10 Worlds Weirdest Animals
|(Rizwan Shaikh, Karachi)|
The Sun Bear (Helarctos
malayanus) is a bear found primarily in the tropical rainforests of
The Sun Bear stands approximately 4 ft (1.2 m) in length, making it the
smallest member in the bear family. It is often called the dog bear because
of its small stature. It has a 2 in (5 cm) tail and on average weighs less
than 145 lb (65 kg). Males tend to be slightly larger than females.
Unlike other bears, the Sun Bear's fur is short and sleek. This adaptation
is probably due to the lowland climates it inhabits. Dark black or
brown-black fur covers its body, except on the chest where there is a pale
orange-yellow marking in the shape of a horseshoe. Similar colored fur can
be found around the muzzle and the eyes. This distinct marking gives the sun
bear its name.
rabbit is a variety of domestic rabbit bred for its long, soft hair. The
Angora is one of the oldest types of domestic rabbit, originating in Ankara,
Turkey, along with the Angora cat and Angora goat. The rabbits were popular
pets with French royalty in the mid 1700s, and spread to other parts of
Europe by the end of the century. They first appeared in the United States
in the early 1900s. They are bred largely for their long wool, which may be
removed by shearing or plucking (gently pulling loose wool).
There are many individual breeds of Angora rabbits, four of which are ARBA
recognized. Such breeds include, French, German, Giant, English, Satin,
Chinese, Swiss, Finnish, to name a few.
The Red Panda, Ailurus fulgens ("shining cat," from a Latinized form of the
Greek, ailouros, "cat," and the participial form of the Latin fulgere, "to
shine") is a mostly herbivorous mammal, slightly larger than a domestic cat
(55 cm long). The Red Panda has semi-retractile claws and, like the Giant
Panda, has a "false thumb" which is really an extension of the wrist bone.
Thick fur on the soles of the feet offers protection from cold and hides
scent glands. The Red Panda is native to the Himalayas in Nepal and southern
China. The word panda is derived from Nepalese word "ponya" which means
bamboo and plants eating animals in Nepal.
larvatus also known as Long-nosed Monkey is a reddish-brown arboreal Old
World monkey. It is the only species in monotypic genus Nasalis.
The most distinctive trait of this monkey is the male's large protruding
nose. The purpose of the large nose is unclear, but it has been suggested
that it is a result of sexual selection. The female Proboscis Monkey prefers
big-nosed male, thus propagating the trait.
Males are much larger than females, reaching 72 cm (28 inches) in length,
with an up to 75 cm tail, and weighing up to 24 kg (53 pounds). Females are
up to 60 cm long, weighing up to 12 kg (26 lb).
The Proboscis Monkey also has a large belly, as a result of its diet. Its
digestive system is divided into several parts, with distinctive gut flora,
which help in digesting leaves. This digestive process releases a lot of
gas, resulting in the monkey's "bloated" bellies. A side-effect of this
unique digestive system is that it is unable to digest ripe fruit, unlike
most other simians. The diet consists mainly of fruits, seeds and leaves.
The Axolotl (or
ajolote) (Ambystoma mexicanum) is the best-known of the Mexican neotenic
mole salamanders belonging to the Tiger Salamander complex. Larvae of this
species fail to undergo metamorphosis, so the adults remain aquatic and
gilled. The species originates from the lake underlying Mexico City.
Axolotls are used extensively in scientific research due to their ability to
regenerate most body parts, ease of breeding, and large embryos. They are
commonly kept as pets in the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Japan
(where they are sold under the name Wooper Rooper, and other countries.
Axolotls should not be confused with waterdogs, the larval stage of the
closely related Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum and Ambystoma
mavortium), which is widespread in much of North America which also
occasionally become neotenic, nor with mudpuppies (Necturus spp.), fully
aquatic salamanders which are unrelated to the axolotl but which bear a
The Aye-aye (Daubentonia
madagascariensis) is a strepsirrhine native to Madagascar that combines
rodent-like teeth with a long, thin middle finger to fill the same
ecological niche as a woodpecker. It is the world's largest nocturnal
primate, and is characterized by its unique method of finding food; it taps
on trees to find grubs, then gnaws holes in the wood and inserts its
elongated middle finger to pull the grubs out.
Daubentonia is the only genus in the family Daubentoniidae and infraorder
Chiromyiformes. The Aye-aye is the only extant member of the genus (although
it is currently an endangered species); a second species (Daubentonia
robusta) was exterminated over the last few centuries.
The Alpaca (Vicugna
pacos) is a domesticated species of South American camelid developed from
the wild alpacas. It resembles a sheep in appearance, but is larger and has
a long erect neck as well as coming in many colors, whereas sheep are
generally bred to be white and black.
Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of
Ecuador, southern Peru, northern Bolivia, and northern Chile at an altitude
of 3500 to 5000 meters above sea-level, throughout the year.
Alpacas are considerably smaller than llamas, and unlike them are not used
as beasts of burden but are valued only for their fiber. Alpacas only have
fleece fibers, not woolen fibers, used for making knitted and woven items
much as sheeps wool is. These items include blankets, sweaters, hats,
gloves, scarves, a wide variety of textiles and ponchos in South America,
and sweaters, socks and coats in other parts of the world. The fiber comes
in more than 52 natural colors as classified in Peru, 12 as classified in
Australia and 22 as classified in America.
prosimian primates of the genus Tarsius, a monotypic genus in the family
Tarsiidae, which is itself the lone extant family within the infraorder
Tarsiiformes. The phylogenetic position of extant tarsiers within the order
Primates has been debated for much of the past century, and tarsiers have
alternately been classified with strepsirrhine primates in the suborder
Prosimii, or as the sister group to the simians (=Anthropoidea) in the
infraorder Haplorrhini. Analysis of SINE insertions, a type of macromutation
to the DNA, is argued to offer very persuasive evidence for the monophyly of
Haplorrhini, where other lines of evidence, such as DNA sequence data, had
remained ambiguous. Thus, some systematists argue that the debate is
conclusively settled in favor of a monophyletic Haplorrhini.
Tarsiers have enormous eyes and long feet. Their feet have extremely
elongated tarsus bones, which is how they got their name. They are primarily
insectivorous, and catch insects by jumping at them. They are also known to
prey on birds and snakes. As they jump from tree to tree, tarsiers can catch
even birds in motion. Gestation takes about six months, and
tarsiers give birth to single offspring. All tarsier species are nocturnal
in their habits, but like many nocturnal organisms some individuals may show
more or less activity during the daytime. Unlike many nocturnal animals,
however, tarsiers lack a light-reflecting area (tapetum lucidum) of the eye.
They also have a fovea, atypical for nocturnal animals.
Marmoset (Callithrix (Cebuella) pygmaea) is a monkey native to the
rainforest canopies of western Brazil, southeastern Colombia, eastern
Ecuador, and eastern Peru. It is one of the smallest primates, with its body
length ranging from 14-16 cm (excluding the 15-20 cm tail) and the smallest
monkey. Males weigh around 140 g (5 ounces), and females only 120 g (4.2
TDespite its name, the Pygmy Marmoset is somewhat different from the typical
marmosets classified in genus Callithrix. As such, it is accorded its own
subgenus, which was formerly recognized as its own genus, Cebuella.
TThe Pygmy Marmoset has a tawny coat, and a ringed tail that can be as long
as its body. Their claws are specially adapted for climbing trees, a trait
unique to the species. They are omnivorous, feeding on fruit, leaves,
insects, and sometimes even small reptiles. Much of their diet, however,
comes from tapping trees for sap. Up to two-thirds of their time is spent
gouging tree bark to reach the gummy sap. The Pygmy Marmoset has specialized
incisors for gouging holes in bark. Unfortunately, because of its small
size, and its swift movements, it is very hard to observe in the wild.
TIn captivity, the Pygmy Marmoset can live up to 11 years.
Balaeniceps rex also known as Whalehead is a very large bird related to the
storks. It derives its name from its massive shoe-shaped bill.
The Shoebill is a very large bird, averaging 1.2 m (4 ft) tall, 5.6 kg (12.3
lbs) and 2.33 m (7.7 ft) across the wings. The adult is mainly grey, the
juveniles are browner. It lives in tropical east Africa, in large swamps
from Sudan to Zambia.
The Shoebill was added rather recently to the ornithological lists; the
species was only discovered in the 19th century when some skins were brought
to Europe. It was not until years later that live specimens reached the
scientific community. The bird was known to both ancient Egyptians and Arabs
however. There exist Egyptian images depicting the Shoebill while the Arabs
referred to the bird as abu markub, which means one with a shoe. Clearly,
this refers to the striking bill.