I love animals of all sorts and I love to watch wildlife documentaries to see what wonderfully weird and unusual animals I’ll be shown. I think it’s totally amazing that we are still discovering new animals around the world, which is a good thing considering we’ve managed to make plenty extinct in our time. Here are some unusual animals and why I find them interesting.
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The Duck Bill Platypus
This one has to come top of any list of unusual animals because only it and the echidna are mammals that lay eggs. All other mammals reproduce by giving birth to a moving and breathing creature. The duck billed platypus is a mixture of beaver and duck and rather cute. Echidnas are spiny anteaters and are cuter than they sound, looking a little like a porcupine mixed with a duck billed platypus. The platypus is only found in Australia, while the Echidna also found its way to New Guinea
This is the only mammal on the planet that has any green on it. The truth is that the green is a type of fungus that lives on its fur because it moves so slowly. Its whole metabolism is very slow, meaning that it can do everything far slower than regular mammals and still survive.
The Pinta Island Giant Tortoise
It’s such a shame because this sub-species is now extinct after the last one died just recently. Their natural habitat was one island in the Galapagos Islands and they live(d) over 100 years, weighing in at around 14 stones. They were thought to be animals that lived longer than any other on earth. They went extinct as they were hunted to death by humans. The last one was christened Lonesome George and despite a massive search, scientists were unable to find him a mate. There are other sub-species still to be found on other Galapagos Islands.
This is on the list as one of the more unusual animals because it looks like a weird mix of anteater and pig, which makes you wonder if their ancestors did a little bit of inter-racial mating in their free time. They didn’t however, as their genes suggest they are more closely related to rhinos and horses. Their appearance is just a coincidence.
The Slender Loris
They are a nocturnal primate and they are tiny. The Slender Loris live in India and their babies are barely the size of a human’s thumb. Besides looking like big eyed fluffy bugs, they are also considered to be magical by people in India.
Now more popular in Europe, these are known as Chilean squirrels and have a few interesting features that make them one of the world’s weird animals. They look like a bit like gerbils, but have hands that work very similarly to primate hands. They have excellent memories for human faces, and may remember if a human has been nasty to them or nice to them years after not seeing them. They also mate more like higher order mammals, coming into season for three months in the year and being very choosy about their partners (not like other rodents are). They do have a squirrel’s tail, but it only has a little bit of fur, often with a tuft of fluff at the end. Their tails will detach in the wild if grabbed, but it does not grow back, and often results in infection which kills the poor degu.
The Glass Frog
These may actually be found in the USA, and are cute looking. They are between 1.2 and 3 inches in length. They are weird animals because their entire underside is transparent to the point of being able to see their insides. They are believed to have evolved this way so that fish cannot see them when looking up at them.
The Leaf Insect
Their scientific name is the Phylliidae insect. They are found in South Asia and Australia, and are on this list of unusual animals because they do the best impression of a leaf you will ever see. There is also a possibility that they were around 47 million years ago, which means that they and crocodiles are the oldest unchanged (relatively) species on our plant.
The Star Nosed Mole
Noted for being probably the ugliest mole on the planet, it has eleven pink fleshy appendages coming from its mouth/nose, which have more than 25,000 sensory receptors. They are also believed to have been the inspiration for the movie “Tremors.” As if its weird star nose isn’t enough, look at those scaly hands.
Cute and weird, bizarrely ugly and strange, or just plain odd, there are some amazing and unusual animals. Do you have a fave?
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