All of us feel a certain affinity for our favourite members of the animal kingdom, but once you’ve familiarised yourself with some of these more obscure critters you may have to rethink where your affections lie. Here’s a look ten of the coolest creatures you’ve never heard of (until now).
The Glass Frog
Have you ever had to dissect a frog as part of a biology class? That’s not fun for anyone is it? The Glass Frog has developed an ingenious method of avoiding this cruel fate. By having transparent skin it allows curious scalpel-wielding humans to look at it’s insides whilst remaining nice and alive. Hurray for evolution!
To get up close and personal with frogs and other cool animals, check out Reptile Encounters who offer reptile shows to schools and private parties.
The Red Panda
You may be a little confused with exactly what you’re dealing with here. It’s a panda by name, but closer to a skunk or weasel in terms of its biology. In terms of looks, it’s something like a racoon dressed up in a novelty fox onesie. Theses omnivores aren’t fussy eaters, happy to chow down on anything from bamboo to eggs and small mammals.
The Sugar Glider
These preposterously loveable stripped possums use the membranes of skin between their fingers to glide through forest canopies in search of nectar-laden treats. With their wide-eyed expressions of wonder and bushy tails they look as sweet as their favourite food stuffs.
Imagine a tiny kangaroo with the ears of a bunny rabbit et viola! You have a Jerboa. Unfortunately you’ll have to forego your beauty sleep to catch sight of one as they’re nocturnal and a tad shy.
The Dik Dik
Another pint sized beauty, the dik dik takes it’s unusual name from the alarm call of the female and resembles a scaled down antelope. Dik diks spend most of their time bounding away from monitor lizards for whom they make a nice little snack.
The Jesus Lizard
These reptiles are able to mimick one of the most famous miracles performed by their namesake by running on water, a ploy they use to evade predators. Confusingly, they are also known as the devil’s lizard. Everyone wants a piece of them, evidently.
The Dumbo Octopus
These pretty little cephlapods traverse the ocean floor by flapping their ears (oh yeah, they have ears) in the manner of Disney’s famous flying elephant. They live at extreme depths, swallow their prey whole and they lay eggs constantly (well, the females do, the males don’t lay any at allâ€¦lazy reallyâ€¦).
The Yeti Crab
Only discovered in 2005, the yeti crab appears to be attempting to lead some sort of crustacean chorus line with it’s glammed up feather boa arms. Some scientists believe the hairs are actually there help to filter toxins from the water in which it lives, which, to be frank, sounds like a far less plausible theory.
Cool name? Check. Able to regenerate limbs? Check. Weird, knowing smile? Check. A staple of the Aztec’s diet? Check. Subject to a bizarre short story by the Argentinian Genius, Julio Cortazar? Check. That’ll be the Axolotol.
The Probiscis Monkey
Where to start? The nose probably. The males of the species have noses of about 4 inches which hangover the mouth like a deflated party balloon. Both males and females have the rotund sort of pot bellies usually only cultivated in humans by years of inactivity and alcohol consumption. So, not the best looking of animals. But at least they have webbed feetâ€¦