WEIRD LOOKING ANIMALS
Added on: 17th Mar 2016
No longer than an average woman’s shoe size, the star-nosed
mole is a small mole with 22 unique pink appendages surrounding
its snout. It uses these tentacle-like appendages to feel its way
around and detect if prey is edible (and eat it) – performing these
mental operations as quick as neurons can physically process.
The 22 appendages have 25,000 Eimer’s organs which act as
touch receptors (like those on our fingers).
Pairing one of our biggest fears with an insect, the scorpion fly
has nine families with about 500 species across the globe, that’s
a big family! What will really throw you off is what its scorpion-like
appendage is for – it’s the male’s genitals. One of the families,
the Bittacidae, has a unique mating ritual. The male captures prey,
as large as possible and coaxes the female over with
pheromones. She examines the prey, their first date and honeymoon
dinner and either flies away (she rejects it) or begins eating, at
which point the male mounts the female and begins to mate.
JAPANESE SPIDER CRAB
A gargantuan and strange animal, the Japanese spider crab has
the largest leg span of any arthropod, reaching up to 12ft (3.8m)
from claw to claw. Despite their daunting appearance, the
Japanese spider crab is said to have a peaceful, gentle disposition.
The Pacific Ocean’s sarcastic fringehead can open its fanged-mouth
to an enormous size to scare off predators. To establish dominance,
two male fringeheads will stretch their mouths as wide as
possible and ram them together in a UWWF (Under Water World
Wrestling Federation) match which looks more like a make-out session.
A rarely seen and little understood sea creature, macropinna microstoma
looks like something out of a child’s colouring book. Its head is
covered by a transparent, fluid-filled dome. Moreover, it has
barrel-shaped eyes which point up (through the dome) while it’s
horizontal in the water and can even be rotated forward if it
changes position. This is one of the strangest looking animals,
largely for those eyes which feel like they’re following you.
A sea-dweller always ready for a hot date, the red-lipped batfish
is a strange looking fish which lives primarily around the
Galapagos Islands. Harmless to humans, the red-lipped batfish
lures prey in with an ilium, just like an angler fish. Marine
scientists aren’t entirely sure why it has such bright red lips
but speculate they may help different batfish species
recognize each other during spawning.
The real champ of UWWF, the mantis shrimp can punch at up to
75ft per second (23 m/s) from a stopped position – that’s enough
to break aquarium glass. Even if the shrimp misses, the resulting
shockwave from the punch can paralyze the animal it swings at.
The shockwave’s bubbles accelerate so quickly they can be up to
several thousand degrees Kelvin. (Just 1,000 K is 1,340°F or 727°C.)
A popular food item throughout Asia, the soft-shelled turtle is a
peculiar-looking reptile. This turtle uses its seemingly-oversized
neck with long, snorkel-like nostrils for a variety of purposes,
including to breathe air from the surface while keeping its body
submerged, sometimes up to a whole foot away. (One advantage
of their soft shells is they can travel much faster on land,
reputably up to 15 mph).