Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Animals, they're just like us—clever, clumsy, and capitalist

Photo: GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP (Getty Images)

There are many, many animals on the internet each week, but you are busy and can only click on so much. And yet it’s hard to go into the weekend thinking: Could I have done better? Were there animals that deserved my internet traffic that did not receive it? In this important recurring feature, we recap some of the most important animals from the internet that you may have missed.

Chicago weather continues to be as unpredictable ever—this week alone, we’ve cycled through seasonable warmth, restrictive humidity, and chilly rains. As we head into the weekend, let’s see what the fur-cast has in store for us:

Boy, do we wish that had been a cat so we could joke about what the meow-teorologist predicts. But as it stands, it’s time for The A.V. Club’s regular check-in with the internet’s (and society’s) cutest and fuzziest denizens! This week, our feature has all kinds of clever fellow mammals—perhaps a little too clever, if you catch our drift.

As BBC News reported back in January, a humpback whale helped a marine biologist steer clear of a previously unseen tiger shark, nudging and even lifting her out of the water, effectively herding the scientist. That whale’s compassion and concern for another living thing is so moving, so human (well, most humans). But our round-up also found several examples of land-based animals acting like people—not just the noble, selfless ones, but the consumerist ones; the ungainly ones; the timid ones; and those who like to play the old “the floor is lava” game.


The Dodo, an ever-reliable source for charming, palate-cleansing content after another week of the Trump administration playing “Whose Rights Should We Undermine Next?” (to be “fair,” this week, they decided to expand children’s rights to work more dangerous jobs), has multiple stories of perceptive pups who figured out some of the basics of capitalism. In Colombia, a dog named Negro created his own currency, trading leaves for cookies from a campus kiosk. He’s just a tad more enterprising than the dog seen below, also featured in The Dodo, who was trained to fork over a dollar—sometimes $20—in exchange for cookies. Apparently, pets eventually resemble their owners in appearance and conspicuous consumption.

Speaking of capitalism, the joke/caption for this clip of pigs (and a pug) on a shopping trip kind of writes itself [via The Laughing Squid].


Elsewhere, Science Alert covered the story of a crow swiping a credit card from a woman in Japan to buy a train ticket. There’s some discussion over whether the bird knew what it was doing—or why it would bother to travel by train when it could fly—but there’s evidence that crows understand cause and effect, and ravens, like squirrels and ants, will trade for things they’ll need in the future.


At this point, these animals sound more conscientious than we are, so to preserve our egos, we’re going to switch over to examples of them imitating some of our lesser qualities. Like naked fear:

That little fluff ball is every bit as leery of the rectal thermometer as we are, though it doesn’t have to worry about getting a bill later. But where he chooses to freeze in response to a threat, this poor cat who’s seemingly convinced the floor is covered in snakes or lava desperately clings to a fashionable door handle.


And we’re not sure what kind of bird this is—an emu—but the crash landing and attempts to play it off could have been taken out of our morning commute.


Finally, we return to dogs, who may soon benefit from “age-defeating” treatments, just like us (assuming the “us” is a group of wealthy socialites). We’re not talking Botox or snail serum—according to the Technology Review, a new startup called Rejuvenate Bio is testing some kind of gene therapy that reverses aging by “adding new DNA instructions to their bodies.” But before you increase your retirement allocation to account for your dog, you should know that it’s “still unknown if the company’s treatments do anything” for the subjects. The more we think about it, though, the more unsettling an “immortal” canine sounds, so quick, let’s turn our attention to this adorable, if not exactly lively, game of duck, dog, goose.


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