5 Most Interesting Animals in the World
5. The Liger
So, you want a lion, right? But you also want a tiger, so what do we do now? Well, it turns out that people have had this problem, and that they have found the solution: the liger. This fluffy little man-eater is one of the most incredible looking animals out there, sporting a lion's mane and tiger's stripes. The largest cat in the world is, unsurprisingly, a liger named Hercules. Weighing in at an incredible 408 kg (900lb), this giant kitty is expected to be the world's longest living liger, but sadly he can't reproduce. Very few ligers exist, as they can only be bred in captivity, but you can still see some at larger zoos all across the world.
4. The Maned Wolf
Coming from South America, this little canine is one of the most interesting animals out there! The maned wolf resembles, as you might imagine, a wolf, but it isn't. Its fur is a bright orange, just like a fox, but it isn't a fox, either. Then, what is it? Well, apparently, it's a canine with no real relatives. To get a bit scientific, it comes from the Genus (family) of Chrysocyon, which means "golden wolf". Interesting, huh? The maned wolf is, actually, the tallest canid in the entire world, thanks to its incredibly long legs and it is characterized by a strong odor used to mark out territory. Wouldn't want one of these at home.
3. The Naked Mole Rat
If you were to look at this animal, you would think that it isn't even alive. You'd think it's more of a weird women's bag rather that a living, breathing thing. But, I assure you, this wrinkly little animal is one of the most interesting little things out there! A social animal, the naked mole rat lives in large colonies with a very specific social structure. They have a queen, workers, and soldiers, who defend the colony should it be attacked. Now, the interesting thing about this mole rat is that it is basically immortal. It can avoid breathing for days, it can survive underwater, in ice and in high heat. Not only that, but it is also immune to cancer and tumors, just like sharks. This may be a key to cancer research, so we better make sure this little adorable sack survives!
Do you think the naked mole rat is cute?
2. The Okapi
This tricksy little giraffe, yes giraffe, is native to the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Even though the black and white stripes may suggest a zebra, this quick galloper is actually a giraffe (more specifically a giraffid). It feeds on grass, fungi, ferns, roots, berries and bushes. Living at over 1000 meters (~3300 feet) above sea level, this animal is very picky about mating and waits an entire 14 months before giving birth! Now, you may think that this would make a lovely pet, as it is both adorable and easy to take care of, but you'd be wrong! The Okapi is 1.5 meters tall (~4" 10') and weighs 200-300 kg (440 to 770lb)! Still, this lovely runner is starting to edge closer and closer to extinction.
1. The Bongo
This deer-cow looking antelope (not kidding) is native to central Africa and is extremely interesting. You can recognize it from its silly name and the incredible white stripes across its reddish body. It has large, twisted horns (which are shared by both males and females) and has the tendency to melt in the rain. OK, it doesn't melt per se, but the pigments in its coat can easily be rubbed off by a bit of water, which can sometimes leave short-lasting white stains on the coat. The Bongo lives in small groups of four to six females and cubs, while the males tend to go alone, rather like lions. Although, unlike lions, the Bongo is a herbivore, meaning it eats all manners of bushes, grasses, berries, herbs and what not, just like the Okapi. But, seeing as there's grass basically everywhere and the Bongo can protect itself, this furry little cow-deer-moose-antelope is here to stay.