6 Endangered Species That Aren't Endangered Enough

Not every endangered species is a breed of particularly fluffy kitten that's been driven to death by a nasty capitalist SUV factory. Some are endangered in the same way that smallpox is endangered: because they should be, dammit.

Here are six endangered species that, in our opinion, aren't endangered enough.

#6. Goliath Bird Eating Spider

It's frequently described as "larger than a dinner plate," presumably because spider-scientists don't want to freak people out with the significantly more relevant "big enough to fit over your face." It's a foot across and, when it's in the mood, brings down entire birds and eats them. It doesn't make webs, or leap great distances--it just slowly sneaks up behind things and jumps on them. Yes, just like in your nightmares. Go ahead and check behind you. We'll wait.

As if a giant spider that can bring down a moderate-sized flying animal wasn't bad enough, it's one of the "hissing bastard spiders" (that's actually its full scientific name), the creepiest creature to exist outside of a horror novel. At this point, evolution clearly just started piling in everything nasty that could possibly fit: Its spit can dissolve flesh down to the bone AND it can shoot invisible hairs that cut your eyes and mouth. While the "intelligent designer" theory has lost steam of late, the "sadistic bastard creator" theory is single-handedly supported by the existence of this creature.

Its venomous bite is not fatal, but can cause pain and swelling. We'd like to take a moment to praise those bite victims who did not die of sheer terror, and who we presume now work in Afghanistan kicking sand for landmines, having utterly used up their entire life's supply of fear. When you've looked down and seen a screaming Frisbee-sized spider with its fangs sunk in you, you're probably going to need to be thrown out of an airplane into a volcano before you'll ever feel mildly concerned again.


Completely unaltered photo. From this site.

So how do we finish them off?
No messing around here--there is an entire part of the brain designed to keep us the fuck away from spiders, the "arachnid response" to anything horrifically alien that must be destroyed. The only reason this abomination isn't already extinct is we can't find enough Navy SEALS prepared to go near the damned things. Heroes? Psh, the only reason those bastards dismantle nukes is because the "Jobs Available" list at the base reads:

a) Single-handedly engage the entire terrorist forces of Mujhadikkaklikkastan or
b) Seriously guys, one of us needs to kill those fucking spiders. But I've hurt my leg. Signed, Rambo.

#5. Ravoux's Slavemaker Ant

Do you have an irrational, creeping fear of insects? Allow us to replace it with an entirely rational terror of them! Check this: A slavemaker queen fakes death, allowing itself to be carried into an enemy nest. There, it then rips their queen apart, coats itself in the bits left over, then immediately starts pumping out soldier eggs. The locals then raise their own enslaving army to maturity.

The new 100 percent soldier-baby society pretty rapidly runs out of locals, so they mount expeditions to break into other nests, bite the locals in half and steal their eggs. This is a species for whom murdering parents and enslaving the children is genetically programmed. It's a hive-minded hybrid of Hannibal Lecter and Hitler with a suicidally dedicated army of millions. We can therefore at least say this one isn't made by Satan, if only because he wouldn't risk creating his own replacement.

So how do we finish them off?
This provides a bit of a challenge for conservationist, because the only way to keep it alive is to provide a steady supply of other ants for it to kill. Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul, and since in this case "Paul" is an army of millions of fascist ant-supremacist slavers, we're on Peter's side here. Fuck Paul. Fuck Paul with fire, and pour salt on the ashes.


Slavemaker ant, menacing a kitten (kitten added for illustration purposes)

Being an expansionist slave-owning culture is one thing--all you need to do is invent pointed sticks, bronze or gunboats before everyone else and you're in charge. But a genocidal slave race that's endangered? When you're winning you're a "culture," but when you're losing you're "vicious hateful bugs that will be stomped flat as soon as we find boots utterly airtight enough to avoid the risk of touching you."

#4. Ganges Shark

A shark is a 24-hour tooth factory attached to an organic outboard motor. The only reason we're killing them at all is because we evolved the ability first. If even one of those flesh-seeking missiles had taken time out from mincing things with its face to develop a thumb-fin, we'd be hiding up trees from giant water-filled roboshark suits.

Ability to swallow a child without chewing notwithstanding, we've never considered sharks a major threat--keep out of the sea, miles the fuck away from Amity Island, avoid sticking your legs into mouths that look like tooth-lined oil barrels and you're golden. The problem is that the Ganges shark, as the names suggests, swims in a big freshwater river--just like regular, non-humanivorous fish.

The vegan tofu brigade point out that the incomplete bodies washing up on the Ganges shore might have been dismantled by the Bull shark, not the innocent friendly Ganges shark, which presumably uses its vast collection of teeth to sieve pollution.

But this isn't a murder trial, PETA. We're not looking for the exact multi-molared monstrosity that converted someone into pork confetti on the night last Tuesday. We're not going round interviewing sardines asking "Have you seen this cartilaginous killing machine?" If you even look like you eat people and hang around in a freshwater river where we wish to remain uneaten then welcome to evolution, sharks: loser, you.

We stopped at 32 teeth and started on fingers, you just kept going, and now you'll see why that was a bad investment.


Shark size enhanced for detail

So how do we finish them off?
The recent death of Martin Brody has robbed us of both our Shark Homicide Police Division and vast Improbably Constructed Submarine Captain. On the upside, this shark lives in a river so we can avoid the "going out in the fucking water with the water-based murderizer" mistake made by most cinematic shark seekers.

We're told that simply having the military line up along the banks and fire machine guns into the water is both expensive and inefficient, so we'd probably have to look into just poisoning the water somehow, or perhaps creating a chemical reaction that will turn all of the rivers into a powerful acid. How else will we make the waters safe for our children?

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