The fauna and flora of our planet is simply wonderful. The great variety of animal and plant species that live in different corners of the world is enormous (and every now and then a new one is discovered) and among all this variety we can find strange and fascinating species
In this article we are going to show you 10 of the strangest animals that populate the Earth
Top 10 Weirdest Animals in the World
1- Naked mole rat
The naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber), also known as the sand pup, is a burrowing rodent native to the Horn of Africa and parts of Kenya, especially in the Somali regions. It is closely related to blesmoles and is the only species of the genus Heterocephalus.
The naked mole-rat exhibits a very unusual set of physiological and behavioral traits that allow it to thrive in a very harsh subterranean environment; In particular, it is the only thermoconforming mammal with an almost entirely ectothermic (cold-blooded) form of body temperature regulation, as well as a complex social structure divided between reproductive and non-reproductive castes, making it, along with the Damaraland mole-rat (Fukomys damarensis), the only widely recognized examples of eusociality (the highest classification of sociality) in mammals.
The naked mole rat lacks pain sensitivity in its skin and has a very low metabolic and respiratory rate. It is also noted for its longevity and resistance to cancer and oxygen deprivation.
2- Star-nosed mole
The star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata) is a small mole found in moist, low-lying areas of northern North America
It is the only extant member of the tribe Condylurini, and has more than 25,000 tiny sensory receptors in tactile organs, known as Eimer’s organs, with which this hamster-sized mole orients itself. With the help of its Eimer’s organs, it can be perfectly poised to detect seismic wave vibrations.
The nose has a diameter of about 1 cm and its Eimer’s organs are distributed in 22 appendages
Eimer’s organs were first described in the European mole in 1871 by the German zoologist Theodor Eimer. Other mole species also possess Eimer’s organs, although they are not as specialized or numerous as in the star-nosed mole
Because the star-nosed mole is functionally blind, it was long suspected that the snout was used to detect the electrical activity of prey animals, although little or no empirical support for this hypothesis has been found
The nasal star and dentition of this species appear to be primarily adapted to exploit extremely small prey. A report published in the journal Nature awards this animal the title of fastest eating mammal, as it takes only 120 milliseconds (average: 227 ms) to identify and consume individual food items. Its brain decides in about 8 ms whether the prey is edible or not. This speed is at the limit of the speed of neurons.
These moles are also able to smell underwater, which they accomplish by exhaling air bubbles over objects or scent trails and then inhaling the bubbles to carry the odors back through the nose.
Psychrolutes marcidus, also known simply as dropfish, blobfish or blobfish, is a deep-sea fish of the family Psychrolutidae. It inhabits the deep waters off the coasts of mainland Australia and Tasmania, as well as the waters off New Zealand.
Dropperfishes are typically less than 30 cm (12 inches) in length. They live at depths of 600 to 1,200 m (2,000 to 4,000 ft), where the pressure is 60 to 120 times greater than sea level, rendering gas bladders ineffective in maintaining buoyancy
The blobfish has a relative lack of muscle, but this is not a disadvantage, as its main food source is edible matter floating in front of it, such as deep ocean crustaceans.
It is often caught incidentally in bottom trawls.
The popular impression that the pufferfish is bulbous and gelatinous is, in part, a result of the decompression damage that specimens suffer when brought to the surface from the extreme depths in which they live. In its natural environment, the dropfish looks similar to what we consider a “fish”.
4- Blue Dragon
Glaucus atlanticus (common names: blue sea dragon, sea swallow, blue angel, blue glaucus, blue glaucus, dragon slug, blue dragon, blue sea slug and blue ocean slug) is a species of small blue sea slug, a pelagic (open ocean) aeolid nudibranch, a shelled gastropod mollusk of the family Glaucidae that inhabits the Indian and Pacific oceans.
These sea slugs are pelagic; they float upside down using the surface tension of the water to stay upright, where they are carried by winds and ocean currents. G. atlanticus uses shading: the blue side of its body faces upward, blending with the blue of the water. The silver/gray side of the sea slugs is oriented downward, blending with the sunlight reflecting off the ocean surface when looking upward underwater.
The blue dragon stores stinging nematocysts from siphonophores in its own tissues as a defense against predators. Humans handling the slug can receive a very painful and potentially dangerous sting.
5- Aye Aye
The aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) is a long-toed lemur, a strepsirrhine primate native to Madagascar with perpetually growing rodent-like teeth and a special slender middle finger.
Itis the largest nocturnal primate in the world. It is characterized by its unusual foraging method: it taps trees to find larvae and then pierces the wood with its forward-slanting incisors to create a small hole into which it inserts its narrow middle finger to pull out the larvae
This method of foraging is called percussive foraging and takes up 5 to 41% of foraging time. The only other animal species known to forage in this way is the striped opossum
Ecologically, the aye-aye occupies the niche of a woodpecker, as it is able to penetrate wood to extract the invertebrates it contains.
The aye-aye is the only extant member of the genus Daubentonia and the family Daubentoniidae. It is currently classified as endangered by the IUCN endangered species by the IUCN; and a second species, Daubentonia robusta, appears to have become extinct sometime in the last 1000 years.
6- Sunda Flying Lemur
The Sunda flying lemur (Galeopterus variegatus), also known as the Sunda colugo, Malayan flying lemur and Malayan colugo, is a species of colugo. It is native throughout Southeast Asia, from southern Myanmar, Thailand, southern Vietnam and Malaysia to Singapore and Indonesia.
Although called a“flying lemur,” the Sunda flying lemur is not a lemur and does not fly. Instead, it glides while hopping between trees. It is strictly arboreal, is active at night and feeds on soft parts of plants, such as young leaves, buds, flowers and fruits. After a gestation period of 60 days, it carries a single young in the mother’s abdomen, held in place by a large skin membrane. It is a forest-dependent species.
It is protected by national legislation. Sunda flying lemurs are often hunted by local people with spears or other lethal equipment for various reasons, such as food and skins
In addition to deforestation and habitat loss, local subsistence hunting poses a serious threat to this animal. Competition with the banana squirrel (Callosciurus notatus) represents another challenge for this species.
7- Axolotl or Ajolote
The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is a paedomorphic salamander closely related to the tiger salamander. Axolotls are unusual among amphibians in that they reach adulthood without undergoing metamorphosis. Instead of moving onto land, adults remain aquatic and gilled
The species was originally found in several lakes underlying present-day Mexico City, such as Lake Xochimilco and Lake Chalco. These lakes were drained by Spanish settlers after the conquest of the Aztec Empire, resulting in the destruction of much of the salamander’s natural habitat.
By 2020, wild salamanders were close to extinction due to the urbanization of Mexico City and the resulting water pollution, as well as the introduction of invasive species such as tilapia and perch
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) considers them critically endangered in the wild, with a declining population of between 50 and 1,000 adult individuals, and they are included in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
Salamanders are widely used in scientific research due to their ability to regenerate limbs, gills and parts of their eyes and brains. Salamanders were also sold as food in Mexican markets and were a staple in the Aztec diet.
8- Pink armadillo
The pink armadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus) or pichiciego is the smallest species of armadillo (mammals of the families Chlamyphoridae and Dasypodidae, recognized by their bony carapace), first described by Richard Harlan in 1825. This solitary, desert-adapted animal is endemic to central Argentina and can be found inhabiting sandy plains, dunes and scrub grasslands.
Pink armadillos have small eyes, silky yellowish-white fur and a flexible dorsal carapace that is only attached to their body by a thin dorsal membrane. In addition, their spatula-shaped tail protrudes from a vertical plate on the blunt back of their carapace. This creature has nocturnal and solitary habits and its diet consists mainly of insects, worms, snails and various plant parts.
The conservation status of the pink armadillo is still uncertain, and it is listed as data deficient by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The population decline of this species has generally been attributed to agricultural activities and predators, including domestic cats and dogs.
The shoebill (Balaeniceps rex), also known as the “whale’s head”, “whale-headed stork” or “shoebill stork”, is a very large stork-like bird. It owes its name to its huge shoe-shaped beak
It has a general stork-like shape and has previously been classified with the storks of the order Ciconiiformes based on this morphology. However, genetic evidence places it with pelicans and herons of the order Pelecaniformes
The adult is mainly gray, while juveniles are more brown. It lives in tropical East Africa in large swamps from South Sudan to Zambia.
The shoebill was known to the ancient Egyptians, but the
iguous Egyptians, but was not classified until the 19th century, after skins and eventually live specimens were brought to Europe. John Gould described it in 1850, giving it the name Balaeniceps rex
10- Goblin shark
The goblin shark (Mitsukurina owstoni) is a rare species of deep-sea shark. Sometimes called a“living fossil,” it is the only extant representative of the Mitsukurinidae family, a lineage some 125 million years old
This pink-skinned animal has a distinctive profile with an elongated, flat snout and very protruding jaws containing prominent, nail-shaped teeth. It is usually between 3 and 4 m long at maturity, although it can grow much larger, as in the case of one captured in 2000 that is believed to have been 6 m long.
Goblin sharks are benthopelagic creatures that inhabit upper continental slopes, submarine canyons and seamounts around the world at depths greater than 100 m, with adults found deeper than juveniles. Some researchers believe that these sharks can also dive to depths of up to 1,300 m (4,270 ft) for short periods of time.
Several anatomical features of the goblin shark, such as its flaccid body and small fins, suggest that it is lazy in nature. This species hunts teleost fish, cephalopods and crustaceans both near the seafloor and in the middle of the water column. Its long snout is covered with ampullae of Lorenzini that allow it to sense tiny electric fields produced by nearby prey, which it can snatch by rapidly extending its jaws
Deep-sea fisheries unintentionally catch a small number of goblin sharks. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified it as Least Concern, despite its rarity, citing its wide distribution and low
Do you know of any other strange animals? Leave us a comment
If you know of other strange animals that you think should be on this list leave us a comment and we will do our best to add it. Don’t miss our articles: