8 Unusual Animals   Leave a comment


by Elizabeth Huff

When your hero is crawling around on distant planets or exploring the far recesses of this one, it always helps if you can describe the local fauna. Here are 8 unusual animals that will seem at home in strange places distant or near.

  1. Image Detail YETI CRAB – This freaky looking thing is a crab that lives deep on the ocean floor by deep sea vents. It is thought to be blind and may have the ability to detoxify water of poisonous chemicals by the vents where it makes it’s home.
  2. Image DetailTRIOPS – This 3-eyed crustacean is considered one of the oldest living species on the planet. Although it is considered a protected species (there are only two known wild populations) you can purchase them from some dealers. If interested you can purchase them here.
  3. Image DetailOLM – These rather adorable looking amphibians look so much like Chinese dragons that I had to add them in. In fact the first written mention of them is as  a baby dragon. They live in subterranean waters of caves and are completely blind.
  4. Image DetailSTAR-NOSED MOLE – From super cute to super freaky. The star-nosed mole is easily identifiable from the fleshy tentacle-like appendages around it’s face. They can also smell underwater and are functionally blind.
  5. Image DetailCANDIRU – This innocuous looking fish is anything but. Also known as a vampire fish, it is a parasitic catfish that makes its home in the Amazon. Some species are also responsible for those nasty little rumors about fish that swim up into human urethrae.
  6. Image DetailTARSIER – These small primates fall into the “so ugly they’re cute” category, and remind me a little of Yoda. Although once widespread, tarsiers today are restricted to southeast Asian islands. They are about 30 -40 cm long.
  7. Image Detail PELICAN EEL – This thing looks like it comes from a sci-fi movie. Although closely related to eels, it is actually a fish. The jaw can open wide enough to swallow prey much larger than itself, but it’s primary diet seems to consist of small crustaceans.
  8. Image DetailHAGFISH – These creatures are built strangely (they have a skull, but no vertebral column or jaw), look strange (eel-like bodies with paddle-like tails), and act strangely (creating gooey slime and tying themselves in knots). They are also considered living fossils with relatives dating back 300 million years or so.

Many of the animals pictured here are endangered. In fact the most interesting animals tend to also be the most abused. For more information on how you can help visit the World Wildlife Fund.

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