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Seldom Seen Species / Live-Action TV

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  • On The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon's distaste for birds is (partially) overcome by a black-throated magpie jay that he calls "Lovey Dovey."
  • The "more exotic the better" aspect of Chopped sometimes obliges the contestants to cook with obscure species or breeds of animal, such as fluke fillets, quail eggs, or whole Ayam Cemani chickens.
  • Dinosaurs has Earl Sinclair the Megalosaurus and Spike the Polacanthus. Dryptosaurus, Troodon, Ceratosaurus, Psittacosaurus, Corythosaurus, and Protoceratops appear as one-off characters and puppets.
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  • Geo Kids had Bobby the Bushbaby and Sunny the honey possum.
  • I Didn't Do It has hellbenders (called "snot otters").
  • Although not identified as such (being a show for infants), In the Night Garden... had hoopoes and red-crested turacos.
  • Jessie has Mr(s). Kipling the Asian water monitor.
  • David Attenborough's The Life of Mammals prominently featured echidnas, possums, yapoks, shrews, pangolins, pika, marmots, ground squirrels, mole rats, maras, fennec foxes, african wild dogs, harbour seals, right whales, sun bears, fruit bats, lorises, gibbons, uakaris, tamarins, guenons, macaques, and geladas.
    • This trope goes for all of Attenborough's Life on Earth series.
    • Likewise, meerkats were essentially unknown in Britain until the 1987 Wildlife on One episode Meerkats United. Overnight they became a national fascination that's never really let up since.
  • Combatants on Monster Bug Wars include such oddities as spitting spiders, assassin bugs, carnivorous katydids, whip scorpions and velvet worms.
  • This trope is the whole point of the documentary series Mutant Planet.
  • The titular organization in Odd Squad keeps a bunch of dinosaurs in a special underground room that they occasionally break out of. In addition to a Tyrannosaurus rex, they show a lot of non-StockDinosaur species, including a troodontid of some kind, a tiny Pterodaustro, a Stygimoloch, a Psittacosaurus, a Microraptor, and an abelisaur, all correctly portrayed with feathers/quills in the case of the theropods and Psittacosaurus.
  • Primeval has prominently featured quite a few more obscure prehistoric animals: including Coelurosauravus, Inostrancevia (simply called a gorgonopsid on the show), Scutosaurus, Arthropleura, Tylosaurus, Hesperornis, Anurognathus, a Columbian Mammoth, Pristichampsus, Diictodon, Giganotosaurus, Titanis, Dracorex, Embolotherium, Australopithecus, Kaprosuchus, Euchambersia (simply identified as a therocephalian in the show), Koolasuchus (simply referred to as a labyrinthodont in the show), Hyaenodon, and Liopleurodon.
    • The spin-off Primeval: New World continues the trend with Albertosaurus, Utahraptor, Titanoboa, Lycaenops, Daemonosaurus, Ornitholestes, and Brontoscorpio.
  • Sesame Street:
    • Its South African co-production Takalani Sesame has a giant meerkat named Moshe.
    • "African Animal Alphabet", a segment on the American version, had ibises, jerboas, kingfishers, okapis, hamerkops (identified as umber birds), warthogs and African ground squirrels (identified by their Latin name Xerus).
    • Some of the "morphing maps" segments feature some less-seen local wildlife, such as a bilby and a wombat from Australia, and a kinkajou and a capybara from Brazil.
  • Little Maya's maternal grandmother on Six Feet Under gives her a stuffed okapi, to prove how much more sophisticated she is compared to her paternal grandmother, who gave her a monkey.
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  • Slow Loris was a preschool-aged show on PBS in the ‘90s, that starred a girl and a Muppet-like creature that allegedly was a slow loris. There is almost no chance any of the target audience knew this is a real animal.
  • When Super Sentai and Power Rangers does an animal theme (which is often), they usually have some stock badass animals they like to use — but then there's usually also an oddball choice. Some of these aren't obscure in general, but they evoke a similar reaction in the show's action-superhero context; for instance, a lot of viewers were confused by the Black Ranger having a frog zord in the later parts of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
  • The titular character of the PBS children's show Zoboomafoo is a Coquerel's sifaka lemur, who for some reason is actually anthropomorphized by being fed. Many other animals featured in the series were probably unfamiliar to many viewers, including recurring guest Popcorn the binturong and the fisher that they would often pass on the way back from one of their off-set "adventures".
  • The Zoo has, along with episodes featuring well-known animals like tigers and gorillas, features everything from pink pigeons to little blue penguins just as prominently as the more known animals.
  • Many creatures in The Future Is Wild are descended from seldom-seen species, including the Snowstalker(wolverine), Shagrat (marmot), Cryptile(agama), Gryken(pine marten), Rattleback (paca, an obscure cousin of the guinea pig) Carakiller(caracara), Babookari(uakari monkey), Ocean Phantom(Portuguese man-o-war), Reefglider(nudibranch), Spindletrooper(sea spider), Roachcutter(storm petrel), and Falconfly(sand wasp).


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