Superbowl 50: Watch cute zoo animals predict what will happen Sunday

February 4, 2017

BRIDGEPORT—The Homo sapiens who run the Beardsley Zoo have no idea if the New England Patriots will beat the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

But they think they’re sure that audiences enjoy watching animals make Super Bowl predictions.

“Animals have a proud history of picking Super Bowl winners, from puppies on Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ to a race between piglets sponsored by Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan,” according to a statement from the zoo Friday. “Other animal bet makers have included tortoises, porcupines, pandas, tigers, and manatees, among others.”

On betting sites, the odds are nearly locked (New England is favored by three points over Atlanta, according to Forbes).

In Bridgeport, zookeepers ran animals through a series of comical tests toward selecting the NFL teams ahead of the bowl — and the other team comes out on top.

In this article, we made a game of our own.

Before viewing the video, see if you can guess the common name of the animal from its Latin or scientific classification (like Homo sapiens, the genus is capitalized and the species is in lower case).

In one clip, a Rattus (species unknown) works through a cardboard maze to topple a blue card marked “New England.”

In another, zookeepers present two Easter-egg-style plastic containers to a Corvus corax resident. He clucks his beak at the one labeled “Falcons.”

A pair of Lontra canadensis drag a buoyant red Falcons toy through the water in their pen onto a floating platform.

The conclusion of this tea-leaf-reading exercise: 2-1, Falcons. But there’s more

At the conclusion of the clip, a Felix lynx appears walks between two boxes labeled with the team names, without choosing one, and slinks away away.

That may be the most accurate Super Bowl prediction made this year: most people will tune in for the half, then wander away searching for food.

Answers: rat, common crow, Canadian otters, bobcat.