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is for Orang-utan

Orang-utans, a species of great ape, are one of the most intelligent primates and, if the Clint Eastwood film Every Which Way But Loose is anything to go by, enjoy cold beer, country music and bareknuckle boxing.


is for Penguin

The most hen-pecked of all animals, the male Emperor Penguin is left to guard his partner’s egg for months at a time, in sub-zero Arctic conditions, while the missus is off gallivanting. A boys’ night out is what he needs, and no mistake.


is for Quail

Now, AU can’t claim to know much about the humble quail. But we do know that they are delicious with rosemary jus and sage potatoes. Mmmm.


is for Rabbit

Rabbits are pretty cute, eh? With their big floppy ears and the adorable way they hop around, and.... Ugh! What on earth is wrong with its eyes! That is horrific! Myxomatosis, you say? Well. That’s quite something. Excuse me a moment while I vomit profusely, would you?


is for Sloth

The sloth, god bless him, is a famously lazy creature, moving only when it is absolutely necessary and sleeping for up to 18 hours a day. Much like the average university student, in other words.



is for Tasmanian Devil

The Looney Tunes character Taz was a vicious creature with a voracious appetite, and in this respect was a true-to-life representation of the Tasmanian devil which, like its cartoon counterpart, enjoys screeching loudly and is a ferocious eater. Tasmanian devils also sometimes defecate communally. You don’t see that bit in the cartoons, though.


is for Urchin

The hedgehog of the sea, the urchin is a globular creature covered by dozens of sharp spines to deter predators. What does he think, the humble sea urchin, as he shuffles along the ocean floor? We don’t know. But we reckon he thinks about how he can never get close to anyone. Y’know, cos he’d stab them. Poor fella.


is for Viper

Venomous snake found throughout the world (except Ireland – thanks St Patrick). Studies have shown that the viper can make decisions on how much poison to deliver through its hollow fangs, depending on the circumstances. So it’s best to pay it a compliment, eg “Aren’t you a handsome devil,” or similar, even as its rapier-like teeth pierce your flesh. Definitely don’t try and punch it or whatever.


is for Walrus

“I am the Eggman,” sang John Lennon on popular Beatles track ‘I Am The Walrus’, “They are the Eggmen / I am the Walrus / Goo goo g’joob.” He might also have added: “I am whacked out of it on

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loads of acid”. Although, to be honest, that much was already pretty obvious.


is for Xenopus Frog

Spare a thought for the poor xenopus frog, which is often used in laboratory experiments (indeed in Hebrew its name literally means ‘medical frog’). Yep, this is the hapless bugger you dissected in your biology class. Hope you’re proud of yourself.


is for Yak

Basically a hairy Tibetan cow, the yak is known as one of the smelliest animals, as – due to its long, thick coat – urine and faecal odour tends to, um, linger. So more of an ‘outdoor’ pet, really.


is for Zoo

“What’s wrong with a zoo?” sang hirsute Kentucky troubadour Will Oldham in his song of the same name, “What’s wrong with a zoo? / What’s wrong with a zoo?” Nothing, Will. There’s nothing wrong with a zoo. It’s just a place where animals sometimes live. Now, please, stop asking. It’s getting a bit annoying.

AU Magazine Issue 80  

Featuring the Michael Kiwanuka, Nile Rodgers, Gotye, Legalising Poker, Scottish Independence, A To Z: Animals, DeLorean, Fleetwood Mac, Dja...

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