Posted : August 2013
Author : Matt Weber
20. The Shoebill
The Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) also known as Whalehead or Shoe-billed Stork, is a very large stork-like bird. It derives its name from its massive shoe-shaped bill. Although it has a somewhat stork-like overall form and has previously been classified in the order Ciconiiformes, its true affiliations with other living birds is ambiguous. Some authorities now reclassify it with the Pelecaniformes. The adult is mainly grey while the juveniles are browner. It lives in tropical east Africa in large swamps from Sudan to Zambia.
The Okapi may look like the result of a horse and a zebra mating, but in actual fact, this species is closely related to the giraffe family - not the zebra family! The Okapi is native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa, and we think they're actually pretty cute!
18. The Pacu Fish
Pacu is a term of Brazilian Indian origin. When the large fish of the Colossoma genus entered the aquarium trade in the U.S. and other countries, they were erroneously labeled pacu. In the Amazon, the term pacu is reserved to smaller and medium sized fish in the Metynnis, Mylossoma and Myleus genera. These fish are rumoured to bite human testicles, earning it the nickname "ball-cutter".
17. The Panda Ant
Ants can be pretty annoying, but add some fur and panda print, and you've got yourself an adorable insect! But did you know that, despite the name, this is actually a species of wasp, not ant? Crazy! Found in Chile, the wingless females resemble large, hairy ants - hence the name. These insects might look cute, but they've got one nasty sting.
16. The Narwhal
The Narwhal is a toothed whale found in the Arctic, however we think it resembles a cross species between a whale and a unicorn! Imagine spotting one of these mythical-looking creatures - we wouldn't want to come in contact with that extremely large horn though, so perhaps this species is best observed from afar.
15. The Red-Lipped Batfish
The red-lipped batfish or Galapagos batfish is a fish of unusual morphology found on the Galapagos Islands in depths of 30m or more. Batfish are not good swimmers; they use their highly-adapted pectoral fins to "walk" on the ocean floor.
14. The Blind Snake
This snake has a few different names, all of which refer to it's unusual likeness to the male member. This animal has no eyes and it is actually called an Atretochoana Eiselti. It is presumed to be an aquatic, almost eel-like animal due to its fleshy dorsal fin on the body. Found in the Amazon River, this species was only rediscovered in 2011!
13. The Umbonia Spinosa
What exactly is this alienesque creature? Scientists are still quite confused about this species, although it is believed that they are related to cicadas. The Umbonia Spinosa use their beaks to pierce plant stems to feed upon their sap. We're fascinated by the creature's large and colorful body!
12. The Lowland Streaked Tenrec
It is a small animal, with a long snout and limbs, and a vestigal tail. Pelage black with yellow longitudinal stripes dorsally, light beneath; scattered quills, some barbed and detachable.
11. The Hummingbird Hawk-Moth
Judging from this creature's name, it appears to be a combination of three different animals - a hummingbird, a hawk, and a moth! This insect feeds on flowers, and even makes a noise very similar to that of a hummingbird. Its wings and face, however, resemble a moth. What a strange creature indeed!
10. The Blue Dragon
Also knows as the Glaucus Atlanticus, this crazy-looking creature is a species of blue sea slug. Much more elaborate than a sea slug, however, the Blue Dragon is able to float on the water's surface because of a gas-filled sac in its stomach. This species can be found in the warm ocean waters, and we think they look magnificent!
9. The Mantis Shrimp
Mantis shrimp or stomatopods are marine crustaceans, the members of the order Stomatopoda. They may reach 30 centimetres in length.
8. The Venezuelan Poodle Moth
The Venezuelan Poodle Moth was only discovered fairly recently in 2009. Found in Venezuela, this strange looking creature has even become the subject of a popular meme! We think this species is probably the most adorable moth we've ever seen, and we can definitely see the resemblance to a poodle...
7. The Giant Isopod
What is this gigantic creature, you ask? This is one the largest species of the existing isopods, and there is a reason behind its abnormal size. Apparently crustaceans living in the deeper parts of the sea can experience 'deep sea gigantism'. This is where the crustacean will grow much larger than its shallow sea dwelling counterparts.
6. The Saiga Antelope
The saiga is a critically endangered antelope which originally inhabited a vast area of the Eurasian steppe zone from the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains and Caucasus into Dzungaria and Mongolia. The saiga typically stands 0.6–0.8 m (1 ft 10 in–2 ft 7 in) at the shoulder and weighs between 36 and 63 kg (79 and 140 lb). The horned males are larger than the hornless females. Their lifespans range from 6 to 10 years. The saiga is recognizable by an extremely unusual, over-sized, flexible nose structure, the proboscis.
5. The Bush Viper
The Bush Viper lives in the trees of the tropical forests in Africa, and it does most of its hunting at night. As if snakes weren't already scary enough, this one looks as though it's covered in hundreds of spiky leaves! The slightly better news though is that they are a smaller species of snake, with the maximum length being 78cm!
4. The Blue Parrotfish
Smile for the camera! This comical looking fish is known as a Blue Parrotfish and they average 30-75 cm in length. Some can grow up to 1.2m though - crazy! There is no other species of fish that contains such a stunning uniform blue color across the whole species. The Blue Parrotfish spends a whopping 80% of its time looking for food.
3. The Indian Purple Frog
It can be found in the Western Ghats in India. Names in English that have been used for this species are purple frog, Indian purple frog or pignose frog. Although the adult frog was formally described in October 2003, the taxon was recognized much earlier by its tadpole, which had been described in 1918.
2. The Thorny Dragon
The Thorny Dragon is an Australian lizard that resides mostly in the desert. They are also known as the mountain devil, the thorny lizard, or the moloch. This lizard is covered in sharp spikes, and it uses these to frighten away predators. The crazy thing about these lizards is that they can live for up to 20 years - that's a lot more than most lizards!
1. The Sea Pig
The sea pig has no relation to a pig - they are actually closely related to sea cucumbers! They have enlarged tube feet and live on deep ocean bottoms - that's a depth of over 1000 meters! We find these animals incredibly unreal, especially because they really do have an uncanny likeness to pigs...