Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

Battle of the Baby Animals: Platypus vs. Otter


My brand spankin’ new Cute As A Sloth award. (Photo adapted and used under Creative Commons from Asirap)

One of my not-so-guilty pleasures in life is collecting pictures of cute baby animals. I hoard them up, saving them for mopey days when I need something squee-worthy to boost my spirits.

As much as I love kittens and puppies, the sloth has spoiled me for most other animals.

Just look at it: the strange face and beady eyes, the too-long arms, the penchant for cuddling with stuffed animals and soft blankets. How can anyone deny that this is one of the cutest creatures in the world?

But that was until last week, when a couple of contenders for the prize of Cute As a Baby Sloth emerged: the baby otter and the baby platypus.

The trouble, friends, is that I can’t choose between them, so this is where you come in. Read on, then tell me which one you think should win my awesome award by voting in the poll.

The Baby Otter
Baby otters are fuzzy. They squeak. They apparently cover their eyes and swim about, like this little otter pup below (doesn’t she look like she’s playing Marco Polo? Swoon.).

While they aren’t considered fully social creatures (they are pretty independent–hunting and foraging on their own, and not in packs), they spend a lot of time in groups known as “rafts,” and do extra-precious things like hold hands while they sleep.

Photo used under Creative Commons from  Joe Robertson via Wikimedia Commons

Photo used under Creative Commons from Joe Robertson via Wikimedia Commons

The sea otter population is estimated to have once been as large as 150,000-200,000. Sadly, almost two centuries of being killed for their fur has dramatically reduced their numbers. While conservation efforts have restored the sea otter population up to 75% in some areas, they are still classified as an endangered species, and are at risk from pollution and oil spills.

But just look at those precious faces! Soooo teeny and cute!

Photo used under Creative Commons from Reza Ahmeds

Photo used under Creative Commons from Reza Ahmeds

If you are in need of a further omg-cute-otter fix, I recommend these “praying” otters, and the video of this otter playing with a rock.

The Baby Platypus

I never really thought twice about the platypus before George Takei posted this photo on his Facebook feed. When this magnificent specimen of photoshoppery popped up on my tumblr dash (baby platypuses in fedoras, you guys. Absolute perfection.), I fell in love.

Photo used under Creative Commons from  Lexinatrix

Photo used under Creative Commons from Lexinatrix

The platypus is distinctive for a number of reasons. They are one of the few mammals that lay eggs rather than give birth. They’re poisonous–the male apparently has a spur on his hind foot that secretes venom. And with their flat duck-like bills, beaver-like tails, and strange feet, adult platypuses are really, really odd looking. Even better, they waddle when they walk, as we can see in the video below.

But what seems odd (and a little dangerous) in an adult platypus is precious in a baby. I mean, really, just look at how plump and squishy they are. Don’t you just want to cuddle it?

Those of you who are in Australia can go wading with platypuses at Healeville Sanctuary’s “Platypus Playpool” in Victoria.  Otherwise, you can check out this video of a platypus nest, as well as Buzzfeed’s top 15 platypus pictures.


Now it’s your turn, folks. Which one will capture the Cute As A Sloth Award?


Otters and platypuses not your style? Tell me which baby animals you think are cute as a sloth!

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  1. So cuuute! I had to go with the otter because of the venomous spur detail for the Platypus. I mean, one should always avoid any sort of venom spewing spur! 🙂
    gingercalem recently posted..And Sometimes You’re Just an AssMy Profile

  2. I can’t choose, they are both so cute, can;t I have one of each of them. I promise to take very good care of them and love on them every day.

    • Ack! Somehow you got relegated to Spam Prison, Alica–not sure how.

      And I feel your pain! It is SUCH a hard decision. I think you should definitely have both. 😀

  3. I can’t pick! They’re both too cute. 🙂 Love the blog!
    Kinley Baker recently posted..Revolutionizing Rap One Non-Hardcore Person At A TimeMy Profile

    • I knowwww, I had a feeling that it might be hard to choose! I am such a pushover that I am tempted to give them BOTH the award and declare the contest a tie.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Kinley!

  4. Baby anythings are my weakness. I want to squeal and cuddle anything tiny and squishy.

    I did not know platypus’s were poisonous. Good to know.

    Thanks for the extra dose of cuteness today, Lena.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt
    Patricia recently posted..Nesting Rituals of the Modern American WomanMy Profile

    • Riiiiiight?! My best friend and I currently have a war of the cute going on–we text each other as many photos of puppies and other animals that we can find. Thank goodness there seems to be an infinite supply of pictures. 😛

      So glad you enjoyed, Patricia! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  5. Love baby animals! Recently I pinned a super cute pic of a baby elephant. 🙂
    Coleen Patrick recently posted..The Creative Life: Following your Bliss vs. Taking the Sensible PathMy Profile

    • Ooooh, a baby elephant?! I will have to check your pin boards, Coleen. I am always looking for potential animals to be included in the next round of Cute As A Sloth…

  6. Lena! They are all just way too cute! Thanks for the lovely diversion!

  7. That was just tooo cute! I had to go with the otter though. I wonder if he was playing hide and seek?

  8. Love these, Lena! I had to go for the otter on this one. I wonder if he’d learn how to play peek-a-boo? But if you’d had the picture of the baby platypus (platypi?), I’d have switched teams. Even without the hats. Going to check out Colleen’s baby elephant now. Cheers!
    Jennifer Jensen (@jenjensen2) recently posted..Red for Life!My Profile

    • It’s so sad–there’s such a dearth of baby platypus pictures on the web that are CC licensed. But the otter’s the winning choice! Thanks for swinging by, Jennifer!

  9. Seriously, I have to choose? I love them all! I didn’t know about the poisonous spurs on a platypus either, but I still can’t choose.

    Fun post, Lena!
    Diana Beebe recently posted..Mockingbirds and ArmadillosMy Profile

  10. Knew about the platypus… Monotremes… Echindnas are too (did I spell that right?).

    I had to go with team otter because I find both the babies and the adults adorable. Only the baby platypuses are adorable imho, though.

    Cute post. Cute animals.

    My son asked if you liked baby giraffes.
    Eden Mabee recently posted..Interrupting the ROW and Re-immersionMy Profile

    • Yes, echnidnas! I ran across them when I was doing research for this post, and ohhhhh my, those babies are so weird looking… but oddly compelling. 😛

      Thank your son for the baby giraffe photos! I think they are going to have to go into a future post…

  11. Ack! How did I miss this two days ago? Oh, I know, Google reader was messed up, darn! I have to be careful reading these at work – it took a lot of restraint not to squeeeee out loud at both! But I had to go with Platypus – it’s my daughter’s favorite animal. She has a Squishable stuffed platypus (yes, that’s what they’re called – squishable.com). We looked them up on YouTube and they make an adorable chittering/purring sound! I’m surprised she hasn’t mentioned the poisonous spike, though.
    Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..WANA Wednesday: Romance is in the air! And so is ROW80My Profile

  12. Well, I almost forgot to get back to this post! I was away from home a lot lately, and the internet has been so sketchy at times that nothing with pics wanted to load. Problem is, now that I have the chance to vote, I can pick between the two!

    I’m feeling like some of those commenting above. It’s not fair! Don’t make me pick! ~whine~ ~sniffle~

    • Haha, when I made the post I knew only having the 2 options would make me incredibly evil… especially because I can’t choose either!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Laura!

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