Our planet Earth is full of strange and beautiful things. It has so much variety to offer. One of the most fascinating things here are the animals. It is estimated that there are about 8.7 million animal species in the world. Each and every one of the species is unique in its own way. There are some with unique ability to regenerate, while some other which can change their color, the list is endless. Here is a list of twenty unusual animals which you must see before you die:-
1) Axolotl :
Axolotls are known as Masters of Regeneration. They can regenerate their limbs, spinal cord, jaw, tail, and skin. Scientist uses them extensively for research purposes. They have a lifetime of about 15 years and reach adulthood without going through metamorphosis. Although called the ‘walking fish’, they are amphibians. Axolotls can be seen in the lakes of Xochimilco near Mexico City.
2) Glass Frog :
As the name suggests, the glass frog is very similar to glass. Just like glasses, one can clearly see through them. They are lime green in color and their internal parts are clearly visible. These are tiny creatures ranging from 3 to 7.5 cm.
Glass frogs are arboreal. They live in southern Mexico, in Central and South America.
3) Shoebill :
They have conically oversized shoelike bill hence the name Shoebill. Shoebills reside in tropical east Africa, in large swamps from Sudan to Zambia. The tallest found shoebill was 152 cm in height. The unique feature is the huge wings and large feet with the bills that are razor sharp. They are often called Shoebill Stork.
4) Pangolin :
It is the world’s most trafficked mammal with lizard-like appearance. Pangolins are covered in around 1000 scales that protect them from predators. The scales are made of keratin. Upon sensing danger, they curl up into balls. They have long tongues and eat ants and termites.
5) Wombat :
Wombats have a backward pouch. These are small creatures with stubby tails and length of about 1 m. You can find them in Australia. They can live up to 20-30 years and dive headfirst in the tunnel made by them, sticking up their lower back portion which helps in protecting them from predators.
6) Mary River Turtle :
This turtle breathes in a most unusual way, through its butt. It is endemic to Mary River in South-East Queensland, Australia. They use bimodal respiration and have a growing strand of algae which resembles hair and looks like a mohawk which is why they are also called ‘green haired turtle’.
7) Sun Bear :
Their population has gone down due to deforestation. They live in tropical forest habitats of Southeast Asia. Sun bears are also called ‘honey bear’. They love eating honey, bees, and beehives. With a long tongue measuring up to 9 inches, these are the smallest bears in the world.
8) Flightless Cormorant :
Also known as Galapagos Cormorant, it is a flightless seabird. It feeds on fish, small octopuses and other small marine creatures. They have very powerful feet. After every dive, they dry their wings in the sunlight and are found in Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve.
9) Aye-Aye :
Aye-aye is a lemur with long fingers and big ears. Their smelling power is larger while the visual structures are smaller. These creatures are arboreal. They tap fingers on trees to find areas where the grubs are. The main food is insect larvae, fungi seeds, and fruits. They have claws instead of nails.
10) Long Wattled Umbrellabird :
On the top of their head, they have an umbrella-like crest and a pendant shaped inflatable pouch on their throat. They are slow in the air. The wattle is long and hangs up to 16-17 inches from the middle of their chest.
11) Pacu Fish :
They look like piranhas but are larger than them. Found in the tropical and subtropical South America, Pacu has straight, square-shaped teeth. They are omnivorous and live for up to 20 years.
12) Sphynx Cat :
It does not have a coat (or fur). Due to the lack of fur, the heat loss of the body is more. These were developed through selective breeding in the 1960s. They are more prone to skin cancer due to the lack of fur. Therefore, must not be exposed to sunlight for long durations of time.
13)Bactrian Camel :
These camels have two humps on their back and can survive extreme changes. They are one of the rarest animals. Bactrian camels breed during winters. Their height ranges from about 180-230 cm and weighs about 300-1000kg. Unlike other camels, these have a mane and a long beard on their neck and throat.
14) Chinese Water Deer :
Skilled swimmers, Chinese Water Deer are native to China and Korea. Their tusks are similar to that of musk deer. They have short rounded ears and the tail is just 5-10 cms with long canine teeth sticking out from the upper jaw.
15) Platypus :
They are about the size of a beaver. The platypus has webbed paws, plain furry tails, and Broad-billed muscles. It has combined traits of birds, reptiles, and mammals. They mate between June and October and can be found in Eastern Australia and Tasmania.
16) Markhor :
It is also known as a ‘screw horn goat’. They weigh about 200 pounds. The male goats are heavier than the female ones. Males have light brown to black coat while the females have reddish-brown coats. It derives its name from Persian words: Mar meaning snake and Khor meaning eater that is the snake eater. They can be found in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and the Himalayas.
17) Okapi :
Okapi’s belong to the giraffe family and have black and white stripes on their hindquarters. Therefore they are also called ‘zebra giraffe’. They are herbivores and have long fuzzy ears with good hearing ability. Okapi is capable of making infrasonic calls. These beings have a 13 cm long tongue and reside in the forest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Asia.
18) Olinguito :
They are also known as the ‘kitty bear’. Olinguito is a carnivore and a member of the raccoon family. They live in the montane forests in the Andes of Western Columbia and Ecuador. Olinguito’s have been discovered recently. Their natural habitat is at higher elevations.
19) Lyrebird :
Originating in Australia, Lyrebirds have a unique ability to mimic sounds. It has 28-inch long tail feathers. The males are 80-98 cm while the females are 74-84 cm long. They are the third largest passerine birds and can imitate any sound, even the industrial equipment.
20) Honey Badgers :
These creatures are nocturnal and reside in the Indian Subcontinent, Africa and Southwest Asia. Honey Badgers have poor vision and hearing. Their skin is loose and thick. They like eating honey and also feed on snakes, birds, insects, rodents, turtles, tortoises eggs, etc. Honey Badgers are very smart and badass too.
Each one of these creatures has some distinctive quality. They are beautiful and dangerous in their own way and make us wonder at the amazing creation of God.
Yet, the hardest part is that most of these animals are on the verge of extinction due to our lack of insensitivity. We are continuously destroying their natural habitat to satisfy our selfish needs. These innocent creatures are being poached for their skin, horns and various other things. They are trafficked and killed mercilessly. We all must take a pledge to do something for them and protect these amazing creatures.