Do you think animals ever look at one another and think, “Whoa! That’s a wild looking animal!”
Does a Glass Frog, which is totally transparent, look at a Star-Nosed Mole, which looks like it came right out of Stranger Things, and think, “At least my nose doesn’t look like it has 7 nostrils.”?
These animals appear to be other-worldy, but they all exist right here on Earth.
Have you ever seen any of them? If you do, this article will help you decipher what you’re looking at!
Lowland Streaked Tenrec
Mainly found in Madagascar, the lowland streaked tenrec is a rainforest dweller who prefers to eat earthworms and hunts them by pounding on the ground with its feet. These spikey creatures are tiny, only growing to weigh between four and 10 ounces. They use their spikes to detect sound, warn predators, and communicate with each other. Most notably, lowland streaked tenrecs use stridulation, an act of rubbing different body parts together, to create sound, meaning they are highly in tune with the sense of hearing.
Though as small as a rat, jerboas can hop around up to 15 miles per hour. They are all about burrowing, and they often create different types of burrows, depending on the time of year. For instance, they have different burrows for hunting, winter, and summer. They
Just like their name, snub-nosed monkeys have smashed-in noses with visible nostrils. These monkeys are known to be extremely loud, often shouting to protect their homes against predators and other monkey clans. The snub-nosed monkey has an extremely complex stomach, built of multiple different compartments to help them digest all the food they eat.
Honduran White Bat
The rare, small Honduran white bat makes its habitat out of small tent structures of leaves cut from its teeth. Clearly, these guys like to live in protected, private habitats. It can take a few weeks to create these “tents,” proving these animals truly value and prioritize the structure of their homes. And unlike most bats, the Honduran bat is white, and it has leafy-looking nose and ears that are meant to attract mates.
Tufted deer primarily live in China in extremely high mountain ranges. Males characteristically have large teeth hanging out of their mouth. Notably, these deer are crepuscular, meaning they are most active during twilight, not night or day. While they are fairly timid, tufted deer can appear scary to predators, especially males that have the fang teeth.
Sunda Flying Lemur
Highly concerned with getting enough sleep, Sunda flying lemurs are nocturnal, and they sleep mainly atop trees during the day. They are territorial animals, and they climb to defend themselves, both up and across trees. These lemurs have an expanding patagium, or skin on their back, to help them “fly” or glide from tree to tree. Not only do they use their flying abilities to reach high tree tops, but they also use it to steer clear from predators and grab food.
Just like its namesake, the Tasmanian devil orginated in Tasmania. This marsupial is small but mighty and has a different approach to mating. Males quite literally fight each other when it comes time to choose a mating partner. They also attach to their female counterparts in order to prevent them from straying to a different mate. Talk about over protective!
What isn’t interesting about the platypus, especially with its duck bill and webbed feet? After all, they are venomous, they lay eggs, and they glow under black light. They even prey upon other animals through electric field detection in muscle movements, a very rare hunting method.
Naked Mole Rat
Naked mole rats are large, pink, furless rodents that have no pain sensitivity. Because of this, these rodents also have very low respiratory and metabolic rates and rarely scratch themselves. They usually live in areas with very low oxygen. Naked mole rats are also divided into different roles, specifically the queen, the workers, and the dispersers, much like bees. The queen mole rat does not get along with other females, and their reign usually ends only after death.
Coatis have plenty of features that make them a unique species. Used for keeping balance, for example, the coati tail is extremely long and striped. Coatis are also known for their noses, which can rotate up to 60° to acquire food and sniff around, a feature not many animals have at all.
Just like its name, the glass frog is transparent. These frogs have what is called calcars, or is ankle cartilage similar to that of a bat, on their heels. Because of their transparent bodies, glass frogs rarely fall victim to predators. You will only seem them out and about when it’s time to mate, and they spend the remainder of their living hours in trees.
This now-endangered antelope species is best known for its nose, which filters out dust and also heats up cold air during winter months. This is especially important because these antelopes live in grassy, dusty environments.
Mata Mata Turtle
Look closely, and you’ll see that the mata mata turtle’s looks like a pile of fallen leaves. These turtles spend a lot of time blending into the water they swim in, mainly for hiding purposes. This way, they are able to capture prey when they swim along. Take note, though, that the mata mata only swallows their prey whole, as they cannot chew at all.
Just as it looks, the red-lipped batfish looks like it’s wearing lipstick, and for good reason. These fish use their red lips to their advantage by attracting potential mates and distinguishing themselves from other closely related species.
Known as the unicorn of the sea, the narwhal is a type of whale, recognized for its tooth-like, pointy tusk (unicorn horn), which is primarily used to poke holes into thick ice so they can breathe. These tusks are also highly sensitive and can pick up on sounds and movements from the surrounding environment. Narwhals live mainly in Canada, Greenland, and Russia and can weigh up to a whopping 3,500 pounds.
Leafy Sea Dragon
Leafy seadragons are pros at camouflaging themselves in seaweed and other ocean plants. Despite the numerous leafy appendages on the seadragon, it only uses the fins near its head to move. They are known to stay in one place for days at a time, and they are a highly independent species, straying away from their parents right after they hatch from their eggs.
Armadillo Girdled Lizard
Mostly found in South Africa, the armadillo girdled lizard primarily live in deserts. Their brown-colored bodies help them blend in with desert sand and rocks. Perhaps the most unusual characteristic of this lizard is how they are born. Notably, female armadillo girdled lizards do not hatch eggs, and they often feed their babies, two things most lizards do not do.
Contrary to what its name sounds like, the frogmouth is indeed a bird, not a frog. The frogmouth is notorious for its extremely wide beak, which makes it look similar to a frog’s mouth. And no, they are not a species of owls, despite how much they look like them. They are actually closely related to nightjars, another nocturnal bird species with similar hunting mechanisms.
If you’ve never heard of a star-nosed mole before, you’d be shocked to know just how sensitive their noses are. The nose is made from Elmer’s organs, which receive sensations and report them to the mole’s appendages to help them hunt prey. The star-nosed mole, specifically, has over 25,000 Elmer’s organs that help the mole pick up on their environment. These moles can smell underwater, too, making them one of the most sensory receptive animals around.
The aye-aye lemur has a thin, long middle finger for a reason: to dig and scrape out food from the bark in trees. Some compare the aye-aye lemur to a woodpecker, just by how they find their food. These lemurs are also notably the largest nocturnal primates.
Japanese Spider Crab
Ever wonder what type of crab has the longest legs? Well, it’s the Japanese spider crab, a species that mainly lives near Japan. These crabs have legs that can reach just over 12 feet from one claw to another, making them a massive crustacean. And, because they are so large, they have a difficult time avoiding predators, which is why they are primarily nocturnal (so they can keep an eye out at night). If they must, Japanese spider crabs cover their bodies with other ocean species, like sponges, to avoid exposure to dangerous predators.
Just like their name suggests, the dumbo octopus’ name comes from the Disney movie, Dumbo, particularly due to its elephant-like ears. These tiny octopi live about 3,300 feet deep in the ocean and therefore, do not need to produce ink as a defense mechanism. Instead, they make light with their suction strings and often camouflage themselves when a predator appraoches.
As you can see, the magnificent frigatebird uses its red throat pouch to breed. As crazy as it may look, the throat pouch actually inflates like a balloon to attract mates, along with their black feathers. You can spot these birds in Florida, the Caribbean, and some European countries, like England and Denmark.
Just like they look, harpy eagles are fierce raptors not to be undermined. Their claws are larger than any other eagle’s claws, and they can lift prey that weighs nearly their own body weight. Keep an eye out for them in South America, where they mainly live.
Unlike most fish, the Mandarin fish are covered in stinky slime instead of traditional scales. Their slimy coats are said to prevent diseases from entering the bodies. Plus, their bright colors are meant to deter predators from bothering or even eating them.
Woylies are rare, nocturnal marsupials that live in Australia. Notably, female woylies can start having babies at only six months old, and they typically birth new woylies as often as every three-and-a-half months. Woylies are known to be extremely defensive of their nests, always protecting them during the day.
As pictured above, one of the most notable features of the royal flycatcher is its brightly colored “crest.” These birds use their bright colors to attract mates and scare predators.
Green Tree Python
The green tree python, though commonly known by many people, has very unique characteristics. For one, they aren’t born green; they are born yellow or red, and they become green after about six to twelve months old. They use temperature sensing and dangle their tails to hunt prey.
The axolotl is an amphibian with gills, and their main habitats are lakes. One of the most remarkable characteristics of the axolotl is its ability to heal through regeneration, meaning it can quite literally create brand new appendages after they are damaged. They can also acquire “transplants” from other species to heal their own eyes, brains, and other body parts.
Unlike the dolphins we are used to seeing, Irrawaddy dolphins do not have long snouts or fins, and they look very similar to whales, particularly the killer whale. This species suck their food and capture their prey in groups by circling it. Irrawaddy dolphins usually swim in groups and love to socialize through clicking sounds.