Stranger Things

By Khalidha Naushad | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 18 2021
Look Stranger Things

By Khalidha Naushad 

The world we live in is a wild and magnificent place, teeming with billions of fascinating creatures with truly amazing and odd characteristics and behaviours. Here’s a look at some of the world's most beautiful and strange animals. It's no surprise if the majority hasn’t seen or heard about all these creatures, especially considering how scientists estimate over 80 per cent of life on the planet is still undiscovered. 

1. Glass frogs 

Glass frogs are found in tropical Central and South America and get their name for their see-through skin. Although you can see through this extraordinary frogs, just like through a glass, they are not truly transparent but translucent, with their organs being visible to the naked eye through their underbelly and the skin on their backs typically taking a shade of vivid green. Equally amazing are their spotted backs, which scientists speculate are meant to resemble eggs – so predators going after their offspring get confused. 

According to Creesmanu, a third of the world’s frog population is thought to be threatened, and the glass frog has an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) status of ‘near threatened and decreasing’. Because their stomach skin is so thin, glass frogs are particularly sensitive to environmental changes. They also prefer areas with plenty of canopy cover due to the microclimate they provide and so, it is very unlikely to find them in a disturbed area. Therefore, spotting a species like this anywhere in the world should be considered something really rare and special. 

2. Lyrebird 

Lyrebirds are one of Australia’s best-known native birds and are well known for their ostentatious mating displays; the males show off their long tail feathers while dancing and using their superb vocal abilities to attract mates. Mesmerizingly, these birds are most notable for their superb ability to mimic natural and artificial sounds from their environment. 

Although this trait exists in other birds, lyrebirds take things to a whole new level. In fact, it could easily win a talent show for its ability to mimic sounds. They can imitate just about any sound, including industrial equipment and power tools. 

3. Aye-aye 

These endangered species only found in Madagascar, are peculiar and considered one of the ugliest animals on the planet due to their frightening appearance. They have a lengthy tail and are 14 to 17 inches long. It has long, wiry hairs on its body that range in colour from grey to black, with whitish guard hairs. 

With bulging eyes, ever-growing teeth, and lengthy fingers, its face resembles that of a fox. They drill a hole with their teeth and long middle finger to extract and devour the insects after tapping on trees to identify insects based on percussive feedback. The aye-aye is a one-of-akind creature with the behavioural marks of a woodpecker and the look of a monkey crossed with a rodent. 

4. Pangolin 

Pangolins live in hollow trees or burrows in Asia and Africa, where they’re native. While three of the eight species of pangolin being listed as ‘critically endangered’, three are listed as ‘endangered’ and the last two are listed as ‘vulnerable’. They are one of the most illegally trafficked animals in the world due to the belief that their scales have medicinal powers. 

Heavy deforestation of their natural habitats throughout Asia and parts of Africa is also threatening their existence. Pangolin, a nocturnal animal, can roll up into a ball and its protective scales will keep predators at bay. Guess what? Pangolins are the only known mammal to have this type of feature. Moreover, they are the only mammals in the world to be covered in hard keratin scales. They are also known as scaly anteaters. 

5. Magnificent frigatebirds 

Magnificent frigatebirds sometimes called ‘man-o’-war’ birds are massive seabirds of warm tropical oceans and coastlines. They are about 3 feet in length and have a wingspan of over 7 feet. These incredible birds are overall black with extremely long, deeply forked tails and angular wings. 

While males completely are black with an inflatable red pouch on the throat (they are puffed out to attract a mate), adult females have a white chest and golden bar on the shoulder and young birds have white heads and breasts. They are called ‘man-o’-war’ birds because they like to attack other birds while they are flying and even try to steal their food on occasion.

By Khalidha Naushad | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 18 2021

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