Mammal emoji

Peter Constable petercon at
Mon Mar 7 14:58:45 CST 2016

I know you’re not proposing anything and just providing info for discussion. I want to make sure it’s clear to others that there is no requirement for encoded emoji in Unicode to provide comprehensive coverage (by any measure) of any semantic or conceptual domain. So, if there isn’t any raccoon emoji in Unicode, that doesn’t imply that there must or ever will be a raccoon emoji.


From: Unicode [mailto:unicode-bounces at] On Behalf Of David Starner
Sent: Sunday, March 6, 2016 8:56 PM
To: Unicode Mailing List <unicode at>
Subject: Mammal emoji

Seeing the presence of foxes on the upcoming emoji list, I remembered the Audubon Mammals (North America) app has silhouettes of mammals on the browse by shape tab. So let's see if they're covered:
Armored Mammals (-): Okay, we're off to a bad start. The image here is sort of porcupine-ish, and there's two distinct creatures under the label, the porcupine(-) and armadillo(-). Neither of which are in Unicode.
Bats (N): In the new list. Which is good; they're sort of iconic.
Cats(+): Several varieties
Chipmunks, Squirrels and Prairie Dogs(+): Breaking down more than icons the app uses, there is a Chipmunk(+) emoji, no Squirrel(-) emoji; that might be an oversight. Prairie dogs(-) probably aren't.
Hoofed Mammals(+): Breaking it down more Bison(-), Sheep(+), Reindeer (-) (and that's sort of surprising), Peccary(-), Deer(N),  Moose(-) (aka Elk in Europe), Ox(+) (actually Muskox ... and I'm pretty sure that's a distinction Unicode doesn't want to worry about), Pronghorn (-) (nor antelope(-), or the actually related giraffe(-) and okapi(-). Probably covered by the unrelated deer.) Boar(+), Horse(+)
Large Rodents(-): Beaver(-), Muskrat(-), Marmot(-), Nutria(-)
Marine Mammals(+): Dolphin(+), Whale(+), Seal (-), Sea Lion(-), Walrus(-), Manatee(-)
Mice and Rats(+): Mouse(+), Rat(+)
Rabbits and Hares(+):
Raccoons and Their Kin(-):
Shrews and Moles(-):
Voles, Lemmings, Pikas, and Pocket Gophers(-):
Weasels, Skunks and Their Kin(-): While a disparate group, badgers(-), skunks(-), ferrets(-), weasels(-) and wolverines(-) all have arguments for encoding.
Wolves, Foxes, and Coyote(+): Fox(+), Dog(+), Wolf(+), Coyote(-)
So nine icons out of the 17 have a reasonable encoding in Unicode. To cover the set would need an armadillo or porcupine, a beaver, a possum, an otter, a raccoon, a shrew, a lemming, and a weasel or skunk. Beavers (O Canada!), raccoons, ferrets/weasel (popular pet) and skunk (emoji uses abound) probably have the best encoding arguments there.
(This is not an actual proposal, but feel free to forward it on if anyone might want to make one. Just a discussion of a set of icons in the reflection of emoji.)
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