The Elephante Flies Anyway: The Neopian Anatomy Debate
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
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
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.
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!
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.