hundreds of yards wide. They aren't fast, but they're fast enough to pose a threat to their intruder. This makes them incompatible with common household pets such as dogs or cats.
    • Another thing that you have to watch out for isn’t the turtle’s fault; among pediatric circles, the reptiles are notorious for helping spread salmonella outbreaks. In fact, almost all reptiles and certain mollusks suffer from this trait too, which is why critter-loving children have to wash their hands fairly often after interacting with a new friend.

    Insects and arachnids 
  • Ladybugs (or ladybirds, if you prefer). Sure, they look cuddly (even for a bug) and are often seen as innocent, but for aphids, they're your worst nightmare. Ladybugs ravenously devour them to the delight of gardeners everywhere as aphids are serious pests.
  • Inverted with the Hickory Horned Devil caterpillar, the largest caterpillar in North America and larval form of the regal or royal walnut moth. It's five inches (12.5 cm) long, covered in menacing-looking spines from head to end, and yet it's completely and totally harmless.
    • But played straight with the puss caterpillar. While it looks as cute and furry as a little tribble, if you touch it, you're in for a world of pain.
  • Velvet worms. Probably another Ugly Cute example, but they're soft and squishy things that crawl slowly over the forest floor on stubby legs. And are predators. That can kill prey the size of tarantulas. (They do it by spraying a sticky slime that quickly hardens into a net to trap their prey. And then they close in and eat the helpless prey alive.)
  • Inverted with Crane flies. They may look like gigantic mosquitoes, but the worst a crane fly can do to someone is when they're larvae. Then they can do some damage to your lawn.
  • Everyone is scared about wasps and especially people with allergies fear bees, yet bumblebees are always seen as their fat brothers that just buzz through the area like small helicopters. They also do have a stinger, that stinger has a very painful poison, and they can kill people with allergies. The only reason why they are less well-known for this is that they are thankfully a lot more peaceful than the wasp and the bee.
  • With their large eyes, bright colors, and stubby legs, some may be willing to admit that jumping spiders do have certain cuteness to them. They have the ability to jump several times their body length and height, and are capable of taking down prey much larger than themselves.
  • There are velvet ants, which don't look dangerous and actually look pettable. However, doing so wouldn't be advised, as they're not really ants, they're wasps. One variety is even nicknamed "cow killer", as the sting is supposedly painful enough to kill a cow.

  • Poison ivy is gorgeous. It has glossy green leaves which are red when new, and a stunning purple fall color. It also has attractive white berries that birds love. It causes ferocious allergic reactions. Once it's on the skin, most efforts to alleviate the pain will only serve to spread the irritant oils. It grows quickly, and with its berries so appealing to birds, spreads rapidly. If burned, its irritants will be carried in the smoke and will tear up the lungs of anyone who inhales that smoke. It also seems to be responding to elevating atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by increasing the potency of its irritants.
    • On the other hand, half of the population likely to be exposed to it is just flat out immune. Amusingly, when the MythBusters attempted to test poison oak home remedies, none of them proved to be susceptible (until they got to John the researcher, sixth on the depth chart), though admittedly it could conceivably have been a false negative, as it's possible they had never been exposed to it beforenote ; like all allergic responses, the initial exposure does not produce an effect but every exposure thereafter usually does.note 
    • The really strange thing is that the substance that causes the allergic reaction, urushiol, is the primary ingredient in making the lacquer for traditional East Asian lacquerware, which is safe not only to touch but to eat off of.
  • A lot of plants look totally harmless but are actually quite dangerous. For instance, Oleander has beautiful flowers but it is very toxic. There is a (false) urban legend about a troop of Boy Scouts that died from eating hot dogs roasted on oleander branches. note 
    • Special mention should go to teddy bear cholla, a cactus which, despite the name, is phenomenally un-cuddly. The name comes from the fact that it looks almost fuzzy, which, combined with the strange shapes it tends to grow in, makes it look kind of comical. The "fuzz," however, is actually thousands upon thousands of hair-thin, transparent, barbed thorns that come out at the slightest touch and lodge in your skin. Guess bears are really bad news.
      • Honourable mention must go to the giant stinging tree. It does the same while looking even more unassuming. One slight breeze and everything in a 3 block radius suddenly feels like it's on fire.
  • There's also the Manchineel tree. It looks unassuming enough, which is its most deadly element: it produces a sap that can cause second-degree burns, and woe betide you if you happen to take shelter from a storm when it's raining under one of these fuckers because the sap will mix with the rain and drop onto you. Its "apples"note  look normal and are said to taste good at first, but cause extreme throat and stomach pain and potentially even death if ingested. Hell, even the wood is toxic if burned, causing skin irritation, eye irritation, and is even more noxious than regular wood if inhaled. There are usually signs warning of them. Listen to them.
  • Wolfsbane. It's a lovely plant and some species (specifically Aconitum carmichaeli) are used in gardens but it's not nicknamed the "Queen of Poisons" for nothing. People have been known to die after just touching it, as its poison can be directly absorbed into the skin. Apparently, A. carnichaeli is the milder species, as the poison is (mostly) in its leaves, while the A. napellus is all but insta-kill.
  • Lycoris radiata (poison spider lily) is lovely, hardy, and, perhaps, a little eerie with its flowers' (commonly) blood-red color. However, this plant started off being planted in graveyards as pest control, as, while the flower itself isn't toxic, its bulb is. It's a distant cousin of plants like onions, asparagus, and vanilla. Indeed, it should be noted that its flower symbolism is almost entirely negative, as death, abandonement, eternal seperation and lost memories only scratch the surface of its nefarious connotations. And all of that for an innocent-looking, beautiful little red flower.
  • With it being planted virtually everywhere, one wouldn't assume the European yew is poisonous. Its berries are bright red, and may look appealing to the uninitiated, and the inside of it is even more poisonous than the rest. Much worse is that its poison can come without symptoms so you might not know until it's too late.
  • Nightshade has pretty flowers and its berries look like grapes but you'd be better off not eating those, as they're poisonous. Not helping is that Atropa belladonna is a cousin of the tomato or that it used to be in beauty treatments.
  • Roses are a downplayed version of this, as while they aren't poisonous, they do have thorns (technically prickles) that hurt.
  • Kigelia have rather goofy-looking fruits, and for this reason they are nicknamed “sausage trees”. Said fruit are also poisonous when eaten raw, and cause blisters on the skin and tongue. They’re also very hard and heavy (up to 26 pounds!) and are capable of badly damaging cars when they fall.

  • In general, a lot of mushrooms look harmless, but turn out to be dangerously, sometimes lethally, toxic when eaten. Because many edible mushrooms have poisonous lookalikes, it's very easy for an inexperienced forager to confuse one for the other, which is why you should never, ever go mushroom hunting without the help of an expert. The rule is "when in doubt, throw it out."
  • The false morel is notorious for being a look-alike of the edible true morel, or Morchella. When eaten, the poison in false morels metabolizes into monomethyl hydrazine, which damages the central nervous system, liver, and kidneys, and is possibly carcinogenic. However, it is possible to detoxify it by parboiling (boiling the mushrooms really fast and throwing the water away), repeating it at least three times, rendering it edible.
  • The death cap mushroom (Amanita), which looks like a lot of edible mushrooms. Because of this, it's involved in a large majority of mushroom poisoning-related deaths.


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