Monday, January 30, 2012

The Fascinating Species of Sesame Street: Twiddlebugs

Scientific Classification:

Animalia Arthropoda Insecta Lepidoptera Nymphalidae Twiddlus Stupidus

Anatomy and Physiology:

Twiddlebugs are a unique specimen, containing attributes mainly found in primates, despite their insectoid features.  While they possess antennae and thin wings, they lack the proboscis, segmented body, exoskeleton, and compound eyes common in other bugs.  Males of the species have even been shown to produce a filament similar to hair on their heads and bodies.  Females, while bare, possess these filaments on their eyelids, similar to eye lashes.  Also, they have longer, thinner antennae than the males.  Unlike most insects, the Twiddlebugs found on Sesame Street have mastered the ability to walk on their back set of legs, allowing their front legs to behave as arms (with appendages that function much like human hands).  Through years of evolution, Twiddlebugs gained an extra pair of these extremities, bringing their total number of legs to the expected number of six, rather than four.

The first documented recording of Twiddlebugs, shown with only one set of "arms."

The Twiddlebug emits a high pitched noise that can be modified to resemble vocal communication.  Although their brains are very small, it has been observed that they are capable of adopting human language based on the region they live in.

The life cycle of the Twiddlebug is still under investigation.  Like humans, Twiddlebugs undergo various stages of maturity, including adolescence and old age.  Although none have been recorded while in their larval or pupal stages, it has been confirmed that Twiddlebugs lay eggs to produce their offspring.


Twiddlebugs tend to stick to urban areas, relying on the discarded waste of humans to construct their shelters.  Gardens in particular provide Twiddlebugs with enough sustenance to survive through the harshest conditions, eliminating the need for migration.

A Twiddlebug family residing in a milk carton shelter in the window-box garden of a local resident.


Due to their environment and ability to mimic and retain information, most Twiddlebugs have adopted the culture of the urban neighborhood, going so far as to imitate the notion of a nuclear family.  The most well-documented group consists of a patriarchal figure dubbed "Thomas," a matriarch known as "Tessie," and two young offspring "Timmy" and "Tina."

The Twiddlebug Family

While this family manages to replicate a human lifestyle on a basic level, the group often encounters great difficulty in solving problems.  Their intelligence is below that of the average human child, resulting in solutions to situations that are illogical and detrimental to the advancement of the species.

Despite their issues, the Twiddlebugs remain determined and optimistic about their situation.  Even when their end result creates a worse alternative that the initial problem, the bugs are able to convince themselves that they have arrived at the best conclusion.  This ignorance allows them to live their lives peacefully without causing stress or pain.

Like any young civilization, the Twiddlebugs have a lot of growing and advancement to accomplish.  Without human intervention, it is highly possible that the creatures could not survive long.  While observing them without interacting with them can teach us many things about how our ancestors may have behaved, it is crucial for us to provide them with resources to help them stay alive.

The colorful markings and helium-like voices make this endangered species easily recognizable.  If you discover one of these fairy-like creatures in the wild, please contact animal protective services and construct a small shelter out of a shoebox or coffee can until help arrives.  And be sure to keep their makeshift home fully furnished with doll furniture so as not to disrespect their culture.

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