The other monotreme. The platypus still has my heart but the solitary echidna has earned my respect, and you really need to see their "love trains." More at Hilobrow.
The only time "mollusk" and "genius" belong in the same sentence.
All bears are good, but this is the best bear.
Too smart and thoughtful to eat. Don't eat. Please. Fuck bacon.
The best North American mammal. Living mountains. Fierce and stoic and communal. Fuck westward expansion.
Granted, I picked a better-looking-than-usual vulture photo. They are not beautiful birds. But a) that featherless head is a hygienic evolutionary adaptation (since they're always sticking their heads into carrion) and b) vultures handle the dead. They're janitors and undertakers, thankless jobs. They take care of our road kill better than we do. Thank you, vultures.
Incredibly sensitive hearing, hops like a kangaroo at up to 15 mph. Also, I mean, just look at it.
The heartbreaker. And a keystone species: when the wolves are removed (i.e. killed), entire ecologies collapse.