Amazing and bizarre looking animals and creatures you need to know about from the strange scorpion fly to the endangered dhole.
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9. The Raccoon Dog
No, these dogs aren’t related to raccoons but they do happen to get their name for looking like a close relative of those little-masked bandits. Raccoon dogs are native to the Eastern region of Asia but are considered to be an invasive species ever since they were introduced into the local area. What’s interesting to note is that these dogs often climb trees, unlike most wild canids with the exception of the North American gray fox. The selling of their fur by retail companies has been the center of many scandals.
8. The Dhole
The endangered canid can be found living in the regions of South, Central, and Southeast Asia. Here, they face the threat of habitat loss, persecution, and must compete against other animals such as tigers and leopards for food sources. They’re known to hunt in packs during the day and live in social packs that contain a hierarchy built on dominance. Unlike most domestic animals, the Dhole has been deemed as completely untameable due to their shy and vicious nature.
7. The Geoduck
This is a geoduck but you probably recognize it as just an ordinary old clam. These saltwater clams are found throughout the west coast of North America and are edible. The most interesting thing about these animals is their very long siphons that can grow to be almost 3.5 inches long by themselves. Not only that, but this is the largest burrowing clam in the world that can live up to 140 years old, making it one of the longest-living creatures to ever exist. The oldest geoduck on record was recorded at being 168-years-old.
6. The Giant Isopod
These nightmare inducing crustaceans dwell in the cold deep waters of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans. They closely resemble pillbugs, although, that’s not much of a surprise as they are related to them. They were first described back in 1879 which means that they’ve been known to the public for quite some time now. B. giganteus is capable of reaching between 7.5 to 14.2 inches!
5. A Deformed Chital Deer
This might look like a strange new species of deer but no it’s just a regular deer. What makes it look peculiar are its tines. Normally, they’re supposed to form upwards but it isn’t uncommon to come across a deer with downward growing tines. The possible reason for this to occur is most likely due to injury. The deer possibly hit its antlers on a tree while they were growing and caused a blood vessel to either rupture or clot. Thus, the flow of blood gets disrupted and must find a new path to flow.
4. The Cassowary
This flightless bird can be found living in the tropical forests of northeastern Australia and New Guinea. They live off a diet of mostly fruit, however, they’re considered to be omnivorous and will feed on smaller animals. Typically, the cassowary is a very shy animal but you do not want to get these birds angry. They’re able to inflict heavy damage by using their massive claws and can produce fatal injuries in humans and dogs.
3. The Lowland Streaked Tenrec
This small mammal can be found living only on the island of Madagascar where its conservation status is currently classified as being Least Concerned. These little critters only grow to be around 7 ounces and come equipped with barbed quills on their body. This helps them defend against predators such as the fossa and the Malagasy mongoose. These are the only mammals that use stridulation to create sound, which is most commonly used by snakes and insects.
2. The Scorpion Fly
These insects are known as Mecoptera and are referred to as scorpionflies because of their resemblance to a scorpion. The “stinger” that you see isn’t really the fly’s tail but rather only a trait that the males possess because it’s actually their enlarged genitalia. Scorpionflies are known to feed on dead organisms and live inside the bodies of dead humans, however, the body must be fresh in order to sustain the proper living conditions.
1. The Ant-Mimicking Treehopper
You’re probably looking at this and wondering “what even is this thing?” Well, given the title of ant-mimicking treehopper you can pretty much guess that this isn’t actually a real ant. No, Cyphonia clavata here is specially designed by evolution to only appear as a ant, much like how other insects and spiders do. The black “ant” part of the treehopper is really just a bunch extension growths from its body. If you look closely you’ll see that the creature’s eye is is the circular shape located towards the brown area near its legs. The reason the “ant” is positioned backwards is because when ants are in defense mode they move backwards, so when the treehopper moves forwards that’s the illusion it creates.