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70 cool and strange animals from around the world (an epic guide) Travel

[[[[Updated February 17, 2020]]

The world is a wild and wonderful place full of millions of cool animals most of us have never heard of.

When I grew up and felt like a strange bird, I was always fascinated by strange animals and strange insects. I even studied ornithology and entomology in high school.

The duckbill platypus and the praying mantis were my favorites in my early childhood. Today we feel a special affinity for strange looking animals like the Pangolin and the Dugong with whom we snorkeled Coron, Palawan.

Strange animals like the Baird’s Tapir (in Corcovado National Park) and Bushbaby (in Meru National Park), Flightless Cormorant (in the Galapagos Islands) and Hoatzin (in the Peruvian Amazon) in the wild was one of our favorite parts of traveling around the world together.

If you’re interested in strange birds, unusual amphibians and other cool creatures like us, you’ll love our epic guide to 70 cool, strange, and strange animals around the world!

COOL & WEIRD ANIMALS GUIDE

  1. Strange amphibians & strange reptiles
  2. Strange birds
  3. Weird creepy creatures
  4. Unique mammals
  5. Unusual nocturnal animals
  6. Cool animals from the sea

Weird amphibians & reptiles

Strange animals: Strange amphibians around the world -Axolotl
Male axolotl over maxpixel

1. Axolotl

Latin name: Ambystoma mexicanum

Habitat: Mexico’s Lake Xochimilco and Lake Chalco

Size: Length: Up to 12 inches; Weight: 2.11 to 8 oz

Diet: Trout, salmon pellets, bloodworms, earthworms, waxworms

Condition: Endangered, population decline

This amphibious salamander, also known as the Mexican migratory fish, is threatened with extinction and almost at risk extinct in 2010.

They are strange animals because they do not get into a metamorphosis like other salamanders: Even adults remain aquatic and gillied.

Because of their ability to regenerate limbs, they are often used by scientists for research purposes.

Formerly a staple of the Aztec diet, they are now the focus of environmental protection efforts in Mexico City, where local NGOs are building “Axolotl shelters”.

CONTINUE READING: The importance of the Lorax (10 eco lessons)

Ugly amphibians around the world -Atretochoana Eiselti, also known as
Atretochoana eiselti, also known as the “penis snake”. Photo by Matt Roper

2. Atretochoana

Latin name: Atretochoana eiselti

Habitat: Brazil near the mouth of the Amazon and Madeira River

Size: Length: 2.4 feet; Weight: 1.76 to 3.52 oz

Diet: Little fish, worms

Condition: Lack of data

This strange amphibious species was first discovered on an expedition to the Brazilian rainforest in the late 19th century.

But most people had never heard of them until the workers found it six of these bizarre, eyeless creatures in 2011 during the drainage of part of the Madeira River (a tributary of the Amazon) for a controversial hydropower project.

It is also known as a “penis snake” and it is easy to understand why. They are limb-free, have snake-like bodies marked with earthworm-like rings, and heads that look like part of the male anatomy.

CONTINUE READING: 20 largest forests in the world (World Travel Bucket List)

Unusual amphibians around the world - Chinese giant salamander
Chinese giant salamander by J. Patrick Fischer about CC BY-SA 3.0

3. Chinese giant salamander

Latin name: Andrias Davidianus

Habitat: Rocky Hill streams and lakes

Size: Length: Up to 5.9 feet; Weight: Up to 65 pounds

Diet: Insects, millipedes, horsehair worms, amphibians, fish, freshwater crabs

Condition: Endangered, population decline

This endangered salamander is the largest amphibian in the world and can reach lengths of up to 5 to 9 inches and weigh up to 65 pounds.

They are completely aquatic and mainly occur in the rocky mountain streams and lakes of China. However, they were introduced in Japan and Taiwan.

They have crazy noises – from barking and hissing to whining and crying – that earned him the Chinese nickname “the baby fish”. Unfortunately, the Chinese also consider it a delicacy and use it in traditional medicine.

CONTINUE READING: Amazing animal facts: from A to Z.

Weird frogs all over the world - clawed frog
Claw frog by Brian Gratwicke (Flickr: Xenopus laevis) about CC BY 2.0

4. Claw frog

Latin name: Xenopus laevis

Habitat: Prairie ponds, streams and lakes in dry and semi-dry climates

Size: Length: 4 to 5 inches; Weight: 2 to 2.5 ounces

Diet: Salt shrimp, shrimp pellets, wax worms, blood worms, meal worms, insects, Minnows

Condition: Least worried, the population is growing

The genus Xenopus comprises 20 species of water frogs that occur in sub-Saharan Africa. What makes them weird is the fact that they can’t hop, so they have to crawl long distances to get from one pond to another.

The frogs have eyes on their flattened heads, but no eyelids or eardrums. They also can’t move their tongues, so they use small front legs to help feed them.

When the lakes, ponds and potholes they prefer dry up, the frogs can rest for a year and wait for rain.

CONTINUE READING: 20 largest lakes in the world (by continent)

Unusual turtles around the world - Eastern Long Necked Turtle
By Andy Mitchell from Glasgow, United Kingdom (Eastern Snake-necked Turtle) CC BY-SA 2.0

5. Eastern long-necked turtle

Latin name: Chelodina longicollis

Habitat: Wetlands and swampy areas, rivers; often in eastern Australia

Size: Length: 9.84 inches to 11 inches; Weight: 15.6 to 28.7 ounces

Diet: Fish, crustaceans, molluscs, amphibians, worms, insects

Condition: Lack of data

Like a reptile giraffeto find this aptly named turtle (often found in the east Australia) has a snake-like neck that is almost as long as its entire shell.

Instead of pulling the head backwards as expected, this “side neck turtle” bends it sideways into the shell.

When the eastern long neck is threatened, it emits a terribly harmful smell from its musk glands, which has earned it the nickname “The Stinker”.

CONTINUE READING: Sea turtle laying eggs in Dominica

Weird amphibians around the world - glass frog
Glass frog by Geoff Gallice from Gainesville, FL, USA CC BY 2.0

6. Glass frogs

Latin name: Centrolenidae

Habitat: Tropical rainforests

Size: Length: 0.78 to 3 inches

Diet: Insects, spiders

Condition: Least worried

Members of the Centrolenidae amphibian family, commonly known as glass frogs, are all similar in size and light green in background colors.

What makes them strange animals is the fact that certain species have translucent abdominal skin that allows you to see their inside.

This includes the heart, liver, gastrointestinal tract and (in women) eggs!

It is also a useful feature to escape predators as the frogs are mostly active at night.

CONTINUE READING: Wildlife in the Peruvian Amazon

Weird turtles around the world, Mata Mata Turtle
By Dick Culbert from Gibsons, BC, Canada (Chelus fimbriatus) CC BY 2.0

7. Mata Mata Turtle

Latin name: Chelus fimbriata

Habitat: Streams and swamps in the Amazon and Orinoco basins

Size: Length: Up to 18 inches; Weight: 30 pounds

Diet: Fish, frogs, insects

Condition: Almost threatened

This South American freshwater turtle is found in the Amazon and Orinoco basins, especially in slow-flowing streams and swamps, where it can stand in shallow water and stretch its nose to the surface to breathe.

It is an unusual, ancient looking creature that is clearly made for camouflage.

It has a horny snout and a flattened, triangular head that looks like fallen leaves, and a brown / black bowl that is said to resemble bark.

With a length of up to 18 inches and a weight of 30 pounds, it’s a big, trippy-looking turtle!

CONTINUE READING: A rare encounter with an Amazon manatee

Weird lizards all over the world - Mexican mole lizard
Mexican Mole Lizard by Marlin Harms about CC BY 2.0

8. Mexican mole lizard

Latin name: Bipes biporus

Habitat: Mexico’s Baja California region

Size: Length: 7.1 to 9.4 inches; Weight: 3 oz

Diet: Ants, termites, insects, larvae, earthworms

Condition: Least worried, population stable

These bizarre animals, also known as the 5-toed worm lizard, are endemic to the Mexican region of Baja California.

With a length of up to 9.4 inches, it looks like a crazy hybrid – partly earthworm, partly mole, partly salamander.

It has a blunt head. a slim, ribbed, pink body; and two tiny forelegs with which it digs underground. They live close to the surface and only appear at night or after heavy rains.

CONTINUE READING: Swimming with whale sharks

Weird-looking frogs around the world, Pinocchio frog
Pinocchio Frog, photo © Tim Laman via Conservation International

9. Spike-Nosed Tree Frog

Latin name: Litoria pinocchio

Habitat: Rainforest of the Foja Mountains of Indonesia

Size: Tip: 2.5 mm

Diet: insects

Condition: Lack of data

Colloquially known as the “Pinocchio frog”, this unusual animal was discovered during one Conservation International and National Geographic Society Expedition after Indonesian New Guinea in 2008.

The nickname comes from the fact that the tree frog’s elongated nose becomes stiff and upright when it calls potential partners, but otherwise remains limp and deflated.

Little is known about the species other than the fact that it lives in the rainforest of the Foja Mountains.

CONTINUE READING: 20 best mountains in the world (for your World Travel Bucket List)

Weird looking amphibians around the world - purple frog
Purple frog over EdgeofExistence.org

10. Purple frog

Latin name: Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis

Habitat: India’s Western Ghats

Size: Length: 6 to 9 cm; Weight: 5 to 6 oz

Diet: Termites

Condition: Endangered

This grape-colored Goliath, also known as the Indian Purple Frog or Pignose Frog, looks like a grimace (if it were a fat frog with a small head and a pointed muzzle).

The endangered frog’s trunk is endemic to the western ghats of India and is said to help it feed on its favorite food, termites.

They spend most of their time underground: they only appear once a year, for two weeks during the monsoon season in India.

A breeding pair lays up to 3,000 eggs a year in rocks along streams and then returns to the underground.

READ MORE: Indian Animals: A Guide to 40 Incredible Indian Wildlife Species

Indian Gharial
Indian Gharial, photo by DaFranzos via Pixabay

11. Indian Gharial

Latin name: Gavialis gangeticus

Habitat:Fresh water rivers, sand banks

Size: Length: 8.9 to 16 feet; Weight: 350 to 550 pounds

Diet: Fish, insects, crustaceans, frogs

Condition: Endangered, population growth

Another unusual animal in India, the alligator-like gharial, is characterized by its long, narrow snout and a bizarre grin of almost 100 teeth.

These endangered reptiles can grow up to 15 feet long and weigh almost 2,000 pounds.

Formerly spread across South Asia, there are currently fewer than 1,000 wildlife. These days, they can only be found together Rivers in India and Nepal.

What sets these unique animals apart from other crocodiles is that instead of having to watch their next meal, they can locate prey by picking up vibrations in the water through sensory cells in their sensational snouts.

CONTINUE READING: The 15 best places in India for nature lovers

European lizard without legs, also known as Scheltopusik or Pallas glass lizard
“Scheltopusik IMG_8446” by OZinOH is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

12. European legless lizard

Latin name: Pseudopus apodus

Habitat: Forest areas throughout southern Europe, in the Balkans, on the South Crimean coast, on the Black Sea coast and in Central Asia

Size: Length: 2 to 3 feet; Weight: 7.05 to 14.10 oz

Diet: Crickets, mealworms, waxworms, cockroach nymphs

Condition: Lack of data

The European legless lizard, also known as Scheltopusik or Pallas glass lizard, occurs in all of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Their nickname comes from an ancient myth that if broken, they would break like glass. Strangely, this story of old women is partially true!

These lizards are one of the few strange animals that are used caudal autotomyand will break off their tail in an act of self-defense when they feel threatened.

European legless lizards are often mistaken for snakes because they have no legs and can be up to 4 feet long. In fact, they resemble snakes so much that they were used in the snake pit scene of classic adventure film. Indiana Jones & the Hunter of the lost treasure.

CONTINUE READING: The secret way in the city of Petra

Vietnamese moss frog photo
“File: Mossy Frog (68400615) .jpeg” from DarwIn is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Vietnamese moss frog

Latin name: Theloderma corticale

Habitat: Cliffs and rainforests in North Vietnam

Size: Length: 2.5 to 3.5 inches

Diet: Crickets, cockroaches, earthworms

Condition: Least worried, the population is shrinking

These strange looking animals appear exactly as their name suggests – mossy. They are green with black spots and their skin is covered with tubercles and spines.

This semi-aquatic amphibian species occurs mainly in North Vietnam and spends most of its time in the water. It lies on crevices where they can hardly be distinguished from moss itself.

This type of camouflage comes in handy when under threat. Just like their ability to cast their voices up to 3 meters high to confuse their predators!

Strange birds

Amazing birds around the world - California Condor
California Condor by USFWS Pacific SW

14. California Condor

Latin name: Gymnogyps californianus

Habitat: Rocky scrubland, coniferous forests, oak savannas

Size: Length: 43 to 55 inches; Weight: 20 to 24 pounds

Diet: Dead carcasses

Condition: Endangered, population growth

The largest land bird in North America, the weird looking one California Condor will soon no longer win any beauty contests.

But what makes this endangered scavenger one of the strangest birds in the world is its size.

Her massive 8 to 10 foot wingspan is 43 to 55 inches in length and 15 to 31 pounds in weight. They have been mistaken for small planes more than once.

These animals are cool. They also have some impressive skills, such as flying more than three miles without flapping their wings.

CONTINUE READING: List of national parks in America by state

Weird birds around the world: Galapagos Flightless Cormorants
Flightless cormorants by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

15. Flightless cormorant

Latin name: Nannopterum harrisi

Habitat: Rocky shores of the volcanic islands

Size: Length: 2.91 to 3.29 feet; Weight: 5.5 to 11 pounds

Diet: Fish, squid, squid

Condition: Vulnerable, population stable

Only found in the Galapagos Islands, this is one of the rarest bird species in the world, of which around 1000 are still left.

The Flightless cormorant is a strange bird with black and brown feathers, bright turquoise eyes and soft growling voices.

Their blunt wings are about 1/3 the size they would need to fly, but in the water they could give any sea lion a run for their money.

With their webbed skin and strong legs, they dive to the bottom of the ocean in search of fish, eels, octopus and other small prey.

CONTINUE READING: 30 amazing Galapagos Islands animals

Strange looking birds around the world - two hoatzins in the Peruvian Amazon
Two hoatzins, photo by Mary Gabbett

16. Hoatzin

Latin name: Opisthocomus hoazin

Habitat: Forests along streams, mangroves, swamps in South America

Size: Length: 25 to 26 inches; Weight: 1.78 pounds

Diet: Marsh plants

Condition: Least worried, the population is shrinking

Hoatzin, also known as the Canje pheasant (or punk rock bird), is genetically enigmatic and there has been intense scientific debate about its evolutionary connections to other species.

The pheasant-sized bird, whose chicks have claws on two of its wing digits, is also known as the stinkbird due to the manure-like odor caused by its unique digestive system.

Their sounds are also strange, including a bizarre variety of groans, croaks, hisses, and grunts that are often associated with his body movements.

CONTINUE READING: Punk rock birds & pimp monkeys in the Peruvian Amazon

Weird birds around the world, kakapo
Through derived work: Snowman radio (discussion) Strigops_habroptilus_1.jpg: Mnolf CC BY-SA 2.0

17. Kakapo

Latin name: Strigops habroptila

Habitat: Coastal areas, scrubland, tufts

Size: Length: 23 to 25 inches; Weight: 4.4 to 8.8

Diet: Plants, seeds, fruits, pollen

Condition: Endangered, population growth

The kakapo is one of the most endangered species in the world with a known population of around 125.

New Zealand“Owl Parrot” is an undeniable strange animal – large, flightless, nocturnal and ground-dwelling and weighs up to 9 pounds when mature.

It is the only parrot in the world to mate through lekking: males line up to show a mating display, and the females choose their favorites.

Unfortunately, these lovebirds only breed three times a decade on average when the fruits of the Rimu tree are abundant, making it one of the most endangered birds.

CONTINUE READING: Endangered species that mate for life

Weird birds around the world - long braided umbrella
Long braided umbrella by Francesco Veronesi from Italy CC BY-SA 2.0

18. Long-Wattled Umbrella Bird

Latin name: Cephalopterus penduliger

Habitat: Forests in Colombia and Ecuador

Size: Length: 1.14 to 1.37 feet; Weight: 11.28 to 20.10 oz

Diet: Insects, lizards, fruits

Condition: Vulnerable, population decline

Mainly found in the humid forests of Colombia Ecuadorthe characteristics of the long braided umbrella are as bizarre as their name.

The males have a splendid, coiff-like coat of arms for which Elvis would kill, with hair-like feathers that stretch across their bill.

Her braiding is even stranger: it is long, black, and hangs 16 to 17 inches from the center of her breast.

You can inflate it to attract attention during courtship rituals, or pull it back against your chest during flight.

CONTINUE READING: Wildlife in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Ugly birds around the world - marabou stork
Marabustorch by Lip Key via CC BY-SA 2.0

19. Marabou stork

Latin name: Leptoptilos crumenifer

Habitat: Savannahs, meadows, swamps and river banks in sub-Saharan Africa

Size: Length: 3.9 to 4.3 feet; Weight: 9.9 to 18 pounds

Diet: Carrion, human food waste, fish, insects, frogs, lizards, snakes, rats

Condition: Least worried

The Marabou stork, found in sub-Saharan Africa, has a face that only a mother can love.

With their long, thin legs and feathers that look like a black jacket over a white shirt, it’s easy to see how they earned their nickname “the funeral bird”.

And then there’s the massive bill, the bald pink head and a featherless branch that hangs on her neck.

Weighing up to 18 pounds and with a wingspan of over two meters, this is one of the largest and most terrifying birds in Africa.

CONTINUE READING: Animals in Kenya: A guide to 40 species of Kenyan wildlife

Unusual birds around the world - OilBirds
Oilbirds from The Lilac Breasted Roller above CC 2.0

20. Oil bird

Latin name: Steatornis caripensis

Habitat: Evergreen lowland and mountain forests

Size: Length; 16 to 19 in; Weight: 12.3 to 16.8 ounces

Diet: fruit

Condition: Least worried, the population is shrinking

The oil bird, known in the north South America how guácharoin contrast, is a striking beauty: red-brown with diamond-shaped white spots in black.

What makes this cave-eating fruit eater strange is the fact that it is nocturnal and finds its food through echolocation (similar to bats and dolphins).

And because his favorite food is the fruit of the oil palm (from which Palm oil The aptly named bird was once hunted and boiled down to extract its oil for use as a fuel.

CONTINUE READING: 10 amazing caves for your world bucket list

Strange looking birds around the world-shoe-billed stork
Shoebill stork by belgianchocolate via CC 2.0

21. Shoebill

Latin name: Balaeniceps rex

Habitat: Fresh water swamps and swamps in East Africa

Size: Height: 43 to 55 inches; Length: 39 to 55 inches; Weight: 8.8 to 15.4 pounds

Diet: Fish, young crocodiles, frogs

Condition: Vulnerable, population decline

This strange bird, also known as the whale head or shoe-billed stork, is named after the shoe-like shape of its huge beak, which allows it to catch surprisingly large prey.

They occur mainly in large tropical swamps from Sudan in the south to Zambia in East Africa.

They are seen in the wild … well, wild because they tend to stand still and motionless for a long time.

With a height of 43 to 55 inches and a wingspan of up to 8 feet 6 inches, these funny looking birds are hard to miss.

CONTINUE READING: Endangered elephants in East Africa

Weird birds around the world - Sri Lanka Frogmouth
Sri Lanka Frogmouth from Koshy Koshy over CC 2.0

22. Sri Lanka Frogmouth

Latin name: Batrachostomus moniliger

Habitat: Forests in the western ghats of southern India and Sri Lanka

Size: Length: 9.1 inches; Weight: 1.5 to 23.6 ounces

Diet: Insects, frogs, mice

Condition: Least worried, population stable

In connection with the Nightjars this little frog mouth is in the Western Ghats mountain range of South India and Sri Lanka.

They live in the thick undergrowth of tropical forests, where their gray-brown feathers make it very difficult to see them.

What makes them strange is their oversized head, which offers a wide field of binoculars to the nocturnal bird, and the gaping, wide hook beak after which they are named.

The short, stiff bristles around her eyes are another attractive differentiator.

CONTINUE READING: Conservation of wildlife in Sri Lanka with poachers as protectors

The most amazing birds in the world - a great bird of paradise
A male Superb Bird of Paradise by Natasha Baucas via CC 2.0

23. Outstanding bird of paradise

Latin name: Lophorina superba

Habitat: New Guinea rainforests

Size: Length: 9.84 to 10.23 inches; Weight: 1.9 to 3.7 ounces

Diet: Fruits, berries, seeds, insects, amphibians, small reptiles

Condition: Least worried, the population is shrinking

If you’ve watched award-winning Environmental documentation such as planet EarthYou’ve probably seen the dazzling mating dance that makes this dazzling New Guinea beauty so special.

Their female population is unusually low and competition for mating privileges is fierce. This is how men meticulously prepare their dance floor before loudly naming the object of their affection.

The dance is spectacular: it spreads its black feather cloak and blue-green breastplate wide and snaps its tail feathers as it bounces around them. Most women reject 15 to 20 applicants before giving their consent!

CONTINUE READING: Galapagos birds: 25 spectacular species

Horned Screamer bird
Billtacular’s “Screaming Screamer” is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

24. Horned screamer

Latin name: Anhima Cornuta

Habitat: Fresh water lagoons, tropical humid savannas, lakes

Size: Length: 1.08 to 1.23 feet; Weight: 6.9 to 7.7 pounds

Diet: Aquatic plants, seeds, stems, leaves

Condition: Least worried, the population is shrinking

Although Horned Screamers are related to Swans, you can’t see the look of these weird looking animals.

As the name suggests, they have a horn-like attachment that sticks out of the head. It doesn’t seem to have any particular purpose, unlike the spores on its wings (which are used for fighting).

These unique birds are clearly fond of hearing and have a very distinctive reputation that is often performed as a duet between mating men and women.

The Horned Screamer lives in the swamps of South America and is the official bird of the Arauca department in Colombia.

CONTINUE READING: The best things to do in Cartagena, Colombia

Victoria crowned pigeon
Victoria Crowned Pigeon, photo by InspiredImages via Pixabay

25. Victoria crowned pigeon

Latin name: Goura Victoria

Habitat: Lowland and swamp forests in northern New Guinea

Size: Length: 29 inches; Weight: Up to 5.5 pounds

Diet: Fruit, seeds, cereals, small invertebrates

Condition: Almost threatened, population decline

These colorful pigeons, named after the British monarch Queen Victoria, captivate with their beauty.

They are powder blue with a purple breast and have a complicated, almost lacy crown, which together with their posture makes them undeniably royal.

These interesting animals are the largest pigeons in the world and live closest to the extinct dodo bird.

The Victoria Crowned Pigeons, who live in the forests of New Guinea, do not like to be alone and usually travel in pairs or in small groups. People are often surprised by their reputation, which is not like the quiet “cooing” of other pigeons, but rather a hollow “boom”.

CONTINUE READING: Exploring the London Wetland Center

WEIRD CREEPY CRAWLY CREATURES

Weird looking insects from all over the world - giant fishing spider
By Dick Culbert of Gibsons, BC, Canada (Ancylometes bogotensis-Giant Fishing Spider) CC BY 2.0

26. Amazon Giant Fishing Spider

Latin name: Ancylometes

Habitat: Near ponds, lakes, rivers and streams in South America

Size: Length: Up to 8 inches; Weight: 0.4 oz

Diet: Insects, tadpoles, small fish

Condition: Lack of data

This spectacular spider can grow up to 20 cm tall and have a bright green, golden and white body.

Found in South America, they are semi-aquatic and are usually seen on the edge of pools or streams.

There, they wait for waves to advertise prey (insects, tadpoles, and even small fish), and then run across the surface to grab them and inject their poison.

Some subspecies of these strange creatures can even wrap themselves in a silver bubble and climb under water.

CONTINUE READING: Our rare encounter with an Amazon manatee

Unusual insects around the world - Assassin Bug
By JJ Harrison ([email protected]) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

27. Assassin bug

Latin name: Reduviidae

Habitat: Rainforest

Size: Length: 0.2 to 1.6 inches; Weight:

Diet: Ants, bees

Condition: Lack of data

These alien-looking predators are related to the herbivorous shield bug.

But they have adapted a penetrating proboscis to feed on their victims (ants and bees are their favorites).

Zu den Ninja-ähnlichen Fähigkeiten, nach denen sie benannt sind, gehört es, sich mit Ameisenkadavern zu beschichten, um ihre Pheromone zu verkleiden, und ihre Beine mit Baumsaft zu bedecken, um Bienen mit ihren klebrigen Krallen aus der Luft zu greifen.

Sie sehen vielleicht nicht nach viel aus, aber diese klugen Fleischfresser haben einige ernsthaft tödliche Bewegungen!

Beißende Insekten - Ameisenameisen (Dorylus_sp.)
Von Bernard DUPONT aus Frankreich (Ameisen der Armee (Dorylus sp.) CC BY-SA 2.0 (7073859635)

28. Fahrer Ant

Lateinischer Name: Dorylus laevigatus

Lebensraum: Zentral-, Ost- und Südafrika, tropisches Asien

Größe: Länge: 4,52 cm

Diät: Insekten, Spinnentiere, Regenwürmer

Erhaltungszustand: Datenmangel

Wenn Sie jemals einen B-Movie gesehen haben, in dem Menschen oder Tiere unerwartet von hyperaggressiven Ameisen überschwemmt werden, sind diese gnadenlosen Ameisen (hauptsächlich in Zentral- und Ostafrika zu finden) wahrscheinlich die Inspiration.

Manchmal Safariameisen genannt, greifen sie massenhaft an, was sich für kleine Tiere oft als tödlich erweist, wenn ihre Kolonien bis zu 20 Millionen Mitglieder umfassen.

Ihr Biss ist schmerzhaft und ihre kräftigen Kiefer bleiben gesperrt, selbst wenn Sie die Ameise töten. Es ist bekannt, dass Einheimische sie verwenden, um Wunden im Falle eines medizinischen Notfalls zu nähen.

LESEN SIE MEHR: Top 10 Tansania National Parks für die ultimative Safari

Riesige Insekten auf der ganzen Welt - Riesige langbeinige Katydid
Von Wikipedia Loves Art Teilnehmer “The_Wookies” CC BY 2.5

29. Riese Katydid

Lateinischer Name: Arantia fasciata

Lebensraum: Montanwälder von Malaysia

Größe: Länge: Bis zu 6 Zoll

Diät: Blätter, Gras, Früchte, winzige Insekten

Erhaltungszustand: Am wenigsten besorgt

In der Familie der Tettigoniidae gibt es rund 6.400 Arten von Katydiden, die eng mit Grillen verwandt sind.

Aber die riesigen langbeinigen Katydiden, die in den Bergwäldern Malaysias gefunden werden, sind mit Sicherheit die größten.

Sie können bis zu 6 Zoll lang werden – groß genug, um Ihre Hand zu bedecken – mit Antennen, die noch länger wachsen können. Die Flügel des Blattlebens eignen sich hervorragend als Tarnung, aber ihre langen Beine sind relativ nutzlos.

Sie können nicht gut springen und fliegen selten. Ihr hoher Paarungsruf macht sie zu einem der lautesten Insekten der Welt.

WEITERLESEN: Die 25 besten Aktivitäten in Malaysia für Naturliebhaber

Hässliche Insekten auf der ganzen Welt - Hickory Horned Devil
Von Bob Warrick – Eigene Arbeit, CC BY-SA 4.0

30. Hickory Horned Devil

Latin Name: Citheronia regalis

Habitat: Deciduous forests in the eastern United States

Size: Wingspan: 3.75 to 6.1 in

Diet: Leaves, walnuts, pecans, buttonbush, filbert, ash

Conservation Status: Data Deficient

Widely found in deciduous forests in the United States, the Regal Moth (a.k.a. Royal Walnut Moth) is as beautiful as any butterfly we’ve seen, with stunningly vivid colors.

But in the larval stage they’re known as Hickory Horned Devils, and look like something out of a horror film director’s nightmares.

They eventually turn green, with huge black-tipped red horns and what look like little black spikes all over their bodies.

The nocturnal feeders don’t sting, but they do curl up into a j-shape during the day that makes them look like bird poop.

Large Insects Around The World -Giant Jumping Stick
By Ltshears (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

31. Jumping Stick

Latin Name: Proscopiidae

Habitat: Forests and grasslands in the tropics and subtropics

Size: Length: 2.6 in

Diet: Leaves, green plants

Conservation Status: Data Deficient

This skinny beanpole looks like a common Giant Walking Stick. But it’s more closely related to the Locust, and is named for its ability to jump and kick like a kung fu master.

Its hind legs are 2.5 times as long as its front and middle legs, allowing it to propel its 2.6-inch body up to 3 feet in a single bound.

They’re also known for their odd, elongated faces, with a Grasshopper-like mouth and large eyes on a stalk that help it look for predators and attract mates.

READ MORE: Amazing Animal Facts 2: Animal Olympians

Odd Insects Around The World -Lantern Fly
By Pavel Kirillov from St.Petersburg, Russia (Lantern fly) CC BY-SA 2.0

32. Lantern Fly

Latin Name: Lycorma delicatula

Habitat: Southeast Asia, United States

Size: Length: 1 in

Diet: Sap, excrete

Conservation Status: Data Deficient

Don’t let the name fool you. This odd-looking Amazonian insect looks more like a moth than a fly, and their massive peanut-shaped heads don’t light up.

They have vivid spots on their wings that some people believe help to scare off predators by mimicking the eyes of a much larger animal.

There’s also a myth in certain local populations that if the bug bites someone (which it doesn’t), they’ll die if they don’t have sex within a day. I wonder how many young men have used that line?

READ MORE: Into The Amazon Jungle

Beautiful Insects Around The World -Orchid Mantis
By Pavel Kirillov from St.Petersburg, Russia (Orchid mantis after lunch) CC BY-SA 2.0

33. Orchid Mantis

Latin Name: Hymenopus coronatus

Habitat: Humid regions of Malaysa

Size: Length: 1 to 3 in

Diet: Bees, butterflies, moths, crickets, flies, beetles

Conservation Status: Data Deficient

This is arguably among the world’s most beautiful insects outside of the butterfly family.

The Orchid Mantis is one of several species of flower mantises, which look like and mimic the flowers upon which they’re often found.

Their brilliant colors can change, and range from white and yellow to pink and brown.

Each of its four legs resembles flower petals, which they use to their advantage by swaying to lure insects, then eating them.

They’ve also been known to eat larger vertebrates, such as lizards and frogs.

READ MORE: The 13 Most Beautiful National Parks in Thailand

Strange Insects Around The World -Scorpionfly
By Clinton & Charles Robertson from Del Rio, Texas & College Station, TX, USA (Scorpionfly) CC BY 2.0

34. Scorpionfly

Latin Name: Panorpa nuptialis

Habitat: Wooded areas, ravines

Size: Length: Up to 1.2 in

Diet: Dead insects, nectar, rotting fruits

Conservation Status: Data Deficient

What fresh hell is this? Picture an ancient insect that dates back some 174 million years, with the long beak of a pterodactyl, the coloring of a wasp, and the stinger of a scorpion.

Then imagine it’s closely related to a flea, and scavenges the bodies of dead invertebrates. Sounds haunting and horrifying, right?

The fact that the stinger is actually enlarged genitals might make you feel a little better, but the fact that there 350+ species of them probably won’t.

READ MORE: The 15 Most Haunted Hotels in America

Weird Insects Around The World, Venezuelan Poodle Moth
Venezuelan Poodle Moth, photographed by Dr. Arthur Anker via Creative Commons

35. Venezuelan Poodle Moth

Latin Name: Artace

Habitat: Canaima National Park in Venezuela

Size: Length: 1 in

Diet: Herbaceous plants

Conservation Status: Data Deficient

Discovered in Venezuela’s Gran Sabana region by Kyrgyzstan’s Dr. Arthur Anker in 2009, this unusual insect looks like a cross between a poodle and an angora sweater.

Ankara’s odd (some might say adorable) discovery went relatively unnoticed for several years, until someone posted his photo of the fuzzy white moth with bulging black eyes and bizarre antennae online.

It quickly went viral, but the moth (which experts believe belongs to the Artace genus) has yet to be confirmed as a new species.

Eastern Goliath Stick Insect (Eurycnema goliath)
“Eurycnema goliath (Goliath Stick-Insect)” by Arthur Chapman is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

36. Eastern Goliath Stick Insect

Latin Name: Eurycnema goliath

Habitat: Forests of northern and eastern Australia

Size: Length: Up to 25 cm

Diet: Eucalyptus, acacia, callistemon

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Found in northern and eastern Australia, these cool animals are the largest phasmids in the continent, with females reaching lengths of up to 25 cm.

Due to their large size and smaller wings, females cannot fly like their male counterparts do.

Their camouflage is pretty amazing. It’s nearly impossible to see them when their hiding in the treetops because of their green color and stick-like figure.

When neecessary due to threats, they’ll make a sharp hissing sound and open their wings to uncover a red underside. Both of these defenses are designed to ward off predators.

READ MORE: Things to Do in Australia for Nature Lovers

UNIQUE MAMMALS

Unusual Mammals Around The World-Bactrian Camel
Wild Bactrian Camels via pixabay

37. Bactrian Camel

Latin Name: Camelus ferus

Habitat: Steppes of Central Asia

Size: Height: 5.9 to 7.5 feet; Length: 7.38 to 11.48 feet; Weight: Up to 1,000 pounds

Diet: Plants, bones, other animals’ skin

Conservation Status: Critically Endangered, population decreasing

Native to the Steppes of Central Asia, the Bactrian Camel is differentiated from its more familiar Arabian cousins by the fact that it has two humps.

It has genetically adapted well to the region’s extreme climate.

It has squishy foot pads that work like snowshoes to help it keep its footing in the desert sand, and a coat that is remarkably which in winter and nearly bald in summer.

Unfortunately, though the domesticated species is plentiful, the wild ones are critically endangered.

READ MORE: 25 Biggest Deserts in the World (World Travel Bucket List)

Weird Large Animals Around The World: Baird's Tapir
Baird’s Tapir, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

38. Baird’s Tapir

Latin Name: Tapirus bairdii

Habitat: Rainforests, montane forests, deciduous forests, flooded grasslands

Size: Length: 6.6 feet; Weight: 330 to 880 pounds

Diet: Leaves, twigs, fruit, seeds

Conservation Status: Endangered, population decreasing

Looking like a bizarre cross between a pig, a donkey and a rhinoceros, this cow-sized mammal is an endangered species endemic to Central and South America.

Known as the Mountain Cow in Belize, it is celebrated as the national animal. Baird’s tapir is most active at night, but are frequently seen during the day.

One famously attacked the Costa Rican Minister of Environment in 2006, and we were fortunate to catch one taking a catnap in Corcovado National Park.

READ MORE: 40 Amazing Costa Rica Animals

Male Chinese Water Deer by Altaileopard [Public domain]

39. Chinese Water Deer

Latin Name: Hydropotes inermis

Habitat: Rivers and islands of China and Korea

Size: Length: 2.5 to 3.3 feet; Weight: 20 to 31 pounds

Diet: Coarse grasses, vegetables, beets, reeds

Conservation Status: Data Deficient

More similar to a Musk Deer than a true Deer, Water Deer are proficient swimmers who live along the rivers and islands of China and Korea.

But the Chinese subspecies is particularly unusual. What makes this deer one of the strangest animals is that it has prominent tusks, which are actually elongated canine teeth.

These especially long teeth led to the Chinese Water Deer’s English nickname, the Vampire Deer.

Able to swim for several miles, the Chinese Water Deer can also pull their canines tusks back by using their facial muscles.

READ MORE: 20 Longest Rivers in the World by Continent

Unusual Animals Around The World, Lowland Streaked Tenrec
Lowland Streaked Tenrec, photographed by Frank Vassen via Creative Commons

40. Lowland Streaked Tenrec

Latin Name: Hemicentetes semispinosus

Habitat: Tropical lowland rainforest in northern and eastern Madagascar

Size: Length: 5 to 6 in; 3.17 to 7.05 oz

Diet: Earthworms

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Genetically, the Tenrec is like a cross between a shrew, an opossum and an otter, with a 5-6 inch body, long snout and vestigial tail.

Theses unique animals are the only mammals known to use stridulation for generating sound, a method more commonly associated with insects and snakes.

Found only in the rainforests of Madagascar, its bright yellow stripes and barbed quills signal danger for predators, especially when the Tenrec vibrates them.

READ MORE: Madagascar Animals

Odd Mammals Around The World -Markhor
By Rufus46 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

41. Markhor

Latin Name: Capra falconeri

Habitat: Mountain ranges from Afghanistan to northern India

Size: Length: 4.3 to 6.08 feet; Weight: 71 to 243 pounds

Diet: Grass, leaves

Conservation Status: Near Threatened, population increasing

This large wild goat grazes on grass and lives in mountain ranges from Afghanistan to northern India, but it’s the national animal of Pakistan.

The male Markhor can grow to over 200 pounds, has a crazy amount of hair on their chin and chest, and boasts spectacular spiraling horns atop their heads.

The world’s population got down to around 2,500, but has rebounded by 20% in the last decade.

Its Persian name translates as “snake eater,” and locals believe the foam they release while chewing cud can extract snakebite venom.

READ MORE: 40 Fascinating Facts about the Markhor

Weird Rodents Around The World, Nutria
Nutria, photographed by Petar Milošević via Creative Commons

42. Nutria

Latin Name: Myocastor coypus

Habitat: Freshwater marshes, wetlands

Size: Length: 17 to 25 in; Weight: 15 to 22 pounds

Diet: Insects, freshwater mussels, crustaceans

Conservation Status: Least Concern, population decreasing

Also known as the Coypu or river rat, this large, semi-aquatic rodent is native to subtropical South America.

It’s also been introduced on other continents by fur ranchers, but its destructive feeding and burrowing behavior has turned it into an an invasive persona non grata.

The nutria has front legs for excavating roots, rhizomes, and burrows, and webbed hind feet to aid in swimming.

Weighing up to 37 pounds, they look a lot like the R.O.U.S. from The Princess Bride.

READ MORE: 10 Destructive Species You Can Eat

Weird Marsupials Around The World, Quokka
Quokka, photographed by Sean McClean via Creative Commons

43. Quokka

Latin Name: Setonix brachyurus

Habitat: Small islands off the coast of Western Australia

Size: Length: 20 to 30 in; Weight: 6 to 11 pounds

Diet: Leaves, stems, bark, grass

Conservation Status: Vulnerable, population decreasing

With a small population primarily found on small islands off the coast of Western Australia, this adorable marsupial was originally confused for a wild cat or a giant rat.

But the adorable animal actually looks more like a tiny Kangaroo, measuring approximately 20-30 inches long and weighing 6 to 11 pounds.

The cute Quokka has little fear of humans, but it is illegal to touch or feed them, as it can make the Vulnerable species sick. Fines for doing so start at $300.

READ MORE: Animal Selfies: The Problem with Putting Ego Over Responsibility

Unique Mammals Around The World -Platypus
By Stefan Kraft – Selbst fotografiert am 20.9.2004 im Sydney Aquarium., CC BY-SA 3.0

44. Platypus

Latin Name: Ornithorhynchus anatinus

Habitat: Freshwater lakes, rivers, lagoons, farm dams, streams

Size: Length: 17 to 20 in; Weight: 1.5 to 5.3 pounds

Diet: Annelid worms, insect larvae freshwater yabby and shrimp

Conservation Status: Near Threatened, population decreasing

Want to know just how extremely weird the Platypus is?

The first scientists to study them (back in 1799) deemed them fake, made from sewing several different weird animals together!

It’s easy to understand their confusion. This adorable oddball has the bill of a Duck, the feet of an Otter, the tail of a Beaver, and venom in the spur of the male’s foot. It’s also one of only two mammals in the world that lays eggs.

They were once hunted for their fur, but are now protected throughout their range in eastern Australia.

READ MORE: Tasmanian Devil Conservation on Maria Island

Weird Mammals Around The World - Saiga Antelope
By Navinder Singh (By email from Ej Milner-Gulland) CC BY-SA 4.0

45. Saiga Antelope

Latin Name: Saiga tatarica

Habitat: Grasslands, open woodlands, semideserts, steppes

Size: Length: 3.25 to 4.58 feet; Weight: Up to 150 pounds

Diet: Plants, low growing vegitation

Conservation Status: Critically Endangered, population decreasing

Though their range today is limited to Russia and the ‘stans of Central Asia, this critically endangered antelope species had a vast range during the Ice Age.

Standing 24 to 32 inches at the shoulder and weighing up to 150 pounds, these bizarre animals are known for their bloated shnozz, which looks a bit like someone docked an Elephant’s trunk.

But the nose serves a valuable purpose, warming frigid air during winter while cooling and filtering out dust in the summer.

READ MORE: 50 Facts About Elephants (for World Elephant Day)

Weird Animals, Zebra Duiker
Zebra Duiker, photographed by Kispál Attila via Creative Commons

46. Zebra Duiker

Latin Name: Cephalophus zebra

Habitat: Lowland primary rainforests of West Africa

Size: Length: 30 to 35 in; Weight: 40 to 45 pounds

Diet: Leaves, shoots, seasonal fruits

Conservation Status: Vulnerable, population decreasing

Also known as the Banded or Striped-back Duiker, this diminutive antelope species is found in the lowland primary rain forests of West Africa.

Thought to be one of the earliest of the Duiker species to evolve, they’re tiny (30-35 inches long, weighing 40-45 pounds), with short, sharp horns.

Their Zebra-like stripes help them hide from the many predators that eat them.

They also have super-powerful nasal bones, which allow them to use their face to crack open the tough exterior of certain fruits.

READ MORE: Interview with West African Afropop Icon Baaba Maal

Sulawesi Babirusas at Singapore Zoo
“File:Babirusa, Singapore Zoo 2.JPG” by I64s, licensed under CC BY 2.5

47. Sulawesi Babirusas

Latin Name: Babyrousa celebensis

Habitat: Swamps and rainforests of Indonesia

Size: Length: 2.75 to 3.58 feet; Weight: Up to 220 pounds

Diet: Leaves, fruits, berries, mushrooms, insects, fish

Conservation Status: Vulnerable, population decreasing

Of all the mammals in the world, the male Sulawesi Babirusas is the only one to have vertically growing canine teeth.

Their not-so-pearly whites actually grow through their skin and curve back towards their forehead, ultimately reaching up to 17 inches long.

Native to the rainforests and swamps of Indonesian islands, these unusual animals are not picky eaters. Their diet consists of everything from leaves and insects to fish, and even smaller Babirusas!

Their antler-like teeth, along with a stocky body and slender legs, led to their name: Babirusas means “pig-deer” in the Malay language.

READ MORE: Fascinating Facts About Bornean & Sumatran Orangutans

Proboscis Monkey at Sepilok Forest Reserve
Proboscis Monkey at Sepilok Forest Reserve, photo in Public Domain

48. Proboscis Monkey

Latin Name: Nasalis larvatus

Habitat: Mangrove swamps, lowland rainforests

Size: Length: 1.7 to 2.5 feet; Weight: 21 to 45 pounds

Diet: Leaves, seeds, unripe fruits, insects

Conservation Status: Endangered, population decreasing

These weird animals earned the name Proboscis from their bulbous noses, which can grow up to 7 inches long.

Though they may appear odd to us, they also prove that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Because Proboscis Monkey males actually use their ginormous noses to attract female mates.

Found in the jungles of Borneo (including the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve), these monkeys are largely arboreal. spending most of their time in the trees. But, surprisingly, they are extremely strong swimmers as well.

Due to palm oil deforestation and other forms of habitat destruction, their populations have declined sharply in recent years. So the species is currently listed as endangered on the IUCN Red list.

READ MORE: Things to Do in Sabah, Borneo for Nature Lovers

UNUSUAL NOCTURNAL ANIMALS

Weird Nocturnal Animals Around The World: Aye Aye
Aye Aye, photographed by Frank Vassen via Creative Commons

49. Aye-Aye

Latin Name: Daubentonia madagascariensis

Habitat: Rainforests and deciduous forests on the east coast of Madagascar

Size: Length: 14 to 17 in; Weight: 4 pounds

Diet: Nuts, nectar, fungi, insect grubs

Conservation Status: Endangered, population decreasing

These endangered Lemurs are the world’s largest nocturnal primate and have furry gremlin faces, rodent-like teeth, and long Crypt Keeper-style fingers.

To find food, the Aye-Aye first taps on trees to find grubs, then chews a small hole before using their narrow middle finger to pull a tasty meal out of the wood.

Some superstitious locals believe these weird animals to be harbingers of evil or death, and will often kill them on sight.

READ MORE: Madagascar: Conserving Ring-Tailed Lemurs

Weird Flying Mammals Around The World- Colugo
By Dermoptère.JPG: Didasteph derivative work: Medeis (Dermoptère.JPG) CC BY-SA 3.0

50. Colugo

Latin Name: Cynocephalus volans

Habitat: Forests of southeast Asia

Size: Length: 14 to 16 in; Weight 2 to 4 pounds

Diet: Leaves, fruits, flowers, shoots, insect

Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Found in the forests of Southeast Asia, these gliders are also known as Cobegos or Flying Lemurs (but they’re not true Lemurs).

They’re the world’s most skillful gliding mammals, using flaps of extra skin between their legs to soar from tree to tree.

Measuring 14 to 16 inches long and weighing just two to four pounds, their light build allows them to “fly” up to 230 feet.

But they’re not very strong, so they have to hop slowly up the trees using their sharp claws.

READ MORE: Top 15 Things to Do in Coron, Palawan (Philippines)

Weird Flying Animals Around The World, Honduran White Bat
Honduran White Bat, photographed by Geoff Gallice via Creative Commons

51. Honduran White Bat

Latin Name: Ectophylla alba

Habitat: Jungles of Central America

Size: Length: 1.5 in; Weight: 0.2 oz

Diet: Fruit, vegetation

Conservation Status: Near Threatened

Also known as the Ghost Bat, this tiny (1.5-inch) cutie is one of only two white bat species in the world.

They’re found only in the jungles of Central America, where they’re usually seen hanging in colonies of up to 6 from heliconia plants.

They’ll actually cut the large leaves of the plant, which causes them to fold down into a tent that protects the colony from rain and predators.

They are one of 15 different Latin American bat species known roost in this type of natural tent.

READ MORE: The 16 Best Mayan Ruins to Explore

Egg Laying Mammal -Long-beaked Echidna
By User:Jaganath – Transferred from English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0

52. Long-Beaked Echidna

Latin Name: Zaglossus bruijnii

Habitat: Tropical hill forests, sub-alpine forests

Size: Length: 18 to 30 in; Weight: 20 pounds

Diet:

Conservation Status: Critically Endangered, population decreasing

This freaky-looking fella, found in New Guinea, is one of only two mammals in the world known to lay eggs. Yet they have the fur and lactation abilities of other mammals.

They also have a pointy, beak-like snout that’s two-third the length of their head; spiky spines scattered among their hair; and, in the case of males, spurs on each of their hind legs.

There are three living species of Echidnas, but unfortunately all of them are classified as critically endangered and they’re rarely seen during the day.

Weird Carnivorous Mammals Around The World, Olinguito
Olinguito, photographed by Mark Gurney via Creative Commons

53. Olinguito

Latin Name: Bassaricyon neblina

Habitat: Forests of the northern Andes Mountains, Ecuador and Colombia

Size: Length: 13 to 17 in; Weight; 2 pounds

Diet: Fruit, insects, nectar

Conservation Status: Near Threatened, population decreasing

Colloquially known as the “kitty bear,” this cuddly cutie is actually from the raccoon family.

It was discovered in the Andes of Colombia and Ecuador in 2013, making it the first new carnivorous mammal seen in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years.

Though they resemble the Kinkajou, they’re more closely related to Coatis, with extended muzzles and anal scent glands.

Not much is known about this relatively new species, but they are believed to live in trees and be solitary and fairly reclusive.

READ MORE: 20 Tallest Mountains in the World by Continent

Unusual Animals Around The World-Pangolin
By David Brossard via flickr CC 2.0

54. Pangolin

Latin Name: Pholidota

Habitat: Tropical and flooded forests, savanna grassland

Size: Length: 12 to 39 in; Weight: 8 to 29 pounds

Diet: Ants, termites, larvae

Conservation Status: Near Threatened

There are eight species of Pangolin found on two different continents (Asia and Africa).

But due to poaching, deforestation, and the fact that they’re the most heavily trafficked mammals in the world, two are endangered and two are critically endangered.

They look like some sort of ancient Armadillo/pine cone hybrid, with overlapping armored scales, long tongues, and stink glands like a Skunk’s.

They’re solitary animals, living in hollowed trees and burrows, and curl up into a ball when threatened.

READ MORE: Saving Endangered Asian Animals (Best Conservation Programs)

Weird Insectivorous Mammals Around the World, Solenodon
Solenodon, photographed by Seb az86556 via Creative Commons

55. Solenodon

Latin Name: Atopogale cubana

Habitat: Forests in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti

Size: Length: 12 to 14 in; Weight 1.8 to 2 pounds

Diet: Insects, earthworms, small reptiles, amphibians, fruits

Conservation Status: Endangered, population decreasing

These nocturnal, burrowing insectivores are found in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti,

They’re endlessly fascinating to phylogenetic researchers because they closely resemble a species that went extinct near the end of the dinosaur era.

Solenodons may look like rodents, but they’re more closely related to shrews and moles.

They’re also the only mammals in the world that inject their prey with venom, using special grooves in their teeth.

READ MORE: Outdoor Adventures in the Dominican Republic

Weird Small Animals Around The World, Tarsier
Tarsier, photographed by mtoz via Creative Commons

56. Tarsier

Latin Name: Tarsius tarsier

Habitat: Forests in southeast Asia

Size: Length: 4 to 6 in; 1.1 to 5.6 oz

Diet: Insects, birds, bats, snakes, lizards

Conservation Status: Vulnerable, population decreasing

With a longer fossil record than any other primate genus, fossils suggest the enormous-eyed Tarsiers of Southeast Asia haven’t evolved much in the last 45 million years.

The only thing that has changed is their size: Their bodies measure 4-6 inches, with tails twice as long.

These interesting animals have enormous eyes (16mm wide– as big as their brain!), super sensitive ears, and uniquely shaped head makes them great at catching prey such as bats, birds, and insects.

Their long bodies also make Tarsiers great leapers.

READ MORE: The Best Environmental Charities and Animal Charities

Weird Animals, Yapok
Yapok, photographed by IMARWXp via Creative Commons

57. Water Opossum

Latin Name: Chironectes minimus

Habitat: Freshwater streams in Latin America

Size: Length: 28 in; Weight: 1.7 pounds

Diet: Fish, crabs, freshwater shrimp, frogs

Conservation Status: Least Concern, population decreasing

Known locally as the Yapok, this semiaquatic opossum is found near freshwater streams and lakes in Latin America, from Mexiko south to Argentina.

The Water Opossum is the only marsupial in the world in which both sexes have a pouch.

The males place their genitalia inside their pouch while swimming (kind of like a banana hammock) in the water, which helps streamline their bodies.

The pouch is also water-tight, which keeps their young dry even when the parent is swimming.

READ MORE: Isla Holbox, the Hidden Gem of Quintana Roo, Mexico

Weird Burrowing Animals Around The World, Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat
Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat, anonymous photo via Creative Commons

58. Wombat

Latin Name: Lasiorhinus kreffti

Habitat: Queensland’s Epping Forest National Park

Size: Length: 3.28 feet; Weight: 90 pounds

Diet: Leaves, grasses

Conservation Status: Critically Endangered, population stable

Once common in Australia, the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat is now one of the most rare animals in the world. It is critically endangered and found only in Queensland’s Epping Forest National Park.

With a backwards-opening pouch and teeth that never stop growing, it’s the world’s largest (90 pounds) burrowing mammal.

As weird animals go, we think this one’s a cutie!

Unfortunately they’re also critically endangered due to predators such as the Dingo, with less than 100 individuals remaining.

READ MORE: Top 10 Australian National Parks (For Your World Bucket List)

Naked Mole Rat
File:Nacktmull.jpg” by Einer flog zu Weit is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

59. Naked Mole Rat

Latin Name: Heterocephalus glaber

Habitat: Grasslands of East Africa

Size: Length: 5.1 in; Weight: 1.2 oz

Diet: Tubers, roots

Conservation Status: Least Concern, population stable

Appearing just as you would think based on their name, these strange looking animals have wrinkly pink skin as if they were completely missing a coat of fur.

Found in East Africa, Naked Mole Rats are the longest living rodents in the world, and are one of the rare eusocial species.

This means they live in communities of several dozen, led by one dominant female rat. They make their homes in intricate underground burrows, which are dug with their large front teeth.

They don’t have ears at all, and have such tiny eyes that they are practically blind. So they rely heavily on their sense of smell and pay close attention to vibrations in the ground.

READ MORE: Maasai Mara Conservancies: Community-Based Wildlife Conservation

COOL ANIMALS FROM THE SEA

COOL ANIMALS FROM THE SEA, Dumbo Octopus
Dumbo Octopus, photographed by Mike Vecchione via NOAA

60. Dumbo Octopus

Latin Name: Grimpoteuthis

Habitat: Ocean floor

Size: Length: 8 in; Weight: 13 pounds

Diet: Copepods, isopods, bristle worms, amphipods

Conservation Status: Data Deficient

Found only at extreme ocean depths of 10,000 to 13,000 feet, Grimpoteuthis is a genus containing 13 species of Octopus, whose webbed tentacles look like an umbrella when spread.

Theses cool animals are known for the prominent ear-like fins, which jut out comically just above their eyes (much like a certain flying Elephant from the Walt Disney stable).

Though they’re found in deep waters all around the world, they rank among the most uncommon animals of the Octopus species.

READ MORE: Snorkeling the Ruahata Lagoon Sanctuary in Bora Bora

Weird Animals in the Ocean, Frilled Shark
Frilled Shark, photographed by Citron via Creative Commons

61. Frilled Shark

Latin Name: Chlamydoselachus anguineus

Habitat: Sea floor of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

Size: Length: 6.6 feet

Diet: Squid, fish, other sharks

Conservation Status: Least Concern

One of the world’s most rarely seen creepy animals, the Frilled Shark crosses the line into frightening, WTF territory.

Found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at depths of up to 5,000 feet, this rare “living fossil” is a positively prehistoric species of shark.

Its monstrous appearance includes an eel-like body, six frilly pairs of gill slits, and 300 trident-shaped teeth in 25 rows that allow it to rip through prey like a knife through hot butter. Cute, huh?

READ MORE: 5 Rare Sharks Worth Saving

Weird Tiny Sea Animals, Glaucus Atlanticus
Glaucus Atlanticus, photographed by Taro Taylor via Creative Commons 2.0

62. Glaucus Atlanticus

Latin Name: Glaucus Atlanticus

Habitat: Temperate and tropical waters

Size: Length: 1.2 in

Diet: Portugese Man o’War jellyfish

Conservation Status: Data deficient

More commonly known as the Blue Dragon or Blue Sea Slug, this inch-long nudibranch is just as lethal as it is lovely.

The creature preys on the Portuguese Man o’ War (which is pretty darn dangerous in its own right).

It stores venom in its finger-like cerata, producing a sting that causes fever, shock and even death.

These beautiful badasses are pelagic: they float upside down by using the surface tension of the water to stay up, where they’re carried along by the winds and ocean currents.

Weird Sea Creatures -Humpback Anglerfish
Javontaevious at English Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0

63. Humpback Anglerfish

Latin Name: Melanocetus johnsonii

Habitat: Bathypelagic zone of the open ocean

Size: Length: 2.9 to 18 cm

Diet: Crustaceans, shrimp, other fish, snails

Conservation Status: Least Concern

The horrifying Humpback Anglerfish (a.k.a. Humpback Blackdevil) is a species from the family Melanocetidae, or Black Seadevils.

Found at depths of 5,000-15,000 feet, they’re 7 inches long, globular, and black as pitch, with a cavernous mouth filled with huge, fang-like teeth.

Made famous by a scene in Finding Nemo, these fish are definitely one of the coolest animals in the ocean.

They use a bioluminescent “fishing lure” (known as the illicium) on their heads to attract its unsuspecting prey. All in all, it’s a haunting creature we never wish to see in real life!

READ MORE: Haunted New Orleans (The Most Haunted City in America)

Irrawaddy Dolphin
Irrawaddy Dolphin By Stefan Brending via CC BY-SA 3.0 de

64. Irrawaddy Dolphin

Latin Name: Orcaella brevirostris

Habitat: Shallow, near-shore tropical and subtropical marine waters

Size: Length: 4.8 to 9 feet; Weight: 420 pounds

Diet: Cephalopods, fish, crustaceans

Conservation Status: Endangered, population decreasing

With their formidable foreheads; short, round faces; and broad, rounded flippers, this Southeast Asian species look like some anime artist’s cartoonish rendering of a dolphin.

Interestingly, their genetic make-up is closely related to the Killer Whale.

Unlike any other dolphin, the Irrawaddy Dolphin’s u-shaped blowhole is placed on the left of the midline and opens towards the front.

Their short beaks are also very different from those of other dolphins, with 12-19 peg-like teeth on each side of their jaws.

READ MORE: How To Grade Captive Dolphin Facilities

Scary Looking Animals Around The World, Japanese Spider Crab
Japanese Spider Crab, photographed by Michael Wolf via Creative Commons

65. Japanese Spider Crabs

Latin Name: Macrocheira kaempferi

Habitat: Temperate waters of the Pacific ocean near Japan

Size: Length: Up to 18 feet; Weight: Up to 42 pounds

Diet: Shellfish, dead animals, algae, plants, small fish, mollusks

Conservation Status: Data Deficient

The Japanese name for this species is taka-ashi-gani, which literally translates to “tall legs crab.”

These crazy animals– whose legs can span 12 feet in length, weigh up to 42 pounds, and crawl along the ocean floor like a creepy spider– looks like something that might attack Tokyo in the next Godzilla movie.

Orange, with white spots along the legs, these crabs reportedly have a very gentle disposition despite their daunting appearance.

READ MORE: Japan Photos: 15 Pictures from a Dream Come True

Weird Sea Creatures Around The World Mantis Shrimp
Mantis Shrimp, photographed by Silke Baron via Creative Commons

66. Mantis Shrimp

Latin Name: Stomatopoda

Habitat: Shallow or subtropical waters

Size: Length: 3.9 to 18 in

Diet: Fish, crabs, shrimp, worms

Conservation Status: Data Deficient

It may look like a cross between a crayfish, a praying mantis, and a colorful parrot, but the Mantis Shrimp is not to be trifled with.

Its raptorial appendages move so quickly, they literally boil the water around them, producing shockwaves strong enough to kill prey!

Seeing its vivid colors amongst the coral reef last year in Coron, Palawan was one of the most exciting and memorable experiences we’ve ever had while snorkeling or Scuba diving during our travels.

READ MORE: How To Choose A Responsible Scuba Diving Operator

Strange Sea Animals Around The World, Red-Lipped Batfish
Red-Lipped Batfish, photographed by Rein Ketelaars via Creative Commons

67. Red-Lipped Batfish

Latin Name: Ogcocephalus darwini

Habitat: Deep waters of the Galapagos Islands

Size: Length: 15.7 in

Diet: Mollusks, small fish, crustaceans

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Also known as the Galapagos Batfish, this freaky-faced fish is found in the Galapagos Islands at depths of 10 to 250 feet.

In addition to its red lips, the fish (which is a terrible swimmer) is distinguished by its ability to “walk” on the ocean floor using its pectoral fins.

Once they reach maturity, their dorsal fin evolves into a single spine-like projection that they primarily use to lure prey, including crustaceans and other small fish.

The illicium on its head is used for the same purpose.

READ MORE: Galapagos Islands Animals

Weird Sea Animals Around The World -Sea Pen
By Andrepiazza (Own work)[[[[CC BY-SA 3.0

68. Sea Pen

Latin Name: Pennatulacea

Habitat: Tropical and temperate waters

Size: Length: 2 to 6 feet

Diet: Plankton

Conservation Status: Data Deficient

Easily among the weirdest animals on this list, the colorful Sea Pen appears less like an animal and more like an ancient writing implement.

These unusual looking creatures’ quill-like appearance is created by multiple polyps (each of which has eight tentacles) branching out from a single central stalk.

Found in less turbulent waters ranging from 33 to 6,600+ feet, some species can grow over six feet tall, usually positioning themselves in a current that provides a steady supply of plankton.

Weird Fish Around The World -Warty Frogfish
By Steve Childs from Lancaster, UK (Warty Frogfish) CC BY 2.0

69. Warty Frogfish

Latin Name: Antennarius maculatus

Habitat: Sheltered rocky and coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region

Size: Length: Up to 5.9 in

Diet: Shrimp, fish

Conservation Status: Data Deficient

Though it’s also known as the Clown Frogfish, this globulous, warty wonder is no joke.

Found in the Indo-Pacific region, this voracious carnivore attacks any small animal within its strike range and has a huge mouth that can consume prey its own size.

Females may even eat males after mating if he doesn’t move away.

They also have the ability to change colors for camouflage in their environment, which is also aided by their biofluorescence.

READ MORE: Fishing Mobile Bay & the Mobile-Tensaw Delta

Ribboned Sea Dragon at Newport Aquarium
“Ribboned Sea Dragon” by David441491 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

70. Ribboned Seadragon

Latin Name: Phyllopteryx taeniolatus

Habitat: Coastal waters, rocky reefs, seagrass meadows

Size: Length: Up to 12 in

Diet: Small planktonic crustaceans

Conservation Status: Data Deficient

Ribboned Seadragons are not in fact true seadragons, but a member of the pipefish group. They’re also known as Pipe Horses, and can be found in the Indo-Pacific region.

Their stunning colors vary based on the depth of water they reside in. Those in shallow water are usually a greenish-yellow color, while those found in deeper waters appear more brownish-red.

Their appearance is quite striking, as they have ribbon-like protrusions along their body as well as a long, tubular snout.

They can be distinguished from the Weedy and Leafy Seadragons by their tail, which they use to grab onto sea grass while looking for prey. –by Bret Love, with additional reporting by Christina Maggitas

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