There is no doubt that we recognize most emojis -when they are large enough to see- but it appears we may have gotten our ideas about these animals from Saturday morning cartoons more than experience with the real thing. How accurate are emojis to the real-world animals they are supposed to represent? National Geographic obtained some opinions from scientists who study animals.
For instance, Anne Hilborn, a researcher studying cheetahs at Virginia Tech University, takes particular umbrage with the way Microsoft has given their version of a zebra emoji pink ears and nostrils.
“Seriously? Even when zebras die of diseases that have them bleed from their orifices, their nostrils aren’t pink,” says Hilborn.
Similarly, Hilborn says all the lion emojis are terrible representations. However, she deemed Samsung’s version the most egregious, with what appears to be “an explosion of shaving cream below the nose.”