10 Unique and Amazing Animals
Lady Amherst's Pheasant
The stunning Lady Amherst's pheasant was named after Sarah Countess Amherst, wife of Sir William Pitt Amherst, Governor of Bengal in 1828. It was Sir William who first documented the bird in Southwestern China and northern Burma.
The pheasants feed on the ground on different grains, leaves and invertebrates and sleep in trees at night. They are able to take flight but prefer running. They are commonly kept as yard birds or pets like chickens.
Babirusas are pig like animals from the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi, that grow anywhere from 3 to 4 ft long and weigh up to 220 lbs.
They have two pairs of tusks, both the upper and lower canines, that curve towards their face. These tusks can grow up to 12 inches in length and are loose at the base and brittle. The upper tusks can sometimes grow through their muzzle to the point they pierce their skull as they age.
Babirusas mainly feed on fruit, but they also eat grasses, leaves and carrion. They have an excellent sense of smell and hearing, and are fast runners and swimmers!
The Patagonian mara is the fourth largest rodent and belongs to the mara genus (Dolichotis). They are found in areas of Argentina with lots of shrub cover, however they also inhabit dusty and barren lands in the Monte Desert biome as well.
A Patagonian mara only has one mate, but will breed in warrens (burrow) that are shared by several other pairs. They weigh 18 to 30lbs and are mostly diurnal (active during the day, sleeps at night). 46% of its daily activities involve feeding. They are herbivorous animals that feed primarily on green vegetation and fruit.
Discovered by John John Keesing, a marine biologist who captured one of the jellyfish in 2013.
First found off the northwestern coast of Australia near Shark Bay, this newer member of Irukandji jellyfish is abnormally large, being the size of an average human arm. This is now one of 16 species that are known to cause Irukandji syndrome, a severe reaction to the sting of a member of the Irukandji species.
Strangely, every photograph and specimen of the Keesingia that has been found lack the tentacles that all jellyfish have. Scientist speculate this is due to injuries or the ability to shed its limbs in defense although to this date, tentacles have yet to be documented on the species.
Triplofusus giganteus is a species of very large subtropical and tropical sea snail. Although it is often referred to as a horse conch, it is not a true conch, as it is not in the Strombidae family.
The horse conch's shell length can grow 2 feet long! They live on sand, weed and mud flats from the low intertidal to shallow subtidal zones, in water 20 feet deep. It is a predatory animal that feeds on other large marine gastropods, hermit crabs and even it's own kind.
The Sumatran rhino is considered to be the most primitive rhino species, because of its hairy skin and other prehistoric like features. It is the closest living relative to the woolly rhino that lived in Europe and Asia during the ice age!
They live an average of 30 to 45 years in the wild. However, in 1995, there were only about 300 left on earth. Thanks to anti-poaching units, it is hoped that over the next century the population will be able to recover to at least 2,000 in the wild.
Devils Hole Pupfish
The Devils Hole pupfish is considered one of the world's, if not the, rarest fish. They live in one of the worlds most inhospitable regions and live a very precarious life.
These fish are native to Devils Hole, a geothermal, aquifer-fed pool inside a limestone cavern. The cavern is located in the Amargosa Pupfish Station of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex. They depend on a shallow pool over a limestone slab of only 6.6 feet wide and 13 feet long for reproducing as well as for much of their diet.
Official protection of the species began in 1952 when Devils Hole was made part of Death Valley National Monument. Their spring population range only from 150 to 250 while they rising to 400 to 500 individuals in the fall. It is unclear as to why but it is believed to be due to owl migration (droppings in the cavern) and algae growth due to seasonal changes.
Several populations of Devils Hole pupfish have been established elsewhere in controlled environments that mimic the natural environment of Devils Hole, with limited success. These populations strangely fluctuate by season like their wild relatives and are monitored regularly. In April 2013 U.S. Fish and Wildlife reported 35 fish in their natural habitat, but the number increased to 92 when measured again in 2014.
The royal flycatcher is a name used for four species of birds in the genus Onychorhynchus within the family Tityridae.
The Amazonian and Northern flycatchers are around 7 inches in height. They build very large nests, sometimes reaching up to 6 feet long, on branches overhanging water.
They use their brilliant, colorful plumage when attracting a mate, competing with other males and while being handled, otherwise the crest lies flat.
The blue glaucus or "Blue Sea Slug" lives in temperate and tropical waters throughout the world's oceans such as the East and Southern coast of South Africa, the east coast of Australia and Mozambique.
It was first discovered by Johann Reinhold Forster and Johann George Adam Forster (his son) in 1777.
The blue glaucus averages a length of 2-3 inches. This beautiful animal has a gas-filled sac in its stomach that allows it to float on the surface. However, due to the sac's placement, it floats upside down. They can carry a nasty sting by storing the venom of their prey, eating Portuguese Man o' War and the tentacles of bluebottles!
Cryptobranchidae are a family of aquatic salamanders more commonly known as "giant salamanders". One species, the hellbender, is native to the eastern United States, while Asian species live in both China and Japan.
They are the largest living amphibians in the world. The Japanese giant salamander reaches up to 4.7 ft long feeds on fish and crustaceans. It has been known to live for more than 50 years in captivity! The Chinese giant salamander can reach a length of almost 6ft!