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12 of the World's Strangest Animals  

Posted by Shirley Twofeathers in ,

1 - Pelochelys cantorii (Cantor's giant soft-shelled turtle)

Pelochelys_cantorii

The turtle is found primarily in inland, slow-moving fresh water rivers and streams. Cantor's giant soft-shelled turtles can grow up to 6 feet (about 2 meters) in length and weigh more than 100 pounds (about 50 kilograms).

2 - Mata Mata Turtle

matamata

The mata mata inhabits slow moving, blackwater streams, stagnant pools, marshes, and swamps ranging into northern Bolivia, eastern Peru, Ecuador, eastern Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, and northern and central Brazil. The mata mata is strictly an aquatic species but it prefers standing in shallow water where its snout can reach the surface to breathe.

3 - Mexican Walking Fish (Axolotl)

Mexican Walking Fish

The Axolotl , or "Mexican Walking Fish" is an amphibian, more specifically, a salamander. Although they are native to Mexico, Axolotls have become popular as exotic pets around the world.

Ordinarily, amphibians undergo metamorphosis from egg to larva (the tadpole in frogs is a larva), and finally to adult form. The Axolotl, along with a number of other amphibians, remains in its larval form throughout its life. This means that it retains its gills and fins, and it doesn't develop the protruding eyes, eyelids and characteristics of other adult salamanders.

4 - Dumbo Octopus

dumboOctopus

The octopuses of the genus Grimpoteuthis are sometimes nicknamed “Dumbo octopuses” because the ear-like fins protruding from the top of their “heads” (actually bodies), resemble the ears of Walt Disney’s flying elephant. They live at extreme depths, and are some of the rarest of the Octopoda species.

They hover above the sea floor, searching for worms and crustaceans. They move by pulsing their arms, shooting water through their funnel, or by waving their ear-like fins. They can use each of these techniques separately or all simultaneously.

5 - Blob Fish

blob fish

This fish is a gelatinous mass that very much looks like a 'blob'. The blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) inhabits the deep waters off the coasts of Australia and Tasmania. Due to the inaccessibility of its habitat, it is rarely seen by humans.

Blobfish are found at depths where the pressure is several dozens of times higher than at sea level, which would likely make gas bladders inefficient. To remain buoyant, the flesh of the blobfish is primarily a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water; this allows the fish to float above the sea floor without expending energy on swimming.

The relative lack of muscle is not a disadvantage as it primarily swallows edible matter that floats by in front it.

6 - Aye-Aye

ayeaye

Aye-ayes can be found only on the island of Madagascar. These rare animals may not look like primates at first glance, but they are related to chimpanzees, apes, and humans.

Aye-ayes spend their lives in rain forest trees and avoid coming down to earth. They are nocturnal, and spend the day curled up in a ball-like nest of leaves and branches. The nests appear as closed spheres with single entry holes, situated in the forks of large trees.

Many people native to Madagascar consider the aye-aye an omen of ill luck. For this reason they often have been killed on sight. Such hunting, coupled with habitat destruction, have made the aye-aye critically endangered. Today they are protected by law.

7 - Star-nosed Mole

star_nosed_mole

The Star-nosed Mole lives in wet lowland areas and eats small invertebrates, aquatic insects, worms and mollusks. It is a good swimmer and can forage along the bottoms of streams and ponds. Like other moles, this animal digs shallow surface tunnels for foraging; often, these tunnels exit underwater.

The incredibly sensitive nasal tentacles are covered with almost one hundred thousand minute touch receptors known as Eimer's organs.

8 - Elephant Shrew

elephant_shrew

They are widely distributed across the southern part of Africa, and although common nowhere, can be found in almost any type of habitat, from the Namib Desert to boulder-strewn outcrops in South Africa to thick forest.

9 - Long-beaked Echidna

echidna


Echidnas are one of the two types of mammals that lay eggs (the other one is platypus). The long-beaked echidna is found in New Guinea, where it is widespread.

10 - Giant Isopod

giant_isopod

The giant isopod, known scientifically as Bathynomus giganteus, is the largest known member of the isopod family. It is closely related to the small pillbugs that you can find in the garden. This carnivorous crustacean spends its time scavenging the deep ocean floor.

When threatened, the can roll themselves into a tight ball where they are protected by their strong, armor-plated shells. They have complex mouths that contain many components that work together to pierce, shred, and disembowel live or dead prey.

11 - Pink Fairy Armadillo

pink_fairy_armadillo

It is found in central Argentina where it inhabits dry grasslands and sandy plains with thorn bushes and cacti. It has the ability to bury itself completely in a matter of seconds if frightened.

The Pink Fairy Armadillo burrows small holes near ant colonies in dry dirt. It feeds mainly on ants and ant larvae near its burrow.

12 - Long-eared Jerboa

long_eared_jerboa

"The Mickey Mouse of the desert" - mouse-like rodent with a long tail, long hind legs for jumping, and exceptionally large ears. The jerboa, found in the deserts of Mongolia and China, is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List.

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Mexican Walking Fish- The real Mudkip B|

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