You’ve been to the zoo, you’ve gone on plenty of hikes, and maybe you’ve even had a camping trip to an exotic locale. That means you probably think you have a good grasp of what kind of animals exist on Earth. However, there are precisely 1,367,555 known species (not including insects) that still exist on Earth today.
Some, like the Yeti Crab, are relatively new discoveries. Others, such as the Penis Snake, were thought to be extinct, but turned out to be living in the rain forests of Brazil. Some are a crazy mashup of species, like the Panda Ant. And still others, like the Goblin Shark, are waiting for their opportunity to star in a horror movie!
Many of these species are endangered, so we recommend getting to know these 20 weird animals so that their lives can be preserved for all humans to enjoy.
Pink Fairy Armadillo
The pink fairy armadillo sounds like a creature that was imagined by Lewis Carroll for Alice in Wonderland. Unlike its larger cousin, the pink fairy armadillo is fun-sized, just big enough to fit in your hand.
This five-inch little thing has a pink shell sitting atop a nice fuzzy overlay just to be cuter. The pink fairy armadillo is tough to even catch, but researchers who have studied the creature discovered that its shell isn’t fully grafted onto its body. Instead, it is connected to the body via a membrane full of blood that connects to the spinal cord. The pink color is derived from the blood, which makes this cutie a bit creepier.
It hails from Argentina and is rarely above the ground. The pink fairy digs little tunnels six inches under the ground, where it hides out and stays warm. It has a tail that is more akin to a fifth limb, which helps it dig and prevents it from being trapped in the event of a tunnel collapse. Your best chance of seeing one is to hang out in the dirt after a rainstorm.
The gerenuk, also known as the giraffe gazelle, is an antelope that resembles a giraffe. They live around Horn of Africa and the African Great Lakes region. Their most distinctive feature is the extremely long giraffe-like neck, which sits atop a body that resembles a long-legged deer. Their tiny heads are out of proportion to the body. The ears and eyes are actually quite large. Their ears and mouth are surrounded by white fur and the males also have white horns.
Gerenuk move about in packs of just 2-6 animals, and they normally segregate by sex. The gerenuk is a browser, which is a type of herbivore that feeds on leaves, soft shoots and flowers of high-growing trees and shrubs. Unlike grazers, which prefer grass and low-growing shrubs, browsers go high. Goats (browsers) and sheep (grazers) are other examples of this herbivore dichotomy. The gerenuk can reach higher branches easier than other gazelles and antelopes – at full stretch it can reach over 6 and ½ feet off the ground.