Strange and Unusual Animals
Mad Mad World...
There are some strange and unusual animals, unlike the Kiss wanna be panda group they are real. Many of these endangered species are not only weird but fascinating. A mad mad world indeed with many shocking and amazing animals to see- while others seem to be a flash from the past. Here are a few of the wonders of the animal kingdom put in the spotlight. Animal lover or not some of these are sure to raise a few eyebrows while others will leave you baffled as to if they really do exist. One of my favorites is the glass frog, what is yours?
[All information is accurate to the best of my knowledge.]
Image: found at worth1000.com
Size: 3 kg (6.6 lb). Head and body length about 30 - 37 cm (12 - 15"). Tail is about 44 - 53 cm (17 - 21") long
The aye-aye was discovered by Pierre Sonnerat in 1780, it was brought to Paris by that traveler being the only one known until 1860. The Aye-aye is an amazingly weird combination of rodent-like teeth with a long, thin middle finger to fill the same niche as a woodpecker. It's an oddly elongated middle finger is used to pull grubs out of trees after having tapped on them and gnawed holes. It sort of resembles a goat, if you look past the rodent like features that is. The Aye-Aye is the world's largest nocturnal primate.
Size: 15-45 centimeters (5.9-18 in)
Discovered: Near Mexico City.
Awe look the Axolotl is smiling. Well considering that it is the most familiar of the Mexican neotenic mole salamanders, it would smile-- being popular and all. It belongs to the Tiger Salamander complex. Since the Axolotl larvae fail to undergo metamorphosis the adults remain aquatic. They are science's aquatic lab rats since they regenerate most body parts much like starfish. Oddly enough they are common pets in the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Japan (better known as Wooper Rooper when sold). Hmm I wonder could this lil guy get out of his tank and slap you awake? That would be one odd wake up service.
Home: China (Yangtze River)
Size: Weight: 135 - 230 kg (300 - 510 lb). Length: up to 2.5 m (8.2').
Discovered: A fisherman discovered it in Dongting Lake not clear when.
The Baiji is better known as the river dolphin and usually found outside of china. The sheer lack of food supply has caused these mammals to become so rare. Basically they have starved out of existence. We just had to keep eating their fish didn't we? The reason that has caused these mammals to become so rare is the fact that they were competing for their food with us. There are rumors that this beautiful creature is extinct, but the search is on in hopes of finding one still alive.
In case you just can't get enough
Home: In the deep out of reach waters of the coasts of Australia and Tasmania.
Size: 30.0 cm
Discovered: Discovered by McCulloch in 1926 .
This unique water dweller can be found in the deepest parts of the ocean. Places where the immense water pressure is dozens of times higher than at sea level. They have adapted to this harsh environment by being mainly a gelatinous mass that has a density less than water. Buoyant and floating just above the sea floor to slurp up what gooey nutritional goodness they can without really swimming anywhere. If there was a nomination for world's ugliest creature, poor guy will find himself as the 1st runner up.
Cantor's Giant Soft Shelled Turtle
Home: India, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Sumatra, Borneo, and western Java.
Size: Length: Up to 6 feet (about 2 meters). Weight: Over 100 lb (about 50 kg).
This very rare not so little guy is one of the most unusual looking animals on earth and certainly one of the oddest turtles in existence. Yet few people have seen it or know about it. The Cantor is not a sea turtle - it prefers to inhabit inland mostly to avoid predators. It lives close to streams and wetlands and is a native of Cambodia. It hides buried in sand with only its eyes peeking out. This species of turtles lacks the hard exterior but it makes up for it with it's fused ribs that form a protective layer to shield it's organs from harm.
Home: Southwest Amazon Basin, in east Peru, north Bolivia and in the west Brazilian states of Acre and Amazonas. Tropical rain forests.
Size: length of 24 to 26 cm, plus a 35 cm long tail. It weighs approximately 300 to 400 g.
Discovered: Unclear - Discovered in 1907
The Emperor Tamarin allegedly named for its similarity with the German emperor Wilhelm II. At first it was a joke but has actually become the official scientific name. Getting a monkey named after you as a jab and it being recorded for all of the world to know of? Now THAT would have been a killer April Fool's prank... that sticks!
It's distinguishing feature is it's white mustache that extends on both sides of the face beyond it's shoulders.
Goliath Bird Eating Spider
Home: Native to the rain forest regions of northern South America
Size: Up to a 10 inch (25.4 cm) leg span and can weigh over 120 grams (4.2 ounces).
Discovered: In the early 1900s in South American jungles It was named by explorers that sighted it eating a hummingbird hence where the name came from.
This is the largest spider on this planet which would give anyone the creeps. However, surprisingly enough it is not harmful to humans. It is said that if one bit you it would be no worse than if a bee stung you. Another incredible thing is that it doesn't actually eat birds. The explorers saw it eating a hummingbird and named it the Bird Eating Spider. Its menu consists of smaller things like bats, and bugs. Regardless of its dashing hansom and ever so fluffy looks that make you want to hug it (me being sarcastic) I still wouldn't go near this spider or any of it's cousins either.
Videos on some of these unusual creatures
Home: New Zealand Grand Terre, the largest island of the New Caledonia island group, in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
Size: Approx. 22 inches (55 centimeters), weight of 1.5 to 2.5 pounds (24 to 40 ounces)
Despite its large wingspan this beautiful bird is not only rare but also is flightless. It is a forest-dweller, though its colors are oddly light. Very few remain and scientists know little about its preferences and habits. The Kagu possesses "nasal corns" that no other known bird species. Nasal corns are like nature's version of nose plugs. They supposedly cover the nostrils to prevent dirt and other debris from entering while it digs through the soil for bugs. For reasons unknown, the kagu also has one-third the red blood count of other birds. Scientists have had a difficult time classifying this rare and unusual bird.
Home: New Zealand
Size: about 40 cm (16 in) high and weigh about 2.8 kg (6.2 lb), the males about 2.2 kg (4.9 lb).
Discovered: The first kiwi specimen to be studied by Europeans was a kiwi skin brought to George Shaw by Captain Andrew Barclay, who was reported to have been given it by a sealer in Port Jackson (Sydney Harbor) around 1811.
No, I do not mean the fruit, rather the small flightless bird. Don't be fooled by its small fluffy appearance, our friend here is a violent temperamental fluff of feathers. It has whiskers that act much like a snake tongue. The sensitive whiskers help sniff out food and detect threats. Kiwis are also the only bird to have nostrils. Did you know the Kiwi has wings? They are there but they are very small and somewhat concealed by the fluffed up hair-like feathers it has. Kiwi pairs mate for life - as long as 30 years - but tend to have feisty relationships. Roles are reversed here, the "mommy" Kiwi goes and hunts while the "dad" stays and incubates their little ones- for an unheard-of 80 days, no less.
Home: Some of Indonesia's islands, including Komodo
Size: 10 feet and 330 pounds
Discovered: Discovered by Western scientists in 1910
Threatened by both volcanoes and humans it is amazing that the Komodo Dragon dates back to the prehistoric times. This is probably one of the most fascinating endangered creatures I know of. It is the largest lizard in existence yet can't run fast for a very long time. What they lack in poor hearing and stamina they make up with sharp eyesight and stealth to hunt. It possesses serrated teeth and has nasty attack habits, preferring to jab at the feet or drag its prey along for a bit before sending their victim to the great beyond. Talk about playing with your food! If an animal somehow manages to get away either way it is a goner. Why? Thanks to the Komodo's specialized bacteria the poor thing will die within days because of infection. Komodos will eat anything, dead or alive. Including the young of their own species.
Home: Southern coast of Australia.
Size: 14 inches (35 centimeters) long.
Leafy seadragons resemble a piece of drifting seaweed as they float in the seaweed-filled water. The Leafy seadragon, with green, orange and gold hues along its body, is covered with leaf-like appendages, making it remarkably camouflaged. Only the fluttering of tiny fins or the moving of an independently swiveling eye, reveals its presence.
Like the seahorse, the male seadragon carries as many as 150-200 eggs for approximately eight weeks. Seadragons have no teeth or stomach and feed exclusively on mysidopsis shrimp. Known as "Australian seahorses" in Australia, they are found in calm, cold water that is approximately 50-54Â° F (10-12Â° C). Leafy seadragons have been protected by the South Australian government since 1982.
Home:Canadian Arctic, Greenland waters, Norway (Svalbard), the United States (Alaska), and Russia.
Size: 3.8-5m (12.5-16.4 ft; excluding the tusk), Weight up to 1,600kg (3,528 lbs.).
Dubbed as the "Ice Unicorn" it's horn or tusk if you will... can reach up to an amazing length of 9 feet. The Narwhal is an Arctic species of cetacean. It is a creature rarely found south of latitude 70Â°N. It is one of two species of white whale in the Monodontidae family (the other is the beluga whale).
The English name narwhal is derived from the Dutch name narwal which in turn comes from the Danish narhval which is based on the Old Norse word nar, meaning "corpse." This is a reference to the animal's colour. The narwhal is also commonly known as the Moon Whale.
Size:72 cm (28 inches) in length, with an up to 75 cm tail, and weighing up to 24 kg (53 pounds). Females are up to 60 cm long, weighing up to 12 kg (26 lb).
Also known as Long-nosed Monkey is a reddish-brown arboreal Old World monkey. It is the only species in monotypic genus Nasalis. As you can see from the photo the strange thing in this animal is the large nose.
The Proboscis Monkey also has a large belly, as a result of its diet. Its digestive system is divided into several parts, with distinctive gut flora, which help in digesting leaves. This digestive process releases a lot of gas, resulting in the monkey's "bloated" bellies. A side-effect of this unique digestive system is that it is unable to digest ripe fruit, unlike most other simians. The diet consists mainly of fruits, seeds and leaves.
(Callithrix (Cebuella) pygmaea)
Home: Western Amazonia, south of the rivers CaquetÃ¡ and SolimÃµes and west of the Rio Madeira. Tropical rainforest, prefers seasonally inundated and riverine forest.
Size: 3.9 oz (110 g), female weight: 4.3 oz (122 g); head and body length: 5.4-6 in (13.6-15.2 cm); tail length: 6.8-9 in (17.2-22.9 cm).
Discovered: Unclear - around 1993 by scientists
It is one of the smallest primates, it has a tawny coat, and a ringed tail that can be as long as its body. Their claws are specially adapted for climbing trees, a trait unique to the species. They feed on fruit, leaves, insects, and sometimes even small reptiles. Much of their diet, however, comes from tapping trees for sap. Since its small size, and its swift movements, it is very hard to observe in the wild.
TIn captivity, the Pygmy Marmoset can live up to 11 years.
Size: 55 cm long
Discovered: European scientists - Thomas Hardwicke introduced the red panda to Europeans in 1821
The Red Panda is a mostly herbivorous mammal, slightly larger than a domestic cat. The Red Panda has semi-retractile claws and, like the Giant Panda, has a "false thumb" which is really an extension of the wrist bone. Thick fur on the soles of the feet offers protection from cold and hides scent glands. The Red Panda is native to the Himalayas in Nepal and southern China. The word panda is derived from Nepalese word "ponya" which means bamboo and plants eating animals in Nepal.
Home: Eastern Canada and the north-eastern United States. Wet lowland areas. Diet: Small invertebrates, aquatic insects, worms and molluscs.
Size: 15 to 20 cm in length, weight about 55 g.
It is a good swimmer and can forage along the bottoms of streams and ponds. Like other moles, this animal digs shallow surface tunnels for foraging; often, these tunnels exit underwater. It is active day and night and remains active in winter, when it has been observed tunneling through the snow and swimming in ice-covered streams.
The Star-nosed Mole is covered in thick blackish brown water-repellent fur and has large scaled feet and a long thick tail. The mole's most distinctive feature is a circle of 22 mobile, pink, fleshy tentacles at the end of the snout. These are used to identify food by touch, such as worms, insects and crustaceans.
Home: Tropical east Africa, in large swamps from Sudan to Zambia.
Length: Avg. 1.2 m (4 ft) tall, 5.6 kg (12.3 lbs) and 2.33 m (7.7 ft) wingspan
Discovered: 19th century
The Shoebill, also known as Whalehead is a very large bird related to the storks. The bird was known to both ancient Egyptians and Arabs however. Egyptian images depicting it exist which gives us a clue as to how long these creatures have been around..
With an estimated population between 5000 - 8000 this massive bird has been classified as threatened. Our feathered friend here enjoys his meal on the go in the form of fish, frogs, reptiles (such as baby crocodiles), insects and small mammals.
Spring Hare AKA Spring Haas
Home: Semi-arid steppes and dry savannas of Kenya and Tanzania
Size: 7 inches long. Weight: About 7 or 8 pounds
Discovered: Unclear - earliest entries on this animal are in 1894.
The bizarre spring hare had taxonomists scratching their heads for years. It's been classified with jerboas (jumping rodents), squirrels and even porcupines. It's now classified on its own, and it resembles both a kangaroo and hare. It has specialized short limbs with claws for digging as well as flexible ear flaps that can be used to seal off the ear canal to protect against the elements and debris. It's also got a funny resting position that looks a lot like the yoga Dolphin post: it stretches its long hind legs forward and then rests its head and arms directly on the ground
Home: Indonesia (Sulawesi) in secondary and mangrove forests,and forest gardens.
Size: Head and body range from 10 to 15 cm,hind limbs are about twice as long (with the feet), tail from 20 to 25 cm long.
Discovered: Unclear - first seen around 1920
Tarsiers are small animals with enormous eyes; each eyeball is approximately 16 mm in diameter and is as large as their entire brain. Tarsiers also have very long hind limbs. In fact, their feet have extremely elongated tarsus bones, from which the animals get their name. Their fingers are also elongated, with the third finger being about the same length as the upper arm. Most of the digits have nails, but the second and third toes of the hind feet bear claws instead, which are used for grooming.
The Pinta Island Tortoise
Geochelone nigra abingdoni
Home: Galapagos Islands
Size: Approx. 90 kilograms
Discovered: December 1, 1971 by American snail biologist Joseph Vagvolgyi.
This tortoise is the rarest animal since there is only one believed to still be alive. They were thought to be extinct 30 years ago until a ranger happen to find one. There has been a search for a female tortoise so they can get the Pinta Island Tortoise back from the brink of extinction. There are several subspecies however of the same there seem to be no more. They were hunted for their meat and had their habitat nearly destroyed by goats that were introduced from the mainland.
June 24, 2012 Lonesome George the last known surviving Pinta Island Tortoise dies.
Home: South Pacific Ocean at a depth of 2,200 m (7,200 feet). Lives on hydrothermal vents.
Discovered: March 2005
Size: approximately 15 cm (6 inches)
It is so special it got it's own genus and class called Kiwaidae.
The lack of pigmentation in the eyes lead scientists to believe that the Yeti Crab might be blind. Those feathery pincers are not for show, rather they contain "filamentous bacteria". This bacteria is used for a process this crab uses called chemosynthesis. This is when it uses the bacteria on the feather-like hairs to detox the water from poisonous minerals. They are emitted by the hydrothermal vents where this crab lives. Hydrothermal vents are geysers on the seafloor that continually gush foThis process is known as chemosynthesis. Green algae and small shrimp are a part of its diet as well.
Home: North (only in southern Mexico), Central, and South America (as far as southern Brazil and northern Argentina.
Size: 20 - 30 millimeters
This absolutely stunning amphibian is is endangered. Note the visible organs in this beautiful specimen. This would certainly end the need for classrooms to dissect frogs to see how organs work when you can simply LOOK at them working. Unfortunately, with tropical rainforests in Central and South America threatened the glass frog may go extinct sooner than later.
Poll: Did you know about these animals
Home: 37 countries throughout the Indo-Pacific; he majority of Dugongs live in the northern waters of Australia between Shark Bay and Moreton Bay.
The Dugong is the only herbivore that is strictly marine. It is a cousin of the manatee and is closely related to the elephant. The dugong is unique in that it has a split (whale-like) tail and will "perch" underwater on its tail in order to keep its head above water. The dugong is thought to have inspired ancient myths about mermaids. The dugong is threatened by poachers who hunt the animal for its meat, oil, skin and bones. It is extremely endangered.
Giant Coconut Crab
Size: 3 feet from head to tail, weighs up to 40 pounds.
It is sometimes called the robber crab because some coconut crabs are rumored to steal shiny items such as pots and silverware from houses and tents.
The coconut crab is a large land crab related to the hermit crab, and are found in the tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans. They eat coconuts for a living! It is armed with a pair of large pincers strong enough to open coconuts and can climb trees. However they tend to eat the coconuts that already have fallen down.
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