Gosh, there are some weird animals out there. And I love them all, I really do – yet I often get asked, which animal on the blog is my favourite? Which one is the weirdest, the craziest, the most outlandish? But like dipping into a box of Favourites, i’ve decided I can’t just have one, I need 10. Forgive me, but I present to you instead my top ten favourites, with lots of pretty pictures. So let’s cut the chinwagging and look some strange stuff.
1. They’re adorable, they’re shiny and some even sport brightly coloured bum flaps. Jumping spiders make up 13% of all spider species but at less than a cm big there’s no need to fear, just get lost in those big dark eyes.
2. A resident of Argentina’s arid deserts, the pink fairy armadillo is almost as rare as real fairies. The smallest armadillo species alive today, these little pink sweeties fit nicely in the palm of a hand.
3. This marine snail is a confusing mix. It’s called a flamingo tongue snail, but it really doesn’t look like a flamingo’s tongue – or a snail. The secret is, their hard shells are actually inside them.
4. As silly as this little swimming sausage looks, it’s one tough cookie. Tartigrades, or water bears as they’re more commonly known, are possibly the planet’s hardiest animals. They’re able to withstand extreme heat, cold, pressure, toxic chemicals, radiation, and even conditions in space.
5. It’s for your own skate, that i’m going to re-introduce you to skate! Closely related to stingrays, these flat and rather freaky looking elasmobranchs, generally prefer much deeper and colder water.
6. It’s alive! This rock on the outside, guts on the inside is actually a tunicate – named after the tough, non-living tunic it’s encased in. Believe it or not, these bad boys are one of the earliest animals in the chordate line.
7. No, that’s not a large decapitated fish head floating past, that’s the whole fish. Mola mola, or ocean sunfish, are huge gentle giants that just happen to be the most fertile fish in the sea too.
8. The Chinese soft-shelled turtle still blows my mind. It’s evolved an incredibly unique method for coping with the murky waters it inhabits… it pees through it’s mouth.
9. It might look sweet, but the platypus is actually pretty bad ass. They’re one of only a few species of venomous mammals, and even feature a double headed penis.
10. A pink, flabby shark with a slingshot jaw it shoots out at prey? The Goblin Shark has to be, without a doubt, the coolest shark in the seas.
And that’s a wrap! I hope you’ve enjoyed these odd organisms as much as I have. Do you have a favourite? Let me know in the comments, and have a beautiful week!