Earth is full of diversity, with humans accounting for only 0.01% of life on Earth. Even the canines have 36 different species, and we only know foxes, wolves, jackals, and of course, dogs. No matter how much you’ve surfed the internet or watched Nat Geo, there would always be a few weird and cute animals that you may have never seen. We are here with a list of 10 animals that you’ve probably never seen or heard of before.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
The Northern Pinocchio Frog
A tree frog residing in the mountainous New Guinea forests accidentally bumped into an Australian herpetologist Paul Oliver in 2008, and there we found- the northern Pinnochio frog. It got the name “Pinocchio” because the male ones have a cute, fleshy, single spike on their nose that sometimes sticks out straight while sometimes droops.
The Ili Pika
The “magic rabbit,” ili pika, is an incredibly cute mammal with a teddy bear face that played the longest hide and seek game before giving its first photograph. It eluded scientists for more than 20 years in China’s Tianshan Mountains before being discovered. The short-eared rabbit likes spending summer collecting herbs, mountain plants, and grass. Only camera traps have helped scientists to understand this elusive animal.
Want to meet “the old man of the mountains?” The steep rocks of Pakistan and north-eastern Afghanistan are home to Pakistan’s national animal known as Markhor. Unfortunately, this freak of nature is among endangered species too. The astonishing rare spiral horns are also a threat to this goat family member since these horns are considered a valued reward among hunting communities.
Explore pictures of Margay on the internet, and you couldn’t resist comparing it to another native American cat ocelot, due to the similar spotted coat of these wild cats. Mostly found across the tropical, subtropical, deciduous, and cloud forests of South & Central America, Margay leads a solitary life feeding of small creatures in the wild such as rats, frogs, and squirrels.
Pink Fairy Armadillo
Considered to be the smallest armadillo species, pichiciego or pink fairy armadillo is native to central Argentina’s sand plains and grasslands. This adorable creature has a pink shell coupled with some silky white fur giving them their quirky name. Perhaps you have seen an armadillo, but encountering this less than 11cm long creature will surely be a new experience for you.
It may seem like aardwolf is from a wolf family or somehow related to aardvarks, but this clever and quiet mammal is more related to hyenas. Native to Southern and East Africa, aardwolves are also known as “maanhaar jackal”. The name aardwolf means “earth wolf” in Dutch or Afrikaans language since aardwolves eat insects. Unlike most hunters from their family that like to feed off an abandoned carcass by lions, this mammal has an appetite for termites and insects. In fact, aardwolves can wipe up to 200,000 termites in one sitting to get adequate moisture and protein to survive in some of the driest areas across the globe.
Chinese Water Deer
Say hello to the “vampire deer”- a name given to them for their great fangs. Found commonly across the Yangtze flood plain, the Chinese water deer have no antlers. The males instead look more vicious with their long tusks. Perhaps they don’t look like someone you can mess around with but don’t be quick to judge them. These wild herbivores nibble on grasses, herbs, and weeds.
Australian rabbit bandicoot, the Bilby, is a symbol of Easter in its native land. Rather than Easter Bunny, the country promotes the survival of this rare marsupial that has big ears, silky fur, and a long tail. Bilbies are widely famous for their well-developed claws that they use to burrow. The females among these desert-dwelling creatures have backward-facing pouches, allowing them to dig without getting it filled with dirt. The species are endangered, and sales of chocolate Easter bilbies keep natives aware of this fact.
To all the hodophiles yearning for something different and craving new experiences, a sight of these unique nature freaks can help you understand why Earth is closer to animals than humans. When people start making you feel annoyed and anxious, these never-seen-before animals can have a calming effect on your psyche.