Based on recent estimates there are approximately 30-50 million species on Earth. Among those species were the common birds, dogs, cats and fishes but did you know that there are strange and weird species which you probably haven’t heard of? Here listed below is a compilation of the strangest and weirdest animal species on Earth.
Solenodons are venomous, nocturnal, burrowing, insectivorous mammals belonging to the family Solenodontidae. Only one genus, Solenodon, is known, although a few other genera were erected at one time and are now regarded as junior synonyms. The Solenodontidae family is interesting to phylogenetics researchers due to its retention of primitive mammal characteristics; their species resemble very closely those that lived near the end of the age of the dinosaurs.
The African Civet is a common viverrid native to tropical Africa. Unlike many other members of the family, which resemble cats, the African Civet resembles a short dog-like animal. Like all civets it has perianal glands that produce a fluid known as civetone (used in the perfume industry), which it spreads on markers in its territory to claim its range.
The São Tomé Shrew (Crocidura thomensis) is a white-toothed shrew found only on São Tomé Island, São Tomé and Príncipe. It is listed as a critically endangered species due to habitat loss and a restricted range.
The long-beaked echidnas make up one of the two genera (genus Zaglossus) of echidnas, spiny monotremes that lives in New Guinea. There are three living species and two extinct species in this genus. Echidnas are one of the two types of mammals that lay eggs.
Sea pigs are also known as scotoplanes, a genus of deep-sea holothurians (sea cucumbers). This sea creature is like a cross between a pig and a slug. I still think it’s cute, despite the fact that it looks like it has human fingers growing out of its mouth.
A pangolin, also scaly anteater or tenggiling, is a mammal of the order Pholidota. Pangolins have large keratin scales covering their skin and are the only mammals with this adaptation. They are found in tropical regions of Africa and Asia. The name “pangolin” derives from the Malay word pengguling (“something that rolls up”). Pangolins are nocturnal animals, and use their well-developed sense of smell to find insects. The long-tailed pangolin is also active by day. Pangolins spend most of the daytime sleeping, curled up into a ball.
The Vampire Squid is a small, deep-sea cephalopod found throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world. With their long velar filaments deployed, Vampire Squid have been observed drifting along in the deep, black ocean currents. If the filaments contact an entity, or if vibrations impinge upon them, the animals investigate with rapid acrobatic movements. They are capable of swimming at speeds equivalent to two body lengths per second, with an acceleration time of five seconds. However, their weak muscles limit stamina considerably.
The Aardvark is a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal native to Africa. The aardvark is nocturnal and is a solitary creature that feeds almost exclusively on ants and termites; the only fruit eaten by aardvarks is the aardvark cucumber. Aardvarks can live to be over 24 years old in captivity.
The Chinese giant salamander is the largest salamander in the world, reaching a length of 180 cm (6 ft), although it rarely – if ever – reaches that size today. Endemic to rocky mountain streams and lakes in China, it is considered critically endangered due to habitat loss, pollution, and over-collecting, as it is considered a delicacy and used in traditional Chinese medicine. Records from Taiwan may be the results of introductions. It has been listed as one of the top-10 “focal species” in 2008 by the Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) project.
The Sumatran Rhino is a mostly solitary animal except for courtship and child-rearing. It is the most vocal rhino species and also communicates through marking soil with its feet, twisting saplings into patterns, and leaving excrement. The rhino spends a large part of its day in wallows. When mud holes are unavailable, the rhino will deepen puddles with its feet and horns. The wallowing behavior helps the rhino maintain its body temperature and protect its skin from ectoparasites and other insects.
The greater galagos or thick-tailed bushbabies are the common name for three species of strepsirrhine primates. They are classified in the genus Otolemur in the family Galagidae.
The Amazon River Dolphin, alternately Bufeo, Bufeo Colorado, Boto, Boto Cor de Rosa, Boutu, Nay, Tonina, or Pink River Dolphin, is a freshwater river dolphin endemic to the Orinoco, Amazon and Araguaia/Tocantins River systems of Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. Because they are unfused, the neck vertebrae of the Amazon River Dolphin are able to turn 180 degrees. The pink dolphin has been listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of the Nature due to pollution, over fishing, excessive boat trafficking and habitat loss. The brain of the river dolphin is 40% larger than a human brain.
The ocean sunfish, Mola mola, or common mola, is the heaviest known bony fish in the world. It has an average adult weight of 1,000 kg. Sunfish live on a diet that consists mainly of jellyfish, but because this diet is nutritionally poor, they consume large amounts in order to develop and maintain their great bulk. Females of the species can produce more eggs than any other known vertebrate. Sunfish fry resemble miniature pufferfish, with large pectoral fins, a tail fin and body spines uncharacteristic of adult sunfish.
The Tasmanian devil is a carnivorous marsupial now found in the wild only in the Australian island state of Tasmania. Because they were seen as a threat to livestock in Tasmania, devils were hunted until 1941, when they became officially protected. Since the late 1990s, devil facial tumour disease has reduced the devil population significantly and now threatens the survival of the species, which in May 2009 was declared to be endangered.