Right from carnivorous flowers that feed on insects to species of fish that electrocute their prey, there is no dearth of weird creatures out there. But how do you decide which animal is weird? Is a sea dragon that resembles a seaweed weird enough, or is it the Philippine tarsier with its extraordinarily large and bright eyes that fits your description?
Top 10 Weird Animals on the Earth
As we all know, organisms are gifted with certain features, either external or internal, which have something to do with their adaptation to the prevailing environment. At times though, the 'gift' can alter the physical or behavioral nature of the animal, thus making it come across as a little weird.
Komondor dog is a large dog breed that originated in Hungary. An excellent working dog, it is typically characterized by a long coat that covers its whole body. From far, it looks like a sheep with heavy fur. It is independent and dominating in nature. Hence, if you intend to keep it as a house pet, it should be trained properly under the guidance of a qualified trainer.
Classified under Syngnathidae family, the leafy sea dragon is encountered only in Australia's southern waters. As the name signifies, the camouflaging appendages of these sea creature are adapted in such a way that they look virtually like floating seaweed or plant leaves. At maturity, leafy sea dragon is yellowish-green in color and grows to about 45 cm in length.
Identified as one of the ugliest and weirdest animals on the Earth, the star-nosed mole is a mammal with fresh tendrils surrounding the snout area. Virtually a blind animal, it uses its 22 nasal appendages for hunting food. Once it touches an insect larva or other prospective prey on the ground, it takes milliseconds to check and eat it up. As per scientists, this is the fastest known reaction in the animal kingdom.
The hagfish is another weird creature of the marine environment that remains embedded in the mud for most of the time. The characteristic attribute of this species is the skeletal system, which is entirely made up of cartilage. More than 65 species of eel-like hagfish are found in the warm seawater of both hemispheres. As a defense mechanism, it secretes an excess amount of mucus from side glands.
With an elongated trunk, tapirs look like pigs, but are found to be closely related to rhinoceros and horses. The upper lip and extended nose together make up their prehensile trunk. Four species of tapir are identified, all of which are herbivores feeding on plant leaves and fruits. Though it has a long lifespan of about 30 years, this weird mammal is included in the endangered species list.
Pink Fairy Armadillo
Similar to other armadillo species, the pink fairy armadillo has a bony armor-like shell covering the head and body. The smallest of all armadillo species, it has a poorly developed eyesight. However, long claws and sensitive sense of smell increases its hunting efficiency. When frightened or threatened, it covers itself in the sand within minutes.
Axolotl is one of the odd-looking animals, which many hobbyists rear as an exotic pet. Unlike other salamanders, it does not metamorphose on a regular basis and thus, is termed as neotenic. Its ability to regenerate its body parts, which is absent in most of the species, is by far the most interesting thing about the species. Because of this, scientists use it as a model organism in research studies.
One of the weirdest or ugliest-looking animals, the blobfish is a unique species that inhabits the dark depths of oceans. Consequently, the pressure of the inhabiting area is extremely high. As an adaptation, the flesh of blobfish is gelatinous, with a density that is slightly lower than water. It floats on surface and swallows food directly. Hardly encountered by marine biologists, there is very little information about this weird fish.
The bushy tail of the aye-aye is bigger than its body size. Even though it doesn't look like a primate, aye-aye is closely related to apes and chimpanzees. Other characteristic attributes of this primate include its large eyes, magnificent ears, and slender fingers. The long, pointed claws enable it to dangle from one tree branch to another without falling.
Narwhal is a type of whale, inhabiting the Arctic ocean. The males differ from the females by a very long tooth (measuring about 8.8 feet) that outgrows from the upper left jaw. Its primary food comprises flatfish and other benthic species. Previously, it was hunted extensively for meat and ivory. Though hunting has reduced in recent times, their population is yet to reach the desired number.
In addition to these, sucker-footed bat, proboscis monkey, alpaca, frill-necked lizard, yeti crab, red panda, etc., are also known to be pretty weird. As you see most of these animals are found in the least hospitable habitats of the oceans. With the advancement in marine biology, it wouldn't be surprising if more of such strange-looking animals are found in near future.