Weird Animals

Our planet is a wonderful place full of surprising creatures we have never seen before. Some of them may look striking or lovely, while others may attract with their super unusual and even weird appearance. In this list, we will show you some strange but very cool animals that exist in our big and amazing world.

Saiga Antelope
Saiga Antelope
This unusually looking animal is a critically endangered antelope that during antiquity inhabited a vast area of the Eurasian steppe. A prominent feature of the saiga is the pair of closely spaced, bloated nostrils directed downward. During summer migrations, the saiga's nose helps filter out dust kicked up by the herd and cools the animal's blood. In the winter, it heats up the frigid air before it is taken to the lungs. Saigas are known for ...
their extensive migrations across the steppes that allow them to escape natural calamities. These antelope are highly vulnerable to wolves and thus form very large herds that graze in semideserts and steppes eating various plants, including some that are poisonous to other animals. They can cover long distances and even swim across rivers.
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Saiga Antelope
Ground Pangolin
Ground Pangolin
Pangolins have large, protective keratin scales, similar in material to fingernails and toenails, covering their skin; they are the only known mammals with this feature. They live in hollow trees or burrows, depending on the species. Pangolins are nocturnal creatures and feed mainly on ants and termites, which they capture using their long tongues. Pangolins are an important regulator of termite populations in their natural habitats; they can ...
consume 140 to 200 g (5 to 7 oz) of insects per day. Pangolins have very poor vision and they also lack teeth. They rely heavily on smell and hearing, and they have strong front legs that are used for tearing into termite mounds. When threatened, their defense mechanism is to curl into a ball with their scales outward, hiss and puff, and lash out with their sharp-edged tails. The scales on their tails are capable of a cutting action to inflict serious wounds. Unfortunately, these animals are in high demand for traditional Chinese and Vietnamese medicine in southern China and Vietnam because their scales are believed to have medicinal properties.
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Ground Pangolin
Okapi
Okapi
These forest-dwelling creatures are close relatives of giraffes. They are native to Central Africa. Okapis lead a solitary life and are active during the daylight hours. They feed on tree leaves which they reach with their 18-inch-long (46 cm) tongues; they feed on over 100 species of plants, even some which are poisonous to humans and other animals. Okapis also used their long tongues to groom their ears and eyes.
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Okapi
Proboscis Monkey
Proboscis Monkey
Proboscis monkeys are also called Long-nosed monkeys because of their unusually large noses. The males of this species have larger noses or proboscis, which can exceed 10.2 cm (4.0 in) in length and hang lower than the mouth. It is suggested that the extensive length of their nose may be sexual selection by the females, who prefer louder vocalizations, with the size of the nose increasing the volume of the call. Females have smaller noses but ...
they are still fairly large for a primate. Young Proboscis monkeys can be distinguished as their noses are upturned.
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Proboscis Monkey
Tawny Frogmouth
Tawny Frogmouth
Frogmouths are nocturnal birds named for their large flattened hooked bill and huge frog-like gape, which they use to capture insects. They are rarely seen as they usually rest horizontally on branches during the day, camouflaged by their cryptic plumage. Tawny frogmouths are carnivores and are considered to be among Australia's most effective pest-control birds, as their diet consists largely of insects regarded as vermin or pests in houses, ...
farms, and gardens. During the daylight hours, they don’t actively search for food and may sit with their mouths open, snapping them shut when an insect enters. As dusk approaches, frogmouths begin their hunting; they feed mainly by pouncing from a tree or other elevated perch to take large insects or small vertebrates from the ground using their beaks with great precision. When frogmouths catch larger prey such as lizards or mice they generally kill it before consumption bashing against a branch with great force.
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Tawny Frogmouth
Nine-Banded Armadillo
Nine-Banded Armadillo
The Nine-banded armadillo is the most widespread of the armadillos. It lives in North, Central, and South America. The outer shell of this animal is composed of ossified dermal scutes covered by nonoverlapping, keratinized epidermal scales, which are connected by flexible bands of skin. This armor covers the back, sides, head, tail, and outside surfaces of the legs and serves as good protection from predators. If alarmed, Nine-banded armadillos ...
can flee with surprising speed. Occasionally, a large predator may be able to ambush the armadillo before it can clear a distance, and breach the hard carapace with a well-placed bite or swipe. If the fleeing escape fails, the armadillo may quickly dig a shallow trench and lodge itself inside. Predators are rarely able to dislodge the animal once it has burrowed itself, and abandon their prey when they cannot breach the armadillo's armor or grasp its tapered tail. By far the leading predator of Nine-banded armadillos today is humans; armadillos are locally harvested for their meat and shells and many thousands fall victim to auto accidents every year. Armadillos can jump 3-4 ft (91-122 cm) straight in the air if sufficiently frightened and it makes them a particular danger on roads. By the way, the Nine-banded armadillo is the state small mammal of Texas.
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Nine-Banded Armadillo
Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth
Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth
Sloths are noted for their slowness of movement and spend most of their lives hanging upside down in the trees. They are inhabitants of tropical forests in South America and Central America. Sloths are unusual among mammals in not having seven cervical vertebrae. Two-toed sloths have five to seven, while three-toed sloths have eight or nine. Another interesting fact is that the outer hairs of sloth fur grow in a direction opposite from that of ...
other mammals. In most mammals, hairs grow toward the extremities, but because sloths spend so much time with their limbs above their bodies, their hairs grow away from the extremities to provide protection from the elements while they hang upside down. In most conditions, their fur hosts symbiotic algae, which provide camouflage and help stay unnoticed by predators.
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Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth
Dugong
Dugong
The dugong is a large marine mammal with a sharply downturned snout, an adaptation for feeding in benthic seagrass communities. Dugongs are referred to as "sea cows" because their diet consists mainly of seagrass. They forage as deep as 33 meters (108 ft), and often travel long distances in search of food. Due to their poor eyesight, dugongs often use smell to locate edible plants. They also have a strong tactile sense and feel their ...
surroundings with their long sensitive bristles. They will dig up an entire plant and then shake it to remove the sand before eating it. Dugongs are relatively slow-moving creatures and swim at around 10 km/h (3 m/s). When moving along the seabed to feed they walk on their pectoral fins.
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Dugong
Platypus
Platypus
This duck-billed creature is a semiaquatic, egg-laying mammal found in eastern Australia and Tasmania. It is one of the few mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. It senses prey through electrolocation and is one of the few species of venomous mammals; the male platypus has a spur on the hind foot that delivers a venom, capable of causing severe pain to humans. The unique features of the platypus make it a recognizable and ...
iconic symbol of Australia. It is culturally significant to several Aboriginal peoples of Australia, who also used to hunt the platypus for food. It has appeared as a mascot at national events and features on the reverse of the Australian twenty-cent coin. The platypus is also the animal emblem of the state of New South Wales. Until the early 20th century, humans hunted the platypus for its fur, however, now this unique animal is protected throughout its range.
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Platypus
Aardvark
Aardvark
Aardvarks are burrowing nocturnal mammals. They can be found only in Africa. These animals have long pig-like snouts, which are used to sniff out food. Aardvarks eat ants and termites, which they will dig out of their hills using their sharp claws and powerful legs. They also dig to create burrows in which to live and rear their young. When foraging, aardvarks will stop to dig a "V" shaped trench with their forefeet and then sniff it exploring ...
their location. When a concentration of ants or termites is detected, the aardvark digs into it with its powerful front legs, keeping its long ears upright to listen for predators, and takes up an astonishing number of insects with its long, sticky tongue. Termite mounds alone don't provide enough food for aardvarks, so they look for termites that are on the move. When these insects move, they can form columns 10-40 meters (33-131 ft) long which usually provide easy pickings with little effort exerted by the aardvark.
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Aardvark
Patagonian Mara
Patagonian Mara
Patagonian maras are large rabbit-like rodents. They are found only in Argentina and have adapted well to a cursorial lifestyle on the open plains and steppe, with long legs, reduced clavicle, and well-developed sensory organs. When running, maras can be compared to deer and antelope. They may also amble, hop in a rabbit-like fashion, gallop, or bounce on all fours. They are even able to leap up to 6 ft (1.8 m)!
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Patagonian Mara
Bat-Eared Fox
Bat-Eared Fox
These inhabitants of African savannas are named for their large ears, which have a role in thermoregulation. The word “bat” in their colloquial name is possibly referred to the Egyptian slit-faced bat (Nycteris thebaica), which is abundant in the region and has very large ears. Proportionally large ears of Bat-eared foxes is a characteristic shared by many other inhabitants of hot, arid climates; they help to distribute heat and also help in loc ...
ating prey. Bat-eared foxes are considered the only truly insectivorous canid. They favor termites, which can constitute 80-90% of their diet. Bat-eared foxes usually hunt in groups locating prey primarily by sound, rather than by smell or sight. As they hunt Bat-eared foxes walk slowly, nose close to the ground and ears tilted forward. Their large ears also help in visual communication between individuals. When they are looking intently at something, the head is held high, eyes are open, ears are erect and facing forward, and the mouth is closed. When a Bat-eared fox is in threat or showing submission, its head is low, ears are pulled back and lying against the head.
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Bat-Eared Fox
Kakapo
Kakapo
The kakapo is a large, flightless parrot found only in New Zealand. This night bird is unique among parrots: it is the world's only flightless parrot, the world's heaviest parrot, nocturnal, herbivorous, visibly sexually dimorphic in body size, has a low basal metabolic rate, and no male parental care, and finally, it is the only parrot to have a polygynous lek breeding system. It is also possibly one of the world's longest-living birds, with a ...
reported lifespan of up to 100 years! Like many other New Zealand bird species, the kākāpō was historically important to Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. The bird appeared in many of their traditional legends and folklore; however, it was also heavily hunted and used as a resource by Māori, both for its meat as a food source and for its feathers, which were used to make highly valued pieces of clothing. Kākāpō were also occasionally kept as pets.
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Kakapo
Narwhal
Narwhal
The narwhal is a medium-sized toothed whale that lives year-round in the Arctic waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The males of this species are distinguished by a long, straight, helical tusk. It is in fact a canine tooth that projects from the left side of the upper jaw, through the lip and forms a left-handed helical spiral. The tusk grows throughout life and can reach a length of about 1.5 to 3.1 m (4.9 to 10.2 ft). It is hollow ...
and weighs around 10 kg (22 lb). About one in 500 males has two tusks, occurring when the right canine also grows out through the lip. Only about 15 percent of females grow a tusk, which typically is smaller than a male tusk, with a less noticeable spiral. Scientists have long speculated on the biological function of the tusk. Proposed functions include the use of the tusk as a weapon, for opening breathing holes in sea ice, in feeding, as an acoustic organ, and as a secondary sex character. The tusk cannot serve a critical function for the animal's survival, as females (which generally do not have tusks) typically live longer than males. Therefore, the general scientific consensus is that the narwhal tusk is a sexual trait, much like the antlers of a stag, the mane of a lion, or the feathers of a peacock.
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Narwhal
Short-Beaked Echidna
Short-Beaked Echidna
These spiny creatures are named after Echidna, a creature from Greek mythology who was half-woman, half-snake, as the animal was perceived to have qualities of both mammals and reptiles. Their bodies are covered with coarse hair and spines. The spines are modified hairs and are made of keratin, the same fibrous protein that makes up fur, claws, nails, and horn sheaths in animals. Echidnas also have elongated and slender snouts that function as ...
both mouth and nose. They are equipped with 2,000 electrosensors. Echidnas use their electroreceptive beaks to sense earthworms, termites, ants, and other burrowing prey. Despite their appearance, these adorable creatures are capable swimmers. When swimming, they expose their snout and some of their spines and often enter the water in order to groom and bathe themselves.
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Short-Beaked Echidna
Mata Mata
Mata Mata
The mata mata is a freshwater turtle from South America. It has a large, triangular, flattened head that resembles fallen leaves and a reduced plastron deeply notched at the rear with narrow bridges. These may be meant to allow the turtle to resemble a piece of bark, camouflaging it from possible predators. This camouflage also helps the mata mata to successfully hunt its prey. As it remains motionless in the water, its skin flaps enable it to ...
blend into the surrounding vegetation and wait until a fish comes close.
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Mata Mata
Lowland Streaked Tenrec
Lowland Streaked Tenrec
Lowland streaked tenrecs are small mammals that live in the rain forests of Madagascar. They are covered with black spiny pelage. Hard keratinous quills located in the mid-dorsal region act as a sounding device and are thought to be used for communication between mother and young and/or a warning signal to predators. Lowland streaked tenrecs use their quills to communicate in two different ways, by raising them in agitation or by rubbing them ...
together in a method known as stridulation - best known as the type of noise produced by crickets and cicadas. The frequency of the sound produced by these quills is so high that it is too high to be perceived by human ears.
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Lowland Streaked Tenrec
Cantor's Giant Softshell Turtle
Cantor's Giant Softshell Turtle
This is a large critically endangered freshwater turtle. In the 20th century, it has disappeared from much of its former range. It can be easily recognized by its smooth and olive-colored carapace. This turtle can be found only in Southeast Asia and spends most of its life buried and motionless, with only its eyes and mouth protruding from the sand. Despite reports that the Asian giant softshell turtle can grow up to 1.8 meters (5.9 ft) in ...
length and is the world's largest extant freshwater turtle, this maximum size and title are not quite accurate. A more realistic range of carapace length for this species is between 70 and 100 cm (28 and 39 in) and it is one of about a half-dozen giant softshell turtles from three genera that reach exceptionally large sizes, i.e. in excess of 100 kg (220 lb) in mass.
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Cantor's Giant Softshell Turtle