11 Bizarrely Awesome Animals You Probably Didn't Know About

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Nature will never cease to amaze me. Be it destruction or creation. I hope you get time to read the description of each animal. They are unique.

1. Blue Dragon (Glaucus Atlanticus):

Also known as the ‘sea swallow’ or ‘blue dragon,' this sea slug which upon maturity can grow up to 3 cm long, preys on other larger and venomous organisms. The blue dragon is not only immune to the venom of organisms such as the ‘Portuguese Man o’ war’ but upon eating them alive, it can store their venom in special sacs on the tip of their feather-like fingers. Any human who happens to touch one of these sea slugs can expect an excruciating sting.

2. The 'Ball Cutter'

The ball cutter fish or the ‘Pacu’ fish resides in the Amazon basin and Papua New Guinea where it can grow up to lengths of 4m. These fishes are related to the deadly Piranhas. Unlike the piranha’s pointy sharp teeth, it has teeth similar to humans which it uses for crushing. It is an omnivorous fish which feeds mainly on plants and small fishes… oh, it also tends to bite off fisherman's testicles. Therefore, the name ‘ball-cutter’ was given by the local fishermen. It does not have an appetite for testicles. They just fit right into their mouth.

3. The 'Hawk Moth' (Xylophanes crotonis):

Also known as the ‘Humming bird moth,' this moth has flying abilities like the hummingbird. It can hover in flight, fly backwards, sideways and even up-side down, whilst making that iconic humming noise. These feed mainly on flowers and are surprisingly good at identifying colour. They lay their eggs on the underside of leaves which hatch in about 7-10 days giving birth to a bright coloured caterpillar which will find a spot to cocoon in about 4 weeks to transform into the final stage.

4. The Indian Gharial

Also known as ‘Gavial’ this species of fish-eating crocodile is indigenous to the northern parts of India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Burma. The name ‘Gharial’ is derived from the Hindi word, “ghara”, which means ‘mud pot’. It refers to the bulbous structure on the tip of the long snout in adult males who can grow up to 20 feet in length. Their long snout and razor sharp teeth have been adapted to catch and hold slippery fishes. The current Gharial population stands at a disappointing 235 individuals due to large scale fishing by local fishermen using fishing nets.

5. Blue Parrot Fish (Scarus Coerules):

The blue parrot fish is found off the coast of Maryland in the US to the coast of Bahamas. They can grow up to an average size of 75 cm and feed mainly on small fishes and algae which it extracts by crushing coral and other rocky substrates, excreting sand as a by-product. The parrotfish is known for changing its gender multiple times during its life (Just look at his clueless face). The other interesting behavior they exhibit is their technique of covering themselves in a mucus ‘pajama’ during sleep to mask their scent from nocturnal hunters.

6. Venezuelan Poodle Moth:

This is possibly a new species of moth discovered in 2009 by Dr. Arthur Anker of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in the Gran Sabana region on Venezuela. 200,000 species of moth have been discovered till date. However, not much is known and understood about this strangely cute species of moth. Zoologists do believe it bares high resemblance with the already known ‘Muslin Moth’. "Thousands of new insects are discovered every year in the South American rain forests," says cryptozoologist Kark Shuker.

7. Jeroba (Jaculus jaculus):

These adorable little rodents live in deserts, both hot and cold. They can withstand temperatures ranging from 58 degrees Celsius to -20 degrees celsius. They are found in the deserts of North Africa, China and Mongolia. Their size can be anywhere between 3-15 cm and their tail from 6-23 cm. They need their long tail to help them keep their balance while hopping. Jerboas are very agile and can jump forward up to 13cm, but when threatened, they can take leaps up to 3 m. Their diet consists mainly of desert plants and roots, and can go on for years without drinking water. Did I mention they are incredibly cute?

Watch the video and melt your face off with cuteness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnPKIc9lWiY


8. The Margay Cat (Leopardus wiedii):

The Margay cat is a small beautifully spotted cat who is native to Middle and South America. They have hind legs which can turn 180 degrees enabling them to run down trees head first like squirrels. They are nocturnal creatures who like to live in solitary confinement. Their size can range from 34-52 inches and mainly live on trees. There are ONLY 64 Margay cats in existence. And the number is dropping.

9. Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella Brevirostris):

Also known as ‘Serial Killer’ dolphins, these dolphins are fresh water dolphins, they surface their heads over water once every 70-150 seconds for air. They are found in parts of Philippines and into the northeastern part of India. They’re total population is decreasing due to accidents in fishing operations and other things we humans love doing like mining and deforestation. These dolphins are closely related to the killer whale as you can see its name has “orca” in it. This is not the type of dolphin you want to kiss in front of a camera.

10. Leafy Sea-Dragon (Phycodurus Eques):

The ‘Leafy Sea-dragons’ are found off the coasts of south and east Australia. They are closely related to seahorses and can grow up to 14 inches in length. They feed on tiny crustaceans in the ocean and have leaf-like appendages which help it to blend in with the seaweeds. The leafy sea-dragon is easily the most successful at being camouflaged.

11. Mantis Shrimp (Odontodactylus Scyllarus):

Also called Stomatopods, these marine crustaceans can grow up to 30 cm in length. The Mantis Shrimp is one of the most amazing creatures. Let me tell you why: Our eyes contain rods and cones. Rods are to see light and motion whereas cones help us to perceive colour. Humans have three cones red, blue and green, so all the colours we can see are a combination of these three-base colours. However, the mantis shrimp has 16 cones in their massive compound eyes, enough said. That is not the best part. The mantis shrimp has two appendages in the front that it uses to hunt. They can be shaped like clubs or spears. These deliver punches that are as quick as a gun-shot from a 22-caliber rifle. Keeping them in aquariums is not an option.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/mantis_shrimp Check out this link for an amazingly hilarious comic strip about the mantis shrimp.

And this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5FEj9U-CJM 


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