Is This The Best Opening Paragraph Ever?

It’s from a piece on entitled: Sea Otters Are Jerks. So Are Dolphins, Penguins, and Other Adorable Animals, which deals – rather bluntly – with the fact that when anthromorphosized, the behaviour of some of the creatures we love to love, isn’t actually all that lovable.

And it starts, like this:

I’m going to ruin sea otters for you. Or at least I’m going to tarnish their reputation as some of the most charming little beasties in the seas. For as cute as they are while intertwining paws at an aquarium, frolicking among the wafting fronds of California kelp forests, or smashing sea urchins open with stones, some sea otters have developed the disturbing habit of humping and drowning baby seals.


And it doesn’t get any better as Brian Switek goes into detail as to the injuries sustained by the baby seals in these heinous attacks, because as we learn:

Strange as it may seem, mating is a relatively common cause of death for female sea otters as well. Male sea otters typically grasp the female from behind and bite her face, and this rough behaviour was associated with the deaths of about 11 percent of dead sea otters discovered between 2000 and 2003.

And if you think that sea otters are dodgy (in which case you’d be right, because they are), just wait until you hear about what dolphins get up to. (We’ve warned you about dolphins before.)

And then, there’s the Adélie penguin:

…the species shocked and horrified Levick so much so that his four-page report “Sexual Habits of the Adélie Penguin” was purposefully omitted from the official expedition findings and distributed only to a small group of researchers considered learned and discreet enough to handle the graphic content.

You can just picture the faces of that “small group of researchers” as they read the report:

Jesus – it does WHAT?!?!??!??!???!

The take-away lesson from all this, folks, is to ensure that you learn all about your prospective cute animal before you give it your unwavering support.
Because there’s nothing worse than proclaiming how wonderful the sweet little local Dassies are, only to have someone inform you that Procavia capensis is actually responsible for over 90% of the muggings in the City Bowl.


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