Stuffed-Animal Biodiversity Rising

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After Birth

Parents Of Crying Child Must Not Be Any Good

WOODBURY, MN—Noting how the pair’s failure to promptly resolve the situation was a clear indication of their inability to raise or care for another human being, sources confirmed Friday that the parents of a crying infant must not be any good.

Conductor Fatigue Blamed In Massive Model Train Crash

BLOOMINGTON, IN—After surveying the dozen railcars and cargo of Lincoln Logs strewn haphazardly across the grass mat, investigators concluded Friday that a massive model train derailment was the result of conductor fatigue.

The Pros And Cons Of Co-Sleeping

The act of co-sleeping, where babies and toddlers share a “family bed” with their parents, is a rising trend in the United States, though the practice is contested by those who doubt its purported benefits. Here are the pros and cons of co-sleeping with your child

The Onion’s Guide To Trick-Or-Treating

Halloween gives revelers a chance to receive candy all over the neighborhood. Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your experience and take home a big haul.

How To Talk To Your Child About Sex

It’s not easy to decide when and how to have a discussion with children about sex, and many parents wonder how explicit they should be or where to establish boundaries. Here are The Onion’s tips for having “the talk” with your kids:

Child’s Loose Grasp On Balloon Only Thing Between Peace And Anarchy At Restaurant

JACKSONVILLE, FL—Eating their meals and conversing pleasantly without paying any heed to how loosely the string was wrapped around the young child’s finger, diners at a local Panera Bread reportedly went about their lunch Wednesday completely unaware that 2-year-old Nate Pollen’s tenuous grasp on a red helium balloon was the only thing standing between peace and total anarchy.

Childish 12-Year-Old Still Believes In Father

HARTFORD, CT—Saying she just assumed he would have figured it out by now, local mother Kathleen Rivers expressed concern to reporters Tuesday that her 12-year-old son, Dylan, still believes in his father.

How U.S. Schools Can Improve Math Education

With U.S. students regularly placing behind 20 to 25 other nations in mathematics test scores, many education experts are wondering what the sources of the problem are and how we can take steps to fix them. Here’s a look at how American schools can improve their math curricula and help struggling students:

Mom Keeping Tabs On Coyote Situation

WAYZATA, MN—Regularly updating her husband and children on the frequency and location of sightings around the neighborhood, local mother Dana Salisbury continued to keep close tabs on the coyote situation this week, sources confirmed.

Obamas Decide To Stay In White House Until Daughters Finish High School

‘We Don’t Want To Uproot Them Just For Our Jobs,’ Say Parents

WASHINGTON—Saying it wouldn’t be fair to disrupt their lives after seven years in the same school district, Barack and Michelle Obama this week announced their plans to stay in the White House until their daughters graduate high school.

How To Talk To Your Child About Death

When your family has experienced a loss, it can be a difficult concept for young children to process. The Onion breaks down the best ways to converse with your child about the realities of death

Single, Unemployed Mother Leeching Off Government

WASHINGTON—Taking advantage of the system and giving nothing back in return, local unemployed, single mother Mei Xiang reportedly gave birth to two more children out of wedlock this week and continued to pathetically leech off the government.

Area Dad Informs Busboy He’s Ready To Order

NASHUA, NH—Raising his arm into the air while leaning outward from the table in a bid to command attention from the other side of the restaurant, area father Walter Bierko called over a busboy at DiCapri’s Italian Eatery to inform him that he was ready to order, sources reported Wednesday.

How New Parents Can Stay Healthy

Having a baby changes everything, and the resulting lack of sleep and general stress can contribute to a decline in overall wellness. Here are some ways new parents can prevent bad habits and maintain good health

Single Woman With 3 Young Children Unaware She Subject Of 984 Judgments Today

LINCOLN, NE—Oblivious to the thoughts and looks directed toward her as she shopped for groceries, stopped by the post office, and ran several other errands with her three young children, single mother Karen Nichols, 29, was reportedly completely unaware that she was the focus of 984 separate judgments by strangers this afternoon.

Tips For Traveling With Young Children

Family vacations can be a time for bonding and building lasting memories, but when young children are involved, trips can also be stressful to plan and execute. Here are The Onion’s tips for traveling with kids

Good News Kept From Parents Out Of Fear Of Proving Them Right

DANBURY, CT—Saying she wants no part of the conversation that would inevitably result if she broke the good news, local medical billing technician Jenny Comers reported Friday that she’s keeping word of her recent pay raise from her parents out of fear of proving them right.

Parents Formally Announce Transfer Of Expectations To Second Child

GRAND JUNCTION, CO—Explaining that the adjustment made the most practical sense for all parties involved, local parents Beth and Ryan Morgan held a press conference Friday morning to announce the official transfer of expectations from their oldest child, Jeremy, to his younger sibling, Angie.

North American Children Begin Summer Migration To Dad’s

NEW YORK—With the increasingly warm weather signaling the commencement of their age-old journey, millions of children across the North American continent began their annual summer migration to their fathers’ homes this week, sources confirmed.

Parents Worried Children Old Enough To Remember Family Vacation

YOUNGSTOWN, OH—Fearing that their kids’ impressions of the experience could quite possibly remain with them for the rest of their lives, parents Joel and Bethany Weyandt told reporters Tuesday they are worried their children are old enough to remember the details of their recent family vacation.

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

Kids Love When Mom Sad Enough To Just Order Pizza

FORT WORTH, TX—Saying they get their hopes up anytime they notice her looking particularly downhearted, siblings Paulo and Marisa Hernandez told reporters Wednesday they love it when their mother is sad enough to just order pizza.

Baby-Naming Tips For New Moms

Mothershould’s Grace Manning-Devlin breaks down some of the hottest baby names of the year, such as Cooper, Tanner, Milkman, and Serf.

Pros And Cons Of Standardized Testing

As the American education system continues to place more emphasis on standardized testing to measure academic achievement, critics have argued that it can be more harmful than helpful to students’ development in the long run. Here are some of the pros and cons of standardized testing:

Being Older Than Daughter Babysitter’s Only Qualification

UTICA, NY—Possessing no particular proficiencies or training whatsoever, local 12-year-old Jessica Radloff was reportedly hired to babysit Hayley Carden, 7, this week based solely on her qualification of being older than the child she was asked to watch.

Total Weirdo Spends Mother’s Day At Cemetery

ST. MARYS, OH—Apparently content to hang around dead people rather than celebrate like a normal person, area weirdo John Mills spent most of Mother’s Day at a local cemetery, creeped-out sources confirmed.

Child Visiting Ellis Island Sees Where Grandparents Once Toured

ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Email From Mom Sent At 5:32 A.M.

DENVER—After waking up and finding the message waiting on his computer, local man Drew Swanson confirmed to reporters Thursday that his mother had sent him an email at 5:32 a.m.

Blog Post Read By Mother To Shape Child’s Next 18 Years

PAOLI, PA—Poised to inform future parenting decisions on medical care, dietary restrictions, and everyday well-being, the blog post “Fluoride Drops For Kids—Good Idea?” which was read by local mother Laurie Miller earlier today, will reportedly shape the next 18 years of her young child’s life.

Little League Pitcher Just Getting Fucking Shelled

RED BANK, NJ—After watching the 11-year-old give up the fourth straight double that inning, sources confirmed Sunday afternoon that local Little League pitcher Dustin Bauer is getting absolutely fucking shelled out there.

Pros And Cons Of Screen Time For Kids

As technology becomes more of a staple in everyday family life, parents are making choices about how much screen time to allow their children—and asking questions about how computers, phones, and TVs might help or hinder a child’s development.

Oh God, Teacher Arranged Desks In Giant Circle

OVERLAND PARK, KS—Appearing stunned and unsettled as they entered her classroom Wednesday, students from Ms. Frederickson’s fourth-period social studies class were reportedly overcome with panic 

Kids Teary-Eyed After Helping Dad Move Into First Apartment

BOWLING GREEN, OH—With their father marking the start of an important new phase in his life, the children of local man Barry Hunt told reporters they got a bit teary-eyed after helping the 49-year-old move into his first apartment Thursday. Teenager...
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Stuffed-Animal Biodiversity Rising

WASHINGTON, DC–According to a World Wildlife Fund study released Monday, stuffed-animal biodiversity is rapidly rising, with the number of species available in plush form up nearly 800 percent since 1990.

A rich spectrum of stuffed animal life is found under a leafy canopy in New York's FAO Schwarz.

"While the number of living species continues to plummet, the exact opposite is true of their toy counterparts," WWF director Ruth Aberg said. "This is particularly true in America, where polyester-fiber-filled replicas of even the most endangered species can be found in glorious abundance."

According to the WWF report, 885 animal species are in danger of extinction worldwide, and another 165 are classified as threatened. Of these 1,050 at-risk species, however, an estimated 970 can be found in mass quantities in children's toy boxes and on collectors' shelves.

Stuffed-animal biodiversity, Aberg said, has not always been so robust. Ten years ago, the number of species produced by toy manufacturers was "abysmally low," mainly restricted to North American wildlife and a few select jungle animals. The past decade, however, has seen a proliferation of all manner of synthetic fauna.

"There are an estimated 41,000 species of vertebrates on Earth, yet until recently, only a small handful were available for purchase–tigers, bears, lions, penguins, giraffes, and perhaps an owl or a duck," Aberg said. "Even then, only the most common species within a particular genus was represented. In the case of bears, for example, you'd have the brown bear, but rarely the polar bear and never the sun bear or sloth bear."

Today, by contrast, consumers regularly encounter river otters, hedgehogs, hammerhead sharks, warthogs, capybaras, opossums, tarantulas, and rare caimans found only in remote regions of the Amazon.

"Look at sea turtles, a species rapidly disappearing due to pollution and poaching," Aberg said. "Several years ago, EcoToys Inc. introduced Sam The Super Sea Turtle, a green turtle, or Chelonia mydas, complete with a tag describing its natural habitat and status as an endangered species. It was so well-received that the company then introduced Louie The Loggerhead, a large-headed, brownish-red turtle better known as Caretta caretta. That, in turn, was followed up with Lepidochelys kempi, a small, gray Atlantic ridley named Bo Ridley. Store shelves that were once devoid of sea turtles are now teeming with all manner of them."

Stuffed Animal Chart

The rise in stuffed-animal biodiversity, experts say, has been made possible by humans' growing interest in environmental issues: Science-themed toy stores have popped up in malls across the nation. Entire shelves of such retail giants as Toys 'R' Us are devoted to animals from around the world. Beanie Baby manufacturer Ty can barely keep up with consumer demand for plush biodiversity.

Wild Republic, a major manufacturer of stuffed animals, produces more than 100 species of animals, including Halima The Snow Leopard, Brunei The Probiscus Monkey, and Adoncia The Poison Dart Frog. Several of the company's more popular species are also available as backpacks.

"As rainforests continue to disappear at a rate of one and a half acres every second, I thought there was no hope for the leopard frog," Sierra Club associate director Dianne Wilmot said. "But Wild Republic just announced there will 5,000 more Rana pipiens in existence by Christmas. A walk through the aisles of any toy store reveals what a diverse world we used to live in."

While Wilmot is encouraged by the stuffed-animal boom, some see cause for alarm.

"The number of species is rising way too quickly," said South Bend, IN, wildlife enthusiast Wendy Elias. "I wanted to get all the animals in the Jack Hanna collection: They're so cute, and I knew I could give them a good home. But they keep introducing new ones faster than I can make shelf space. My husband will absolutely kill me if I bring another one home."

Manufacturers, however, do not regard overpopulation as a threat.

"We have a plan, should the animals on store shelves become too numerous," said Adrian Rohn, a spokesman for Wild Republic. "We will simply employ a systematic reduction of prices to encourage bargain hunters to thin the herd."

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