Nature’s Oddest Looking Animals
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With over 8 million animal species on the planet, it is a no-brainer that we can’t see and know them all. However, some species caught our attention because of their mind-blowing features. Stay tuned as I bring you ten of the oddest creatures on the planet.
As their name implies, the shoebill has a bill shaped like a shoe. This animal is abnormally tall with some individuals measuring over 4 feet. Unlike most birds, they live in a marsh environment and are effective predators. Their long legs are perfect for moving around shallow waters where they feed on reptiles, fish, and rodents. They are even known to attack juvenile crocodiles. Shoebills use their powerful beaks to strangle and decapitate their prey. Even though the bill clapped onto their front isn’t frightening, it is a lethal tool.
After taking the prey’s body into its beak, the shoebill opens the bill enough for the victim to poke its head out. It then clamps down on it with its beak and removes the head before swallowing the rest of the body. Well, humans have nothing to fear as they don’t prey on humans. They spend hours submerged in water but create sounds similar to that of a machine gun when they see a potential mate. It is best to keep your distance during this time because the sound is deafening. They are found in East Africa where their habitat is concentrated.
9. Long-wattled Umbrella Bird
As with birds, female long-wattled umbrella birds are not different from the usual. However, their male counterpart boasts incredibly long wattles comprising flabby hunks of skin like the one seen on turkeys. It extends from their necks. This animal can control their wattles by extending or retracting them as desired during flight or while they are motionless. These wattles are odd considering that they do not have any special purpose outside potential courtship displays.
The umbrella bird is a solitary animal known to co-inhabit areas where other species like woodpeckers live. Although they can fly short distances, they are relatively slow in the air. All three species of umbrellabird live in slightly different areas. These birds live in protective habitats where their numbers are much, but deforestation and habitat encroachment have become a threat to their existence. They still live in parts of southwest Colombia, and Ecuador where they are heavily concentrated.
8. Glass frog
If you can see through a glass, you can also see through this glass frog. Many of these animal species have lime-green skin, but some lack coloration on their underside. This means that their organs are transparent from the outside and visible to the eyes. They also have beautifully spotted backs which scientists speculate resemble eggs. Therefore, predators going after their offspring are confused about attacking or not.
Glass frogs are nocturnal. They live in small groups called an army. They hunt from dusk until sunrise when they hide under leaves. They prefer to stay high up in the trees during the dry season far from land-based predators. Your best chance of spotting this weird animal is in Panama or Costa Rica. The Costa Rica Tortuguero National Park promises a higher chance of seeing this animal in all its transparent glory. Encroachment, destruction of rainforests, and illegal trade are the greatest threats to their existence.
The first impression you get when you see a wombat is that it is calm and friendly because of how it looks. Well, your first reaction should be taking some steps farther and admiring them from afar. This animal boasts rodent-like teeth and often gets aggressive when they feel threatened. These rodents are surprising in many ways too. Unlike most marsupials, their poop is cube-shaped and their pouches face backward. To protect the tunnels where they live, they dive into them and stick up their rump. This action is tough enough to ward off predators.
Wombats are built for digging as their barrel-shaped bodies and long claws enable them to dig extensive tunnel systems and chambers. Like most marsupials, they give birth to tiny babies that crawl into their mother’s pouch to develop further. You can find wombats in the San Diego Zoo, but a better view of them can be seen in the wild. They are also prevalent in Australia’s Maria Island located off the Tasmanian coast.