You’ve probably seen the photos circling social media. The caption says “The Happiest Animal”. True enough, the photos in the gallery are filled with the cuddly smiling and often closeup face of a furry animal.
Meet the Quokka
Quokka? What is that? Well, they are nocturnal marsupials. They are members of the macropod or the “bigfoot” family. Some of their brothers are the kangaroos and wallabies. So they are not chipmunks or rodents.
They often live in scrublands and swamps. They usually stay there during the day and then go out at night to hunt. Yes, they hunt. As harmless as they seem, they are one hell of a badass when you give them an opportunity to hurt you.
Why are they smiling?
It’s a total badass despite its cute demeanor, but why is it smiling? Is it happy?
Some are saying that it is smiling because they are dumb.
Clive Wynne, who experimented on cognitive aspects of the quokka believes that they are not dumb.
The smiley little guys don’t “have any magical cognitive abilities,” he says, “but they’re not stupid. They have the skills they need—honed by evolution over millions of years—to thrive in their natural environment.”
When asked why they are smiling, Wynne compared them to the resting bitch face. Or even the great white shark whose face is locked in a perpetual evil grin. Quokka’s smiles are, unfortunately, but adorably, “an accident of evolution.”
Can you have one?
As cute as they seem, they aren’t allowed to be taken home as pets. Aside from their possible danger to people, the number of this species is slowly declining and we wouldn’t want to see these cute little fellas extinct because of some people who made them pets, right?
You can opt to go to parks who have them instead. Photo ops are also allowed with these cuties.