“See the dark spots around the eyes, the shape of the ears and nose? It’s kind of panda-like.” Jenny gestured into the cage as she spoke. That’s why they’re called panda bats, or ‘xióng māo bianfu.'”

“I guess so,” Sam said, “if you’re the kind of person that sees pandas in their rice pudding.”

“They also have a ‘sixth finger’–really an elongated wrist bone–that giant pandas and red pandas have,” Jenny said.

Sam shrugged. “So that’s why it’s endangered? Because it looks like a panda?”

“No, it’s mostly habitat destruction and harvesting for traditional medicine. Bats are thought to treat epilepsy and extend life, in some circles, and the whiter the bat, the older it is and the longer it will let you live.”

“Well, people also used to think that feeding a mouse oil or salt would make it turn into a bat, and that’s where they came from. You’d think that both of them would be equally debunked.”

Quantum Marmoset
Mustempus peregrinationis

This relative of the common marmoset lives its life in a nonlinear fashion. To the observer they appear to fade in and out at random intervals during their 8-10 year lifespan, but from the perspective of the marmoset it is living its life in a straight line with surroundings that randomly jump about. Exceedingly rare, as the likelihood of any two marmosets of breeding age in the same area at the same time is vanishingly small.

“Natives in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Norte state will try and lasso a quantum marmoset when they find one. If done correctly, they will be taken with during the next nonlinear tree swing. Tradition holds that if the passenger goes back in time and prevents themselves from lassoing the marmoset, the universe will cease to exist.” – Dr. Phineas Phable

Hammer’s Space Wallaby
Malleuspatium desultor

Named after Hammer’s Space, the ranch where it was discovered in Australia’s Northern Territories, the Hammer’s Space wallaby differs from ordinary wallabies in that its pouch has infinite capacity through a link to an interdimensional space. The wallaby will often store items that strike its fancy in its infinite pouch, and will throw them at pursuers or competing wallabies. Joeys enter the pouch from the interdimensional space; the exact method by which the wallabies reproduce is unknown but of extreme interest to particle physicists.

“The pouch is too small to fit a human, but settlers have been known to go ‘wallaby fishing’ by catching a Hammer’s Space wallaby and pulling items from its pouch; occasionally valuable items like gold and jewels are found. One witness describes a Hammer’s Space wallaby evading pursuers by throwing a wooden mallet, an airplane propeller, the left wheel of a 1930 Holden sedan, and a human tibia at them.” – Dr. Phineas Phable

Sigh Bat
Vespertilio suspiransugere

The sigh bat is related to the vampire bat, but unlike its more famous relative it subsists on the sighs of the brokenhearted rather than blood. It has evolved a number of abilities that allow it to generate brokenhearted sighs in generally happy times, from mimicking human voices and penmanship to excreting a compound that resembles lipstick that they smear on collars and napkins.

“If for all your indiscretions
a sigh bat ye’ve blamed
Beware that thru ye inhibitions
a sigh bat ye’ve not gain’d.” – Traditional