With millions of different species roaming our planet, there are bound to be animals you’ve never seen before. From fanged deer to rabbit-like creatures with teddy bear faces, here are the strangest.
Our planet Earth is an incredible place and there are so many different living creatures around us. Some of them are so weird that it's hard to believe mother nature created something like that. And some are so rare that your chances of seeing them are next to nothing.
Dugong: Consider letting this gentleman clean your living room carpet – He'd do an excellent job, as the ocean floor can confirm. Dugongs are cousins of manatees and share a similar plump appearance, but have a dolphin fluke-like tail. And unlike manatees, which use freshwater areas, the dugong is strictly a marine mammal. Commonly known as "sea cows," dugongs graze peacefully on sea grasses in shallow coastal waters of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans.
Shoebill: This large waterbird is unmistakable due to its unique 'shoe-shaped' bill which gives it an almost prehistoric appearance – reminding us of birds' dinosaur ancestry. Found in nine countries across Africa the species has a large range, but exists in small localised populations concentrated around swamps and wetlands. Individuals are highly solitary – often the male and female in a breeding pair prefer to occupy different ends of their shared territory.
Okapi: Okapis (Okapia johnstoni) are a native species found within the Ethiopian Range in sub-Saharan Africa. They are mainly limited to the central, northern, and eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Okapis range from the Maiko Forest to the Ituri Forest. Their territory extends west into the Rubi, Tele, and Ebola river basins. There has been some evidence showing that their range has extended into western Uganda, as they are pushed towards the east by deforestation and road construction. The range of okapis is constantly decreasing as they become increasingly endangered. They are typically reclusive, so both locals and researchers are unaware of how far their range truly extends. This being said, okapis are typically found at altitudes ranging from 1,600 to 3,200 feet above sea level.
Hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum): Similar to Bee hawk moths in flight but the Humming-bird Hawk-moth has orange-brown hindwings which is evident in flight. It has forewings that are greyish-brown and a black and white chequered body. The caterpillars can be found from June to October, but most frequently found in August. They overwinter as adults in unheated outbuildings and in crevices and holes in walls and trees, pupating in a cocoon spun close to the ground, among the foliage of the foodplant or in leaf litter.
Ankole-Watusi: Those are some big horns - you could easily hang a whole load out to dry on those. Ankole-Watusi cattle are the show-stoppers of the bovine kingdom. Medium-sized animals, with long, large-diameter horns, they attract attention wherever they appear. These regal animals can easily trace their ancestry back more than 6,000 years and have often been referred to as "cattle of kings." Flickr: [email protected] / Creative Commons
Markhor (Capra falconeri): Scattered populations of Capra falconeri, first described by Wagner in 1839, and commonly referred to as markhors, may be found throughout the arid and steppe regions of the western Himalayas. Countries of discontinuous distribution are limited to Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Capra falconeri is adapted to mountainous terrain between 600 m and 3600 m elevation. Moreover, the presence of C. falconeri is strongly associated with scrub forests made up primarily of oaks (Quercus ilex), pines (Pinus gerardiana), and junipers (Juniperus macropoda).
Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum): Ambystoma mexicanum is historically found in Lakes Chalco and Xochimilco of the Valley of Mexico near Mexico City, Mexico. The native habitats of A. mexicanum are large, relatively permanent (until recently), high-altitude lakes located near Mexico City. Of the two lakes - Chalco and Xochimilco - where these animals are historically native, only Xochimilco (elevation: ~ 2,274 m) remains. Axolotls are almost extinct in their native habitat, largely due to the introduction of predatory fishes and habitat loss.
Galago: Oh my my, those are some enormous eyes. Can you imagine how much larger they must become when she is surprised? I'm afraid not. Bush babies occupy the forested and bush regions of Africa south of the Sahara. Their range also extends to some nearby islands, including Zanzibar. Lesser bush babies are well-adapted to living in drier areas. They generally occupy the the savannah woodlands south of the Sahara and are excluded only from the southern tip of Africa.
Fennec fox: This animal undoubtedly takes the prize for the cutest creature in the universe. Give her the tiara. While it is the smallest fox in the world, the fennec fox possesses tons of cuteness and charm. With their most notable characteristic being their large ears, they are always a favorite. These pint-sized canids are extremely adaptable in their native desert environment. The fennecs are most recognizable by their large ears, reaching 4 to 6 inches in length. Those ears not only help them listen for prey underground, but also serve to dissipate excess heat of the desert. They have a thick, sandy-colored coat that keeps them warm at night and reflects the sunlight during the day. They even have fur on their feet that protects their footpads from the scorching ground.
Silkie chicken: Another animal in the additional fluff category equals extra attractiveness. The Silkie chicken is loved by many for their unusual appearance and furry feathers. They stand alone in the chicken world as being the only breed to have this furry appearance. She has a long history that runs all the way from the ancient Chinese dynasties, travelling the Silk road to eastern Europe and then across the Atlantic to modern day America. They have found their way into the hearts and minds of poultry lovers all over the world.
Frilled-neck lizard: Wait a minute, didn't this man make an appearance in Jurassic Park? That ruffled skin neck collar appears to be handy for keeping crumbs from falling over his lap. Frilled lizards, or "frillnecks," are members of the dragon family that live in the tropical and warm temperate forests and savanna woodlands of northern Australia. They spend most of their lives in the trees, but descend occasionally to feed on ants and small lizards. Other menu items include spiders, cicadas, termites, and small mammals. They vary in color and size from region to region. On average, the larger adults reach about 3 feet from head to tail and weigh up to 1.1 pounds.
Arctic hare (Lepus arcticus): Arctic Hares are found in northern Canada down to Newfoundland in the east and around the coasts of Greenland. Another similar species, the Mountain Hare, Lepus timidus is found in Arctic Europe and Asia, both are animals of the high Arctic, it is possible that both are actually the same species. The Arctic Hare lives mainly above the northern tree line in the Arctic tundra, though some move below the tree line in winter, they live at altitudes up to 900m. They are not found on sea ice being herbivores dependent on land plants for food.
Elephant shrew: The elephant shrew is essentially a Pixar creature brought to life. Look at those adorable little eyes! Elephant shrews are not, in fact, shrews. Recent evidence suggests that they are more closely related to a group of African mammals that includes elephants, sea cows, and aardvarks. Elephant shrews (also called sengis) are represented by a single family, the Macroscelididae, including four genera and 19 living species. They take their name from their long pointed head and very long, mobile, trunk-like nose. They have rather long, legs for their size, which move in a hopping fashion like rabbits. They have a hunchbacked posture and a long, scaly tail. A gland on the underside of the tail produces a strong scent used to mark territories. This musky smell serves as a deterrent against many carnivores.
Kakapo: A kakapo is similar to a parrot but lacks the sass. If they could communicate, I'm sure they'd write calming poems about how wonderful berries are. New Zealand's largest endemic parrot. Flightless, nocturnal, and solitary, confined to several predator-free offshore islands. Adults have a moss-green coloring mottled with black and yellow on top. Shows gray legs, feet, and bill with a unique pale owl-like face. A solitary bird that forages on the ground and climbs trees at night. During the breeding season, males gather on lek-breeding "arenas," a series of bowls and tracks where they give deep, resonating booming calls to attract females. Calls can carry several kilometers.
Purple frog: This amphibian resembles a sentient goo. A large, squishy, and lovely sentient blob. The purple frog (or pig-nosed frog) spends much of its life underground, emerging briefly for a few days each year at the start of the monsoons to breed. The purple frog is one of only two species in the family Nasikabatrachidae. This family is endemic to the Western Ghats of India and has been evolving independently for around 100 million years. Molecular evidence has found the purple frogs to be most closely related to a family of tiny frogs only found on the Seychelles. It is thought the two families shared a common ancestor that was subsequently isolated on different landmasses following the break up of the supercontinent Gondwana.
Snub-nosed monkey: Why does this monkey appear to be depressed? If I could, I'd invite the entire species over for afternoon tea and compliment them on how lovely and healthy they are. The Tonkin snub-nosed monkey is one of the most endangered primates on the planet, found only in a few isolated forest fragments among the karst limestone peaks of northern Vietnam. Its striking facial appearance – protuberant pink lips and upturned nose; powder-blue mask; and patches of pale-blue skin around its eyes – gives the distinct impression that this monkey has been applying heavy make-up without the aid of a mirror. Its body fur is mainly black, with creamy-white underparts and elbow patches. Other notable features include an orange throat patch and an extremely long, white-tipped tail.
Red-lipped batfish: In a heartbeat, I'd follow this fish's Instagram account. Seriously, where is the link to their cosmetic instructions on YouTube? The red-lipped batfish is an unusual fish. Closely related to other batfish but completely unique to Galapagos, the red-lipped batfish is a bottom dweller and is usually found within the sandy bottom of reefs or on the ocean floor. They can be found at depths of 3 – 76 m in the Pacific Ocean around Galapagos or around the edges of reefs up to about 120m deep.