The Many Animals of Linux – AKA WTF is a ‘Trusty Tahr’? – Part 1

Have you ever heard about a new Ubuntu release and wondered what a tahr or pangolin is?
I know I have. Every Ubuntu release is given a codename that consists of an adjective and an animal name. A few other distros have have also had releases that reference animals.

I’ve scoured the Internet (by that I mean Wikipedia) to find information about these animals. I’ve picked out just the most interesting bits and paired them with pretty pictures. Let’s get started.

Ubuntu 4.10 – Warty Warthog

640px-Tarangire_Warzenschwein1

Note: does not appear to have warts

Warthogs are a member of the pig family and live in Africa. You may know them from The Lion King.

A few facts:

  • The four little “nubby” things on their faces are fat reserves and are used when fighting each other for mates.
  • The previously mentioned “nubby” things supposedly look like warts. I don’t really see it.
  • They can run up to 34 mph (55kph).
  • They sometimes hide in holes and guard the entrance with their sharp ass tusks.
  • They have some pretty sweet manes, but are otherwise mostly hairless.
  • They’re really good at digging.
Like most animals, they need to eat to survive.

Like most animals, they need to eat to survive.

OK, the warthog in the picture above is actually alive, it’s just resting. Also, eagles eat their young.

 

Ubuntu 5.04 – Hoary Hedgehog

The pictures of hedgehogs in WikiMedia Commons kind of suck. Here you go.

The pictures of hedgehogs in WikiMedia Commons kind of suck. Here you go.

Let’s start with “hoary” first. If you didn’t know, hoary: (zoology) Of a pale silvery gray.

Hedgehogs are little rodent like mammals with sharp quills covering their bodies.

Fact time:

  • Yes, the quills are sharp.
  • No, they don’t shoot them. They’re are also not barbed, and don’t come out easily.
  • They make pig sounds when looking for food.
  • They roll into a ball when threatened by predators. They also sleep in this position.
  • Some people keep them as pets.
  • The next animal is much cooler.

 

Ubuntu 5.10 – Breezy Badger

Yo! I'm a badger.

Yo! I’m a badger.

Badgers are short, fat mammals with multiple species that live on 4 continents.

More Facts:

  • They live underground in burrows called setts. Some are solitary, others live in groups/clans/cetes.
  • They will basically eat anything small. Hedgehogs are their favorite though.
  • Stink badgers aren’t really badgers. They just wish they were. They’re more closely related to skunks.
  • Badgers can be vicious mother fuckers when they want to be. See BBC: Badger Rampage Injures 5.
  • Badgers and coyotes have been observed hunting together. Sometimes they eat each other too.
They didn't have a higher resolution version of this image.

They didn’t have a higher resolution version of this image, but it’s still pretty cool.

 

Ubuntu 6.06 – Dapper Drake

A Mandarin duck. May or may not be a drake.

A Mandarin duck. May or may not be a drake.

A drake is just a male duck. Drake might also mean dragon though. I like ducks, so you’re getting facts about ducks.

  • There are many species referred to as ducks. They live across most of world, minus Antarctica.
  • Ducks live around both fresh and salt water.
  • Most species don’t quack. They make other sounds instead.
  • A duck’s quack does in fact echo.
  • Duckdiving is the name of a surfing technique, making it difficult to find out how deep ducks can dive when searching on google.
  • Some species can dive as deep as 60 meters looking for food.
  • Most ducks don’t have the balls to dive at all. They just dip their heads underwater instead.
The Mariana Mallard

The Mariana Mallard

The population of the Mariana Mallard steadily dropped over the 20th century. Fortunately, in 2004 it was removed from the endangered species list. Oh shit. I just read more. Apparently it was removed from the endangered species list because it went extinct. Oh well. On to the next animal!

 

Ubuntu 6.10 – Edgy Eft

This is an eft.

This is an eft.

Like the drake, Canonical can’t just pick the name of a whole species. An eft is a juvenile newt. The ageism of this release isn’t as bad as the sexism of the previous, but enough politics. “So Voxel, tell me about newts/efts”, you say. I’ll do my best.

  • Newts are related to, and have many characteristics of salamanders (to be featured in a later release).
  • Some newts live primarily in water, others live on land but return to the water to breed.
  • They can regrow lost limbs and some internal organs.
  • They start out as tadpoles, and later grow legs and move onto the land for their juvenile stage.
  • Adult newts may live in the water or on land.
  • Many species secrete toxins from their skin.
640px-Eastern_Newt

He doesn’t need camouflage, he’s covered in poison.

 

In Part 2, we’ll see more ageism with fawns, a fictional creature (the Jackaloupe), when there are plenty of real animals that would love to be featured on my blog, plus gibbons and some more.

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