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12 November 2011

The 10 Weird and Strange Animals on Earth


aye-aye
Our earth is the planet of diversity and home to some truly bizarre creatures. From venomous mammals to grass eating birds, the world is full of living oddities. This is the list of the 10 most weird and strange animals in the world which are fascinating in their own right.

 

Platypus

platypus

If you ever wondered how the world's weirdest animal would actually look like, then a platypus can answer this question quite convincingly. A platypus is probably the strangest animal in the world. It is native to Australia and some parts of Tasmania.
A platypus's oddest feature is its bizarre appearance. The animal is easily distinguishable with its duck-bill, beaver tail and otter feet. No surprise that it actually baffled the Europeans in their first encounter with the creature to think that the creature has been made by attaching different animal parts by some Asian taxidermist. The platypus is a monotreme mammal which means that it reproduces by laying eggs unlike other mammals which gives birth to their young.
The male platypus has a spur on its hind leg which enables it to inject venom. Making it one of the few venomous mammals in the world.

Takin

takin

The takin is a sheep like creature, native to the Himalayas. The takin or the gnu goat is the national animal of Bhutan. Standing at 100-130 cm and weighing as much as 350 kg, the takin is one of the largest sheep in the world. The takin has a large head with small horns and a heavy golden fur.The takin secrets an oily and strong smelling substance over its whole body.
The takin has always been a legend in Bhutan. It is said that a wise Lama (a Buddhist monk) visited the country. He was urged by his followers to perform a miracle. The Lama accepted and told the villagers to bring a goat and a cow. After his followers did as he directed, he ate all the meat of the goat and the cow leaving only the bones. But this was not the real miracle. Then he took the bones of the cow and the goat and joined them together. The resulting animal was a takin.

Aye Aye

aye-aye-lemur

The aye aye is probably one of the most weird and strange animals in the world. With its large spread ears, rodent like teeth and a thin middle finger, an aye aye has all the ugliness that you could imagine in a primate. This weird and strange lemur is native to Madagascar. An aye aye is the world's largest nocturnal (active at night) primate. If you're looking for the most bizarre relatives to the human race, then an aye aye has everything to be in your list.
There are various assumptions how the aye aye got its name. Some Malagasy call it the "hay hay" for a voice it is claimed to make. For others, it is only a cry to alarm others of the presence of this strange lemur which is a sign of bad omen to the locals. According to some, the name is derived from the Malagasy word "heh! heh!" meaning i don't know. It probably came from the Malagasy people replying "heh! heh!" to the Europeans who were asking them about the weird and strange creature.
The aye aye has a strange method of finding food. Aye aye's diet mainly include caterpillar and larvae which hide inside tree trunks. The aye aye taps trees to find larvae and worms. Then carves out holes in the wood and uses its thin middle finger to drag the larvae out. Thus an aye aye can also be named as, "a primate woodpecker". Many local superstitions are attached to the name of an aye aye. It is one of the reasons why this animal is threatened. The aye aye is a symbol of death to the local Malagasy who say that if an aye aye points its finger towards someone, then the person is sure to die. According to some, the sight of an aye aye is the sign that a villager is soon to die. These superstitions  results in aye ayes killed on sight which is a major concern for conservationists. In addition to this, the destruction of its habitat is also a vital cause of this animal becoming rarer.

Sloths

sloth

Sloths are adorable medium sized creatures which are native to Central and South America. They are easily distinguishable with their long claws. Sloths are mainly vegetarians feeding on buds, shoots and leaves but some sloths are also seen to eat insects, small reptiles and birds.
A sloth is famous as a lazy creature. It spends most of its time hanging from tree branches and only move when
necessary. But when a predator reaches, a sloth can move at a pace of 4m per minute. A sloth is a true eater. With two third of its whole weight consisting of its stomach's contents. Its stomach also matches its slow nature. The digestive process of a sloth can take a month or more to complete. This strange creature has another characteristic. The hair of a sloth grows in opposite direction to other mammals. 

Armadillo

armadillo

The armadillo is a placental mammal which is native to South and Central America. The armadillo is famous for its leathery armor shell. The name armadillo is Spanish for "little armored one". There are approximately 20 species of the armadillo some of which are distinguished from the number of bands on its armor. The armadillo is about 75cm long with its tail.This weird and unusual
animal is used in many types of scientific researches. Armadillos are used for the study of leprosy. The nine banded armadillo is also studied in science for its unsual reproductive system, giving birth to four quadruplets which are genetically identical. The shell of armadillo is also used to make a charango, which is a traditional musical instrument.

Soft Shell Turtles

soft-shell-turtle
 This weird and strange creature is a soft shell turtle which is originally native to China. These are sometimes called pancake turtles. These turtles spends most of their time lying on sand waiting for small insects and invertebrates to feed.These creatures can seem rather helpless but when smelling danger, they can escape at speeds of
15 miles per hour. These turtles are savage fighters, darting their heads at their targets similar to that of a snake. They are quite unfriendly to human visitors, biting fingers and sometimes even hand.

Giant Salamander

giant-salamander
The Giant Salamander are found in USA, China and Japan. Growing to as long 2m and weighing as much as 65kg, the Giant Salamander is the largest amphibian (animal capable of living on both land and water) in the world. It has an impressive life span of almost 50 years which it spends inside cool streams. This weird creature spends most of its time underwater only surfacing to breath. Another weird fact about the giant salamander is that it uses it skin to breath instead of gills like other aquatic animals.

Takahe

takahe
This one is the most cutest animal in this list (atleast for me). The takahe is a flightless bird native to New Zealand. The takahe was thought to be extinct in 1898 but was rediscovered in 1948. This beautiful bird is usually purple in color with greenish inner wings.
The takahe has a strange method to feed. The takahe feeds on grass. It uses one of its claws to pluck grass, eating only the soft parts and throwing the rest. The takahe is extremely endangered but extensive conservation efforts has showed some hope for the existence of this weird bird.

Star Nosed Mole

star-nosed-mole
The star nosed mole is more horrible than it is weird. Native to Canada and east coast of USA, the star nosed male is able to withstand severe cold. It burrows easily through ice to make its home and find food. It favors a high protein diet of clams, snails, small rodents, mollusks and worms. It’s not a very big creature – about the size of a hand. But its 22 nose tentacles are hard to miss. Helping the star nosed mole to find food.

Leaping Lizards

leaping-lesbian-lizards
Found in American deserts, this weird lizard can shake your understanding of the animal kingdom. Believe it or not, these lizards are le$bians. They reproduce successfully despite the fact that they are all females. Its been discovered that they reproduce more successfully than other lizards.

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