Weird and wonderful wildlife
Some animals are naturally more beautiful than others. Some are quite odd. But they have all evolved to be as they are for specific purposes. We’ve taken a closer look at some of the world’s less-than-normal creatures, without whom the world would probably be a much less fascinating place…
1 Armadillo: Spanish for ‘little armoured one’ the armadillo has a protective shell in the form of bony plates. The three-banded armadillo can roll into a ball if it feels unsafe.
2 Proboscis monkey: a monkey with an unusually large nose, found on the island of Borneo.
3 Aye-Aye: a lemur that lives on the island of Madagascar, with a special thin middle finger which it uses for reaching grubs inside tree branches.
4 Gerenuk: meaning ‘giraffe-necked’ in the Somali language, this antelope has a long neck and can also stand on its hind legs to reach high vegetation.
5 Axolotl: an amphibian often referred to as a Mexican salamander, it has external gills and a permanently smiley face! Maybe you would too, if you had their ability to regrow limbs…
Did you know?
6 Giraffe weevil: an insect endemic to Madagascar. Its name comes from its unusually long neck, which it uses to roll leaves into tubes for its eggs.
7 Hoatzin: known to Amazon natives as ‘stinky turkey’, they have spiky feathers and blue faces. Their name derives from their method of leaf digestion, causing them to smell like fresh cow manure.
8 Shoebill: a member of the stork family, with prehistoric looks and a very large, shoe-shaped bill.
9 Red-lipped batfish: found in the Galapagos Islands, this fish is known for its bright-red lips and also for its ability to use its pectoral fins to ‘walk’ along the ocean floor.
10 Booby birds: with a name that derives from the Spanish for silly or clown-like (Bobo), booby birds are related to gannets. In the Galapagos Islands you will find a number of different species, including the Blue-footed booby, Red-footed booby and the Nazca booby.
Did you know?
Read our Walk on the Wild Side guide to find out more about our wildlife holidays.
Nicola considers herself very lucky to have had the opportunity to visit a number of places around the world and these experiences usually involve searching for as many kinds of wildlife as possible. Recent highlights include penguins in Antarctica, bears and whales in Canada and Alaska and sea otters in California - but there are always more animals to search for.
Nicola | About the author
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