Episode 008: Cassowary and Peace

In this episode, Randi and Nathaniel discuss the cunning cassowary–that’s right, that awful flightless bird that lives in the land down under. Cassowaries have the reputation of being quite dangerous, although a human hasn’t been killed by a cassowary since 1926.  The fear of cassowaries probably comes from their horrific, Uma Thurman-esque feet, which include “a long, straight, murderous nail which can sever an arm or eviscerate an abdomen with ease.” Join Randi and Nathaniel as they marvel over this horrible reminder of the tyranny of dinosaurs.

Show Notes

Guys, cassowaries are terrifying. They can run over 30 mph (that’s around 50 km/h for those of you who live in a country that’s never been to the moon), they have a vertical jump of almost five feet (1.5 m), and they can swim so you can’t count on jumping into water to escape them. That said, the majority of cassowary attacks are on dumb-dumbs that try to feed them. So don’t do that, you dumb-dumbs, okay?  Cassowaries are mostly frugivorous, and they swallow fruit (including bananas) whole. Their poop spreads the seeds of these fruits, so cassowaries are kind of like terrible, loud Johnny Appleseeds. There are three species of cassowary; of them, only one is endangered: the southern cassowary. Vehicles are the largest threat to cassowaries, which–to be honest–kinda diminishes their intimidating nature. Tune in to find out if cassowaries are great, or just okay.

This episode includes the following segments:

“I Think I Could Take It” — Nathaniel believes he’s finally hit pay dirt when he’s hired by vintner Cassius the Cassowary to work at an Australian vineyard.

“What Do You Think it Tastes Like?” — Randi shares a recipe for Cassowary Stone Soup.

Episode 005: A Flash in the Pangolin

In this episode, Randi and Nathaniel explore the enchanting world of pangolins. That’s right, pangolins–that adorable animal that looks like a mixture of an armadillo and an anteater, though in fact they’re only very, very, VERY distantly related to them

Show Notes

Guys, this is it–the episode in which our intrepid hosts get serious. Pangolins are adorable, but they’re also incredibly endangered. There are a few factors that lead to this: First, pangolins are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a host of ailments. As a result, they are one of the most highly trafficked animals in the world. Second, pangolins are also eaten as bushmeat in parts of Africa. Third, pangolins are very difficult to breed (or even keep alive) in captivity. They are insectivorous, or more specifically myrmecophagous, meaning they only eat ants and termites. To compound this limited diet, they are prone to stenophagy, meaning they will only eat certain species of prey (kind of like how Nathaniel’s diet, or a small child’s, is limited to chicken nuggets and pizza). Sir David Attenborough listed pangolins as one of the ten species he’d like to save from extinction. Join Randi and Nathaniel as the discuss why this animal is–without question–great, and not okay.

This episode includes the following segments:

  • “I Think I Could Take It” — Nathaniel tries to outwit a couple of circus pangolins.
  • “Don’t Eat This Bird; Don’t Eat This Best” — Randi discusses the impact of consumption on pangolins. She references two accounts of people eating pangolins: a Vice article, and a travel blog.

Episode 004: A Few Good Marine Iguanas

In this episode, Randi and Nathaniel discuss the marine iguana. And no, marine iguanas are NOT reptilian service members–they’re sea foraging lizards.

Show Notes

Marine iguanas occupy an ecological niche in the Galápagos Islands, and boy are they uggos. Marine iguanas forage for food largely in the water, with some larger males diving for up to an hour at a time. This behavior lends to their ugly appearance: they have flat noses to help with swimming and sharp teeth to graze for algae and other foods. They also tend to have white crust around their faces–this is sea salt they expel from their nose via sneezing.  Join Randi and Nathaniel as they mercilessly mock this animal. Learn about their predators (which include racer snakes), their diet (sometimes they eat sea lion afterbirth), and Charles Darwin’s sick burns on the poor things (he called marine iguanas “disgusting clumsy lizards”).  Tune in to find out if marine iguanas are GREAT, or just okay.

This episode contains the following segments:

  • “I Think I Could Take It” — Nathaniel gets into a pickle after hitting on a former marine marine iguana’s girlfriend.
  • “What Do You Think It Tastes Like”– I mean… really, what do you think they taste like?

Episode 003: The Hippopotamus Oath

In this episode, Randi and Nathaniel discuss the common hippopotamus. In the process, Nathaniel reveals his deep, deep fear of hippos.

Show Notes

In this episode, Nathaniel and Randi decide to try improv, but demonstrate remarkable incompetence. We also remember to talk about hippos. Hippos are megafauna, just like the extinct giant sloths our intrepid hosts discussed in the previous podcast.  Although they’re herbivores, hippos are aggressive and very territorial. That’s okay, they only live in certain areas of Africa, right? WRONG. There are also hippos in South America. But how?? Listen to the episode to find out if they’re GREAT, or just okay.

This episode includes the following segments:

  • “I Think I Could Take It” — Nathaniel takes a job at a hippo nursery. What could possibly go wrong?
  • “What Do You Think It Tastes Like?” — Randi delves into the history behind hippo meat, and one plucky U.S. Senator’s attempt to import hippos to Louisiana.
  • Special Guest Interview — Tune in for an exclusive interview with Ammit, the Egyptian goddess and eater of the dead.

Episode 002: Sloth-y Seconds

In this episode, Randi and Nathaniel discuss sloths, both two and three-toed varieties. Fun fact: all sloths have three toes. Two-toed sloths have two “fingers” on each forelimb instead of three. The more you know!

Show Notes

This episode covers the six extant species of sloths: the four species of three-toed sloths, and the two species of two-toed sloths. We also discuss the extinct giant sloth and its likely reign of terror. Nathaniel tries to distract Randi with tomfoolery and puns. But a large amount of this episode is dedicated to sloth moths (aka, the moths that live on sloths and breed in their poop), sloth algae (sloths have their own ecosystem in their fur, which includes algae! That’s why their fur has a green-ish tinge), sloth mating habits (spoiler: the ladies initiate it), and how sloths drink water (through their skin, it seems). Some time is also spent on bashing Vice Documentaries and wondering if Jose Cuervo is beer or tequila. Listen to the whole episode to find out if sloths are GREAT, or just okay.

This episode includes the following segments:

  • “I Think I Could Take It” — Nathaniel challenges a three-toed sloth to combat. The sloth–a true gentleman–accepts a duel. Do you think Nathaniel will win?
  • “What Do You Think It Tastes Like” — Randi shares advice for cooking and eating sloth, which is “Don’t do it. It’s apparently terrible. Also, sloths are friends, not food.” Sloth apparently does not taste like chicken, which is the metric for this show.