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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 21st day of Gathering, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 76 > Articles > The Elephante Flies Anyway: The Neopian Anatomy Debate

The Elephante Flies Anyway: The Neopian Anatomy Debate

by taffychic

Untitled Document

PET CENTRAL - From the Lupe vs. Chia debate to the Wocky conundrum, owners in Neopia are faced with endless questions regarding the ways of Neopia. Probably the biggest questions of them all, however, are regarding the anatomy of NeoPets. From Kikos to Shoyrus to Skeiths, many of our favorite pets' features are hard to explain logically.

The Case of the Missing Body Parts

One of the most obvious questions arises regarding JubJubs (who have no arms) and Kikos (no legs). Let's examine the drawings. The Kiko is shown suspended a foot or so off the ground with no support, which leads some to believe that it has the ability to get around on land by floating. Others have suggested that it just uses muscles on its underside to crawl or bounce.

The JubJub faces a different problem. It possesses disproportionate feet and no arms; it's virtually impossible for it to use any Battledome equipment, toys, or food! It has been suggested that the JubJub is incredibly talented with its feet. This is a possible solution, although it would present many hygiene problems. Some people have said that the JubJub does indeed have arms; you just can't see them in the normal drawing. However, in the JubJub's attack position you can clearly see that there simply are no arms.

This brings us to the aquatic NeoPets: Peophins, Koi, Tuskaninnies, Flotsam, and Jetsam, among others. How do they get around? In past editorials, it has been said that they move on land by floating. While this is just as plausible as floating Kikos, it seems odd, especially in the Peophins' case. They have legs, after all. My theory is that they get around like sea lions or walruses, dragging their flippers with their front legs/flippers.

Hands, hooves, fins or paws?

It's customary for NeoPets to be able to use their front appendages like human hands, but the Grundo is the only NeoPet that has opposable thumbs. Let's look at the pets that are human-like (walking on their back legs and using their front legs as arms.) Many of these have fingers that can be used to hold things to some extent, but what about the pets like the Kacheek and Shoyru that have arms but no fingers? Perhaps they just have one muscle on the end of their arm that can bend whichever way they choose? What about the Lennies and Pteris that have wings only, with no fingers attached? If they had an elbow joint, it would be possible for them to wrap a wing around large objects. However, this would not work in picking up small objects, eating, or holding a book.

Most NeoPets go about on all fours. This brings up the question of how they use their hands. Certainly some of them can walk on their hind legs if they wish, but what about Kaus? If their body structure is anywhere near that of an Earth cow, it's not possible for them to rear completely upright for any significant amount of time. In any case, most four-legged NeoPets' knee joints would not allow them to lift their paws up to their faces. Therefore, they must have to eat directly off the dinner table, like a cat or dog! For that matter, it would be somewhat difficult for many pets to sit in a dining room chair.

It's generally accepted that NeoPets with cloven hooves are able to grasp things because of a hinge effect. However, Unis and Peophins have solid, horse-like hooves, without a cleft. MonoKeras and Celestilla, however, seem to have no problem holding pencils, typing, or eating. Perhaps they have sticky pads like spiders?

Evolutionary Wonders

One of the most debated issues about the actual pets is the accessories and clothing items they appear to wear. For example, all Bruces and Usuls are born with large bows, every Aisha has its collar, and each Kiko has a bandage on the left side of its head. But is this actually clothing, or is it part of the NeoPet's anatomy? The Kiko's bandage could be an ancient, outdated defence mechanism, serving to make predators think it is injured so that they will go after it and not its young. The bows and collars are more likely freebies from the kind folks at the Create a Pet Center. The face plate of the Peophin might be built-it armor from ancient days, but it's difficult to explain the gem on the forehead. Perhaps it isn't a gem at all, but a false eye or just a coloring pattern?

Another long-debated pet is the Shoyru, for more than one reason. The question of how many eyes it has is now settled: Shoyrus do in fact have two eyes, one on each side of their head. However, many have asked where their ears are. My theory is that, being a type of Neoreptile, Shoyrus do not have external ears but small ear-holes like Earth birds and reptiles. The NeoPets staff, on the other hand, has said that the large horn on the top of the Shoyru's head is an ear.

And, finally, there is the question of wings. Skeiths, Elephantes, and Scorchios all have wings much too small to support their weight. However, the game Volcano Run features a flying Scorchio! This cannot be explained away by the "hollow bones" theory; if any of these pets had bones like the birds seen on Earth, all of their bones would break due to sheer body weight. In Volcano Run, Glubgar's wings appear larger than is usual for a Scorchio. This leads me to believe that either one of two things is possible. A.) NeoPets with diminutive wings can make them grow larger or smaller, depending on the need. After all, Skeiths and Elephantes are rather large anyway; imagine if their wings were full-size all the time! B.) These three species could fly in prehistoric times, but their wings have shrunk with disuse. This is paralleled on Earth in many cases; humans have a tail for a brief time as a fetus, and the appendix is thought to be the remains of a primitive organ.

Conclusion

Although there are many cases in which Neopian anatomy does not make sense by our laws of physics, we must remember that Neopia is not Earth. Completely different laws exist there; Elephantes can certainly fly if they want to, and Tuskaninnies get around just fine on land whether we think we should be able to or not. After all, our NeoPets probably think it's pretty odd that we wear clothes and our cats and dogs can't hold a fork! Neopia is still waiting for someone to write a book on the Neopian laws of physics, so until then, in Neopia anything is possible!

Author's Credits

I would like to thank my guild for virtually every argument presented here. The great minds of NTAG came up with this article; I just wrote it down.


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