Today I popped into a coffee shop near work for a small dark roast with a shot of white chocolate. This coffee shop always has trivia questions on their blackboard; if you answer correctly, you get ten cents off your order. Today the question went something like this…
What rodent (something something) $750,00 damage (something something)?
(a) rat (b) raccoon (c) squirrel
I scanned the question, and said out loud, “Well, it can’t be raccoon, because that’s not a rodent.” I guessed squirrel, and was wrong. The correct answer was “raccoon.”
Now, I’m not a zoologist or anything, but somehow over time I’ve gotten a pretty good working taxonomy of small fuzzy critters. Given a mammal under 25 pounds, I can usually place it in its proper family of canines, felines, primates, marsupials, mustelids, insectivores, or miscellaneous-and-other. Some animals are almost understandably consigned to the rodentia: rabbits, for example, or moles. But raccoons are ursoid creatures, and that which is bear-like is not mouse-like.
Well, this prompted me to do something I’ve been sort of wanting to do, which is to establish a single-serving site that sets things straight in the way of what are, and what are not, rodents. I give you animals that are not rodents.