Normally this story would begin with “have you ever wondered what kind of animal best suits your personality?” But that would be a ridiculous way to start because surely everyone has had that thought at least once.
A 10-question personality quiz has caught fire since 2018: Appearing on CNN, CBS, the LA Times, and more, it figures out what kind of animal you are by asking simple behavioral questions.
Based on novel psychological ideas, the Animal in You quiz was created by the author of The Animal in You and Animal Attraction by Roy Feinson, and has been taken by 23 million people.
The novel concept could be summed up in four words “nature abhors a vacuum.” In functioning ecosystems, species and personalities take on a similar representation, requiring both genetic and behavioral niches to be filled in order to build the strongest webs of life.
For instance, on Madagascar—where there were no large herbivores—lemurs, a normally petite animal, grew to be the size of gorillas. On Tasmania, an island with no major predators, a marsupial (the thylacine), which again tends towards being small and reclusive, developed all the character and likeness of a grey wolf.
Rather than there being space for wolves or gorillas in an ecosystem, we could instead theorize there is space for a large, physically dominant herbivore, or a socially cooperative hunter. In fact, every ecosystem has at least 50 species that are needed for an ecosystem to sustain itself, so that they can spread out and inhabit all available food niches.
The test poses questions about your size, aggressiveness, and sociability among others to gauge where you might end up in the animal kingdom—because the author theorizes that human societies act the same way.
Our communities have space for dominant aggressive types for example, only insofar as there are a number of other groups of personalities propping up the societal infrastructure.
Dominant aggressive loners like tigers, who may work in the military or as a stockbroker, would have nowhere to eat if there weren’t flirtatious, sociable birds (waiters/bartenders) and loyal pack animals (cooks) to staff all the restaurants.
The test reminds us, like the great nature documentaries of old, that all animals have their own unique skills and benefits to the greater ecosystem, and as charismatic as a wolf or a tiger is, the bison, the cottontail, or the iguana deserve just as much respect.
The test claims it’s the “most accurate personality test on the web,” and so Good News Network subjected a number of its staff to it. Geri was deemed ‘the playful baboon’. In her case, it was spot on.
Baboon personalities were well-suited for careers that include journalist and artist, both of which she became: “If journalism is about paying attention to the world, then it makes sense why baboons excel in the field; sharp eyes, sharp mind and sharp tongue in a dynamic package… Sometimes seeing the world from a new perspective is all it takes to create exceptional art—which explains why so many famous artists are baboons.”
This reporter scored a Vulpes vulpes — the red fox: which by description was a close fit, possessing such characteristics as “choosing subtlety and cunning over brute strength,” and “thriving when running their own businesses,” and who tend to be “hunter personalities… usually in good physical shape and perform well in pastimes that challenge both mind and body.”
Which animal are you? Leave a comment below and let’s compare notes!