Variety is the word to describe the animal kingdom on our planet and it reaches such degrees that we still discover species many of us have not heard of. We have compiled a top 10 of the weirdest animals to be found on Earth. Take a walk on the wild side while learning more about these unique life forms.
You might have heard of these animals in Madagascar (the movie) yet there’s some truth when it comes to the existence of this species. Fossas (Cryptoprocta ferox) are relatives of the mongoose and represent the largest predator and carnivore native to Madagascar.
These solitary animals grow up to 6 feet long and weigh up to 26 pounds. Their retractable claws, catlike teeth, and ability to move swiftly through the trees make them some of the agilest predators in the world. The species is endangered because of deforestation, and thus, the loss of their natural habitat.
And just when you think you’ve seen them all, nature surprises us one more time. Aye-Aye animals are definitely a one-of-kind work of nature. These nocturnal primates are to be found in Madagascar and stand out not only through their appearance but also through their unusual method of getting food known as the foraging technique.
They tap on trees until they find larvae. Once they found their snack, they gnaw a hole in the wood and pull the food out using their thin middle finger. The silver-colored primates are usually 3 feet long with their tail reaching the same length as their body.
Now, that’s quite a dashing appearance. As the name suggests it, the hairy frogfish makes for a unique combination of fish, frog, and furry animal features. Growing up to 8.7 inches, this small fish inhabits a variety of environments ranging from shallow, sandy areas to coral reefs and deep waters.
What sets them apart is not only the way they look but also their ability to change their pigment pattern to match the environment in which they live. Their large mouth, which is forwardly extensible, allows them to swallow a prey as large as they are.
The marine life is probably nature’s peak of creativity. At least, that’s the feeling one gets when encountering this fish species. Traditionally found in the rivers of South America, this vegetarian fish resembles a piranha just that it comes in sizes ranging from large to awkward.
But their size or piranha-like appearance is not what makes them stand out from the crowd. It’s their set of gnashers that look like human teeth to give these animals a one-of-a-kind anatomy. The species has grown such teeth because of the hard things Pacus usually eat.
Pink Fairy Armadillo
It’s enough to take a look at these animals to understand why they’re part of our top 10 list of weird animals. Call it cute, call it weird, this species makes for quite a sight no matter the viewpoint. The pink fairy armadillo, or Chlamyphorus truncates, combines the features of a rabbit, the shield of a turtle, and the paws of… something that probably does not exist yet as a species.
It is the smallest armadillo to be found, reaching a length of 4 inches or so, which falls into the cute size. They live in Argentina, in areas with lots of sandy plains and dry grasslands and spend most of their lives underground.
And here’s where nature’s architectural and engineering skills reach the funny-with-a-dash-of-seriousness level. Just take a look at how much these marine creatures can express and it’s not only their looks that set them apart, it’s also their jelly-like body build.
Their flesh is less dense than water which enables them to float above the sea floor without doing much. It’s literally the go-with-the-flow principle! Moreover, they won’t do much about getting food either. They kind of hang around and wait for it to come to them. They’re probably in a holiday mood. For their entire life. Luckily, no starvation-related deaths have been reported.
A top ten such as the one we’re having here today wouldn’t be complete without the Dumbo octopus. You need to see it to understand why these aquatic creatures make one fall in awe. The mysterious cephalopods live in deep waters that range from 400 meters to 4,800 meters (1300 to 15700 feet).
Their ear-like fins that extend from the mantle above each eye and graceful movements are a rare sight that makes quite a feast for the viewer’s eyes. They usually eat worms, amphipods, crustaceans, and other marine life forms they capture by pouncing on them and then swallowing them whole.
Call it the fashionista of the animal world or the eccentricity of wildlife, the tufted deer is definitely a sight to remember. The Elaphodus cephalophus is a deer species that is to be found in the high altitude forests of Burma and China, easily remembered for the prominent tuft of hair on their heads.
Their long upper canines further add to their unusual appearance giving them a somewhat vampirish look. They use their fangs to fight over mates and territory, though. The muntjac-like animals feed on various types of vegetation.
Star Nosed Mole
Yes, with this species, we enter the Hollywood of the animal kingdom. Every world has its stars. The Condylura cristata inhabits the wet low areas in the north-eastern United States and Canada and is easily recognizable because of its 22 miniature tentacles located at the tip of its snout.
This small mole uses the pink fleshy appendages to storage food and to exploit small preys. Another characteristic that sets them apart is their ability to decide in just 8 milliseconds if a prey is edible or not, which makes them the fastest-eating mammals. Adults reach 5.9 to 7.9 inches in length weighing about 2 ounces.
Last but not least in our top ten is the walking fish known as axolotl. This strangely looking animal does not fall into the fish category even though it resembles one. It is an amphibian also known as the Mexican salamander to be found in the lakes of Mexico City as the name suggests it.
The fact that they reach adulthood without going through metamorphosis, remaining gilled and aquatic, places them in the rarity zone and, hence, in our list of weird animals. These amphibians are carnivorous feeding on small preys such as insects, small fish, and worms.