Trivia: Pets and Petpets
Pets and their petpets are the heart of Neopia-- the site is called Neopets, after all. But there's more to our furry, feathery, leathery and scaly friends than meets the eye. Be sure to check out our Species Encyclopaedia for more information, but in the meantime, here's a few little tidbits you might find interesting...
Neopia is a world where things are constantly changing, and that includes our pets and their petpets. Redraws are something we're all familiar with, but in the early days of the site, even more drastic changes were happening as a result of new technology, legal issues, better management, and a strange transformative process called Neopian Evolution... Would you recognise your pet if you went back in time?
- You couldn't always have four pets. On the same topic, Premium members couldn't always have five!
- The Buzz was originally called the Fleye, and was an eye with wings.
- The Gelert was originally known as the Polypup.
- The Peophin was originally a Limited Edition pet, the first ever to be available. Only 1,000 were released on its first appearance.
- The Kacheek was originally named the Badeek, and Kacheek Seek was called Badeek Seek!
- Both the Bruce and Kau were once humans! The Bruce was known as the Bruce Forsyth, and the Kau was called the Macy Gray. Neopets had to change these for legal reasons. The Mynci was also a human, called the Mellish.
- The Quiggle was originally known as the Frogstomp.
- The Acara was first called the Tigren.
- Eyries evolved multiple times - the species started out as the Cerpull, became the Tatsu, and finally was named the Eyrie.
- The Kyrii was originally the Fuzio, and looked quite a bit like the JibJib (which is now known as the JubJub).
- The Jetsam and Flotsam didn't used to be so scary-looking - they were originally just ordinary fish.
- The Ghost Lupe was thought to be a Ghost Lion (before it was understood that lions don't exist in Neopia).
- The Easter Cybunny was originally called the Easter Bunny.
- Edna, like many other shopkeepers, was once a human.
Did you know that many of the fish-like petpets of Neopia used to live in fishbowls! Check out the list of replaced petpets in the Item Database to see all the wacky and fun old versions of some of our beloved petpets.
As for the rest of the petpets, TNT aren't always able to resist a little fun when naming newly discovered species. These names give us a little bit of insight into where the creators got their inspiration...
- Petpets first arrived in Neopia on September 27, 2000.
- On Earth, our prehistoric ancestors might have rubbed shoulders with woolly mam-moths; in Neopia, you can still encounter the much smaller Woollypa-pith. No hairy parent left out!
- The Ghoti is named after a commonly cited argument for English spelling reform; it's argued that, given the current conventions of the English language, the word ghoti could conceivably be pronounced "fish". However, TNT have stated that the Neopian Ghoti is much more sensibly pronounced "GO-tee".
- The Abominable Snowball's name echoes that of the Abominable Snowman, a legendary beast also known as the Yeti. However, there's not much resemblance between the two. A Snicklebeast or Gabar would be much closer to the traditional image of the Yeti in popular culture.
- The Moltaran Petpet Adagio, which is known to play tunes, shares its name with a musical term for a slow and elegant piece.
- The Baby Blu is undoubtedly named for its resemblance to a Blumaroo. However, there's no indication the two are related. Similarly, the Babyca can be compared to the Meerca, and the Peo resembles a Peophin.
- The Carma looks somewhat like the chameleon lizard, and its name may come from a popular song, Karma Chameleon by Culture Club.
- Cirrus is the scientific name for a type of cloud. However, in the real world, cirrus clouds are thin and wispy, as opposed to the fluffy and rounded appearance of the Petpet.
- The legendary unicorn is so named because it has one horn; accordingly, the Duocorn has two.
- The Eizzil's name, when read backwards, spells "Lizzie". This is thought to be the name of the girl who was helping TNT with New Features on the day the Petpet was released. She is also known as the Muffin Queen, and Eizzil's are known for being "always quite jolly as long as there's a muffin around".
- The name of the Eustabee is a homophone for "used to be", which relates to its description: "Eustabee used to be a beast..."
- "Lightning bug" is a common nickname for the firefly. The Flightning Bug echoes this, with the addition of the word "flight" to draw attention to its fast, buzzing movement.
- The name of the Kazeriu echoes the Japanese words for "wind" and "dragon".
- The Lil Frankie is named for Frankenstein's Monster, the spooky creature of a novel by Mary Shelley.
- Lutra is the scientific term for "otter". This word may also be the root of the Lutari's name.
- On Earth, the Mallard is a species of duck.
- The name of the Meowclops is reminiscent of the Cyclops, a mythical giant who also had only one eye.
- The Flishy was originally known as the Mongmong, but the name was changed fairly early in the site's history. However, combining a Snorkle and a Flishy at the Cooking Pot still produces a Moink, with the first couple of letters clearly referencing the old name of its component.
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- Spelled backwards, Noil reads "lion".
- The Rock used to be called the Pet Rock, but the name had to be changed for legal reasons.
- "Octopus" means "having eight feet". Therefore, the Quadrapus quite accurately has four tentacles. The Uniocto, though, is incorrectly named - its name literally means "one-eight".
- Swabby is an informal term for a cleaner, especially aboard a ship.
- Rumour has it the Griefer was modeled and named after General Grievous from Star Wars.
- The Quetzal is named after the infamous Mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl, a brightly coloured feathered (sometimes winged) serpent.
Lost Desert Petpets
The Lost Desert is based off of Egypt. As such, many Lost Desert petpets have names rooted in the Egyptian culture, particularly the religion of Ancient Egypt.
- The first of these is the god Anubis, who had the head of a jackal (a relative of the dog). You may also recognize Anubis from the look of the Desert Blumaroo.
- Anubis' cousin (and adoptive brother) Horus had the head of a falcon.
- Their grandfather, Geb, ruled over the earth. While he was never depicted as a pyramid, this shape held great significance for the Ancient Egyptians.
- The Sutekh and the Seti actually derive from the same Egyptian god - Set, the father to Anubis and son of Geb. Sutekh is one of several versions of Set's name, although the Petpet bears no resemblance to Set himself. The Seti, however, is a creature based on Set - unlike most Egyptian deities, Set does not resemble a real animal. His unique creature has been dubbed the "Set animal" (or in Neopia, the Seti).
- Khnum, a god often shown with the head of a ram, actually appears in Neopia as a mix between the Sphinx and a ruler (evidenced by the false beard and the headdress).
- Khonsu is named for the god of the moon, who often appeared in a mummy-like form. This might explain why the Petpet appears as a blue orb (the moon) wrapped in a mummy-like fashion. If you take a closer look at its description, you'll notice the Khonsu is a "very unlucky Petpet". This might refer to a famous game of Senet (an ancient board game of sorts) that Khonsu played versus Thoth, god of wisdom. Each time Khonsu lost, he had to hand over some of his moonlight to Thoth. Although Khonsu was quite good at Senet, he ended up losing so many times that Thoth was able to create 5 extra days in the year out of the extra moonlight, resulting in the first 365 day calendar year.
- Although the Apis petpet is a camel (which are not uncommon modes of transportation in Egypt), the god for which it is named is actually a bull.
- The Selket is named for the Egyptian goddess who healed venomous stings/bites. The Neopian Selket is a representation of the scarab beetle. Selket herself, though, was depicted as a woman wearing a scorpion on her head.
- The goddess of fertility, Taweret, was a hippopotamus-crocodile hybrid, although her Neopian version appears to be a form of Palm Tree (which were common in the Egyptian valleys). You may recognize her name from the popular television series Lost, as she was the statue on the island.
- Wadjet was a cobra goddess of Ancient Egypt, depicted either as a woman with a snake head or just a snake.
- The Khamette, like the Khnum, displays the false beard and headdress that most associate with the rulers of Ancient Egypt. It is likely supposed to represent a sarcophagus - the elaborate coffins that the dead were buried in.
- The Mauket, which is named after the Egyptian Mau (a breed of cat originating in, you guessed it, Egypt), has an Ancient Egyptian-esque collar around its neck. In addition, cats were creatures of great significance and were highly valued and worshiped in Ancient Egypt.
- The Scarabug is named for the scarab beetle, another sacred creature in Ancient Egypt. The Selket, though, is the Petpet that actually looks like a scarab.
- The Pyon is drawn to mimic a scorpion - a potentially deadly creature that roams the sands of Egypt. The goddess Selket, as mentioned earlier, protected Egyptians from its stings.
- Finally, the Kepru, while it may at first resemble a pet dog, is actually a fennec fox! Like the Mauket, it bears a collar reminiscent of Ancient Egyptian jewelry. Fennecs are native to Northern Africa and, like the Kepru, love hanging out in the sand.