When you think about natural science and all its research pertaining to the animal kingdom, it might shock you to learn that scientists also spend a lot of time 'thinking' about the unscientific. For instance, biologists are currently showing a lot of concern — if you can believe it — about ‘emojis’ and their exactitude — or lack thereof.
Shaved Lions & Spotless Leopards
For starters, researcher Anne Hilborn at Virginia Tech University asserts that lion emojis do not represent their species accurately. She deems Samsung’s version is most egregious, because their lion appears to have been attacked by “an explosion of shaving cream below the nose.”
And while there’s presently no cheetah emoji, there is a collection of leopard emojis, about half of which are inaccurate because they depict the animals as having “bellies” with no spots?
The other big problem with the leopards is the tails.
“Leopards have beautiful, curved tails they hold up when walking so that the white underside can be seen,” says Hilborn. “They’ve given these leopards house cat tails.”
The Nose doesn’t Know?
Hilborn is also upset about zebra emojis. She takes particular umbrage with the way Microsoft has given their version of a zebra emoji pink ears and nostrils. Seems Hilborn isn’t partial to the color pink? But to justify her position, she attests to the fact that zebras do not sport pink noses or ears.
“Seriously? Even when zebras die of diseases that have them bleed from their orifices, their nostrils aren’t pink,” says Hilborn.
Birds of a Feather
On the plus-side of the ledger, birds actually fare much better in the emoji zeitgeist, infers Jason Ward, an educator with the National Audubon Society. He notes that the eagles 🦅 and mallard ducks 🦆 are nearly all anatomically precise.
“They even captured the bald eagle’s menacing ‘I’m going to rip all the scales from your body’ look that it gives fish right before it plucks one from the water,” says Ward.
However, Samsung loses points for depicting its duck as a yellow rubber ducky and its owl for dipicting them in purple.
“Fun fact, there are no purple owls in the world,” says Ward, “unless you search Pinterest.”
What about you readers? Have you noticed any other animal emojis that take liberties? If so, drop us a line and include the emoji or a link where our readers can enjoy viewing them.
Primary Source: National Geographic