Weird Rodents

Weird Rodents

Weird Rodents!

Varmints! podcast definitely has our fair share of rodent shows and many more scheduled in the future. But, we can hardly help it, as rodents comprise roughly 40% of mammalian species on this big blue blob we call the Earth. Today we’re going to talk about a few of the odder ones, come along with us on a rodent extravaganza!

But first, the news!

Like we say at the top of the show, we are not animal experts, and sometimes we make mistakes, get stuff totally backward, or fail to notice something important we should have mentioned, thus: WE HAS THE DUMB, WE CANNOT BRAIN, our new segment for corrections/addendums. (Addendumbs?)

  1. Regarding algae in fish tanks, we argued it’s a natural thing that you shouldn’t worry too much about, which is partially true, but don’t go overboard. Too much algae can be an indicator of poor water quality! Experience is the only way to gauge how much is too much, it depends on the tank size, the type of algae, and of course, again, the water quality. So don’t take it as permission to just ignore your tank. Use your testing kits with aplomb!
  2. Sharon Stone’s ex-husband was told to take his socks off in the Komodo dragon enclosure by the zookeepers. Wow.
  3. Donna misspoke on the Aardvarks episode when talking about possible Mammal bias, she said “family” when she meant “class” as in KPCOFGS, Aardvarks are Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Mammalia, Order Tubulidentata, Orycteropodidiae, Genus: Orycteropus and Species O. afer.  Hope that clears up any confusion.
  4. Also Aardvarks, Paul said that aardvarks are not a keystone species, in fact, they totally are. Their burrows end up being homes for lots of other critters, and there is a plant known as the aardvark cucumber, that rely on aardvarks to disperse their seeds (also known as pooping everywhere).
  5. Also Aardvarks, Donna couldn’t find any quick search info about Africans eating Aardvarks and it turns out there are lots of tribes who do hunt and eat them all the time. This is one of the challenges of maintaining them as a non-threatened species. for reference.


Our first little buddy hails from the deserts of far-off Mongolia. And he’s super squee, a real life Pikachu, as Paul said. The first video of these guys wasn’t captured until 2007! Courtesy of YouTube user ZSL – Zoological Society of London.

We don’t know what his powers are.

You asked for capybaras and we delivered. Here’s a fun documentary to look at too! Courtesy of YouTube user allevamento mille piume.

All we can say is “squee”!

Ever thought you’d see a giant squirrel? Well, they have them in India! Enjoy! Video courtesy of YouTube user Media Space.

An actual animal of Planet Earth. We swear on a stack of zoology textbooks, this guy is totally real!

Naked Mole Rats are definitely one of the weirdest critters we’ve ever seen. Here’s a super fun video about these little weirdos. Enjoy! Video courtesy of YouTube user Nat Geo WILD.

Weird pink things are not cute, not even ugly cute, but we like them anyway.

Patagonian Maras are only found in parts of Southern and Central Argentina. (For some reason Donna can’t say it right so, don’t be too mean.) Here’s a neat little video about them, courtesy of YouTube user Great Big Story.

 Deerbit. Rabdeer? Rabbideer?

The show Kim Possible had a Naked Mole Rat character, Rufus! Here is a video of one of his signature lines, courtesy of YouTube user KimPossibleOfficial.


Now you know a bit more about a bunch of weird rodents than you did this morning! What’s your opinion on them? We want to hear from you! Send us your suggestions for animals you’d like to hear us talk about, volunteer your rugrat to say something on our podcast, or just drop us a line about anything at! We might even read your fascinating email on the show.

Your feedback is always welcome!

Connect with your Varmints! hosts| Paul Csomo| Donna Hume| The Show | Pinterest

And a very special welcome to the more than 1,198 of you that gave us a like on our Facebook page. Holy cow! Thank you! We hope you like what you hear and we look forward to hearing from you soon!

Music used:
“Dubakupado”, “Quirky Dog”, “Sneaky Adventure”, “Monkeys Spinning Monkeys”
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
“Kevin MacLeod (
Pictures used:
Capybara pic by schmeeve This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Long eared jerboa pic Zoological Society London/PA
Giant Indian Squirrel images: Wikimedia Commons VinodBhattu. This file are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
Naked Mole Rat Jedimental44 on flikr. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Patagonian Mara in Barbados by Postdlf. This file is licensed under a GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.