North America gets one lousy marsupial, and let's just say it's not going to win any beauty contests. Or even not-ugly contests. And it wouldn't even get past the quals in the Mammal Intelligence Open. I used to be much more impressed with possums before one of those scientific myth-debunking books explained that they don't so much play dead as fall into startled comas. Another pleasant childhood metaphor thrown under the fridge of science to rot. C-

In "researching" this Rating, I discovered that Yahoo has category called "Individual Wombats." I just think that's something people should know. Anyhow, I'm inclined to like wombat because "wombat" is a great name. It's got a "wom," and a "bat," and an "omba." They're kind of nondescript animals, cute in a generic pudgy mammal way, but their name spelled backwards is "tabmow," and that makes all the difference. A

My Austrialian friends have assured me that kangaroos are actually something of an annoying, car-bumping form of huge vermin. I don't care, they go boing. It is the only living mammal that, when jumping, actually makes a "boing boing boing" sound. You can hear it from almost a mile away. "Kangaroo," in fact, is aboriginal Australian for "boing." Okay, those are all lies but I hear it very clearly in my head. A

Tasmanian Devils
Warner Brothers has this so tied up I'm surprised they're not suing order Dasyuromorphia for trademark infringement. So now a whole generation thinks of Tasmanian Devils as living buzzsaws that strike fear into all other species and like to pose for T-shirts, when actually they're squat carrion-eaters who that got run out of Australia by dingos. Dingos! D

Koala bears only eat one thing, day in and day out. I had the same experience with instant ramen in college, so I can really identify with these prototypical tree-huggers. Koalas look cuddly, but I am lead to understand that they're actually irritable, solitary beasts who do not want belly rubs. What kind of mocking God created creatures with poofy ears and big black noses that don't want belly rubs? B