Mother nature is wonderful, but she is also brilliantly weird. Let’s take a look at some of the most unusual wild animal facts that will totally blow your mind.
Sloths are famous for being very slow creatures. When it comes to food, they are no different. It can take anywhere from 1 week to 1 month to digest a meal!
2. Sailfin Lizard
The Sailfin lizard from the Philippines can literally walk on water. The feet on their hind legs are webbed making swimming more efficient, but this webbing also allows them to run across the surface of water without sinking.
Kangaroo rats can go years without water! They live in extremely dry desert areas, so only get moisture from the seeds and plants they eat. They can even extract water from their own urine!
Tarsiers have such huge and well-developed eyes that they have excellent night vision. At just 4 inches, these tiny primates have eyes half an inch wide. Their eyesight is so good, that they can see just as well at night as they can during the day.
Opossums are known for their skill of playing dead, but they also have a more unique talent. They are immune to snake venom! Their body produces a peptide that neutralises harmful chemicals, which is why they can eat snakes without getting sick.
At 103cm, Freddy the Great Dane is the tallest dog in the world. He lives in Great Britain with his sister and costs his owner £15,000 per year in dog food!
Also from Great Britain, Caspa the llama holds the Guinness world record for the highest jump. She can jump poles measure at 113 cm and she learned to do this by coping the dogs on the farm where she lives.
In The Air
Flamingos are born with white feathers. They begin to turn pink due to their diet. The algae and brine shrimp they feed on contain high levels of Beta Carotene, which has a natural pink pigment. As Flamingos grow, they begin the show this pigment in their feathers.
Hummingbirds are the only bird species in the world capable of flying backwards. They can beat their wings so quickly, that flying backwards comes easily. They use this skills to move in and out of flowers without having to land or turn around.
3. Liar Bird
Liar birds are nature’s mimics. They are capable of mimicking up to 20 different bird calls. They have also been recorded mimicking artificial sounds such as car engines, a dog bark and a chainsaw! Males use their diverse vocabulary during courtship to attract a female.
Under The Sea
1. Peacock Mantis shrimp
The Peacock Mantis shrimp holds the world record for the fastest limb movement. They are capable of moving their limbs at a speed of up to 50pmh! This is possible thanks to ligaments in their limbs. When bent, these ligaments are compressed, so they act link a spring. When they extend their arm, that compression is released, allowing incredibly fast movements to occur.
2. Cardinal fish
Cardinal fish have the quirky nickname of ‘fire breathers’. This is because they eat bioluminescent plankton that glows a blueish colour. Unfortunately, this makes the cardinal fish glow and become more noticeable to predators. To avoid a predator, cardinals will regurgitate their plankton meal at great speed, which looks like they are breathing blue flames.
3. Immortal Jellyfish
The ‘Immortal Jellyfish’ is the only known creature on the planet that never dies. As it nears the end of its life, instead of dying, it regenerates its cells back to its polyp state, which is the first stage of life. From here, it continues to mature and reproduce. There is no known limit to the number of times this species can regenerate its cells. Thus, it can live forever.
Axolotls have a truly remarkable ability. They are able to regrow limbs and major organs. They are able to do this due to the presence of certain cells. Not only do they have skin cells, muscle cells and the like which will regenerate themselves, they also have stem cells which can become any type of cell that the body needs. If only part of a limb is lost, the body will regenerate only the missing part rather than trying to regenerate the entire limb.
The Platypus is possible the weirdest animal ever. They have the body of a beaver, a bill like a duck and move on land like a crocodile. This isn’t the weirdest thing about them though. Platypuses are mammals, but they lay eggs! Known as monotremes, they are classed as mammals as they produce milk and have body hair, but they lay eggs like birds and reptiles and have webbed feet which makes them excellent swimmers. When they dive for food, they close their eyes and ears. So how do they locate their prey? Well, they have echoreceptors in their bill similar to the echolocation that bats use. When they catch a prey animal, they hold them in their cheek pouches and use gravel to grind their food…because they have no teeth!
As if all that wasn’t enough, the females do not have nipples. Instead, they sweat milk out of their body and their young lick the milk from their mother’s fur. But we are not done yet! Male Platypuses have a spur on their hind leg that can secrete a venom if they feel threatened. These bizarre creatures belong in a sci-fi movie!
Well, there you have it. Just some of the weirdest animal facts. Certainly not all of them, but they definitely do get the brain working. There are so many thousands of species with unique and interesting talents that we couldn’t possibly mention them all. Scientists are discovering new species all the time, so there will no doubt be even more weird and wonderful animals ready to amaze us with their mind boggling skills!