Animal Facts: the Weird and Wonderful Wildlife

Get your animal facts right!

Wild animals got everything you can dream of to be in the spotlight: they can be beautiful, intriguing, amazing, funny, mind-blowingly clever, cute or just plain weird.


Scroll down and discover why it is so important to do your bit to preserve wildlife.

Wild animals will never cease to surprise and amaze us!

Whenever you feel a bit down, look through the weird, cute, funny, beautiful, scary and clever animals that enrich our world. You will quickly get motivated again: the world is definitely worth all our energy to protect it!

If you want more fun animal facts, check out our wildlife quiz.

There's also a special page if you are more interested in facts about baby animals.

Animal Facts: Weird Animals

Sometimes Nature really seems to have had a bit of fun with some wild animals, and what was created can just look absolutely weird! Like a mad experiment or a Photoshop joke. Yet all these animals are real.

Pink Fairy Armadillo

The Pink Fairy Armadillo is a small mammal (9 to 11 cm, 100g) that is particularly strangely looking due to its external armour made of bone and its pink colour!

Its hair are very fine and silky, and it's pink armour has blood vessels: it can even blush!

Pink_Fairy_Armadillo

Pink Fairy Armadillo, Credits: Wikicommons, Cliff

This small animal lives in Argentina, it eats mainly ants and larvae, sometimes a little bit of worms or snails for a change.

The Pink Fairy Armadillo lives at night and sleeps in a burrow. When frightened, this Armadillo digs itself to safety in a matter of seconds!

The Pink Fairy Armadillo favourite locomotion mode is “sand swimming”: it uses its large claws and torpedo-shaped body to progress through sand just like we would swim through water! Then it compacts sand behind using its butt plate...

This Armadillo is believed to live a solitary life (so, not in groups) and can live up to 10 years.

Males have several partners and each female can produce one baby a year.

Blob Fish

It is probable that Blob Fish don't care but they have been voted the ugliest animal on Earth.

It was all for a good cause though: the contest was run by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. The Blob Fish is now the symbol for the conservation of all animals, not only the cute ones.

Blob Fish, Credits: Kerryn Parkinson, NORFANZ Founding Parties

You have to admit the Blob Fish is a very strange looking creature! Probably this is mainly due to the fact its picture is always taken out of the water, and it just looks like an old grumpy man with a big nose, sad eyes and an enormous frowning / scowling looking mouth...

The Blob Fish also has a gooey appearance, and, well, looks like a blob of gelatine, really!

The Blob Fish lives deep in the ocean (like up to 3 km deep!) around Australia and New Zealand. The jellylike appearance is actually an adaptation to life at such depth: the pressures the Blob Fish can bear are enormous, we would be squashed in a heart beat... So the Blob Fish soft flesh, of a density lesser than water, allows it to “float” (or be buoyant, to be precise) in the deep sea. Other sea animals use a gaseous bladder for floating, but this would not work for the pressures of the deep sea...

They might eat sea snails and crabs, but they lack muscle and thus are probably mainly feeding by opening their large mouth and swallowing whatever floats in front of them.

But being so far from the surface means we know very little about their life. Blob Fish PhD, anyone?

Deep sea fishing and bottom trawling are threatening this peaceful blub of gelatine with extinction. So we might never know much more than the funny appearance of this creature...

Animal Facts: Cute Animals

Well of course most of us fall in love with Nature because who can resist the curtness of our wildlife?

Some conservationists get upset that koalas, dolphins or pandas get so much attention just because they are so cute. We understand that all animals deserve to be protected and certainly none deserve to go extinct.

All animals have their place on Earth and they all play their role in maintaining a working wilderness (it’s called ecosystem functions).

But still, why shouldn’t we indulge in some cuties?

Here are some of the very utterly cute animals of this world...

Olinguito

Have you ever heard of the Olinguito? No?

That's not a surprise; it was only discovered in August 2013! This was the first new carnivore discovered in 35 years in America!

Olinguito, Credits: Mark Gurney

Olinguitos live in the Andes and are active at night. They spend most of their time in trees and eat fruits, nectar and insects.

Olinguitos are small mammals, they weigh less than a kilo.

As they have only recently being discovered, we don’t know much about them, but I am sure many will put their hands up to study these cuties!

Animal Facts: Scary Animals

Rarely you can see a wild animal and think that you have been transported into a bad horror movie.

But look through the scary animals below and tell me, how close would you dare to get to these animals?

Lamprey

Lampreys, such as the silver lamprey or the sea lamprey, are parasitic fish. They have a round mouth full of teeth to bite and attach to their host, then they suck blood from of them...

Does that give you goose bumps?

Mouths of the silver lamprey (left) and the pacific lamprey (right)

Credits: EPA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The lamprey can stay attached to their host, another fish, for a long time. And despite its terrifying alien-like mouth, the lamprey actually rarely kills the host fish.

Animal Facts: Funny Animals

Sometime wildlife is mind-blowingly beautiful and impressive, it makes you, small human being, feel humble and inspired...

... And sometimes wildlife just makes you laugh!

Here are animals that are cute and weird at the same time, and as a consequence, you just cannot take them seriously!

Desert Rain Frog

Now to understand why this frog is in the funny animals (and not in the cute animals, where looking at it, you probably would classify it!), you will need to go watch this video of this wonderfully funny frog.

If you didn’t laugh at it, I don’t know what would make you laugh!

desert-rain-frog

The desert rain frog, Credits:Dean Boshoff/YouTube

The Desert Rain Frog lives in Africa and does not live in or near water – there even isn’t any tadpole stage for the Desert Rain Frog. Instead, it burries itself and spend most of the time underground.

The reason it’s so round is that when annoyed or frightened, the Desert Rain Frog inflates itself like a balloon. It then looks much bigger than it really is and, you have to admit, also looks quite terrifying!

Or didn’t it work for you?

Too funny!

Mata Mata Turtle

The Mata Mata Turtle is a fresh water turtle that lives in south America.

With its pink snout and smiley-looking mouth, it is definitely part of the funny animals. Although I suppose you could argue that it has its place in the weird animals, too!

The Mata Mata Turtle funny look is completed by many skin flaps, tubercules and barbels.

The Mata Mata Turtle face (credits: Stuart Hamilton), profile (credits: Wikicommons, Stan Shebs) and whole body (credits: Wikicommons, Michael Gil)

This turtle stays very still in the water, with its body looking like bark and its head like leaves, it is very hard to see.

A funny fact about this turtle; it can’t chew at all! It opens its mouth very broad and the fish is sucked in, then swallowed whole!

Axolotl

The Axolotl has a cute baby looking face. That’s because it is actually stuck in being a baby (a condition called neoteny).

axototl

A captive albinos Axolotl,  credits: Wikicommon, Orizatriz

The Axolotl is a salamander that lives exclusively in only a few lakes near Mexico.

It can grow up to 45cm and live 15 years. Despite its cute face it is a top predator in its habitat and terrorises mollusks, worms, insect larvae, crustaceans, and fish.

Sadly with the extension of the Mexico, the lakes have become very polluted and the number of Axolotls has plummeted. From 6,000 individuals per square kilometre in 1998, to 100 in 2008 and down to zero found in a 3 months survey in 2013.

An amazing particularity of Axolotls is that they can regenerate parts of their bodies very easily. For this reason, they are lots of Axolotls studied in labs and thus the Axolotl is still surviving in captivity.

Only a very small consolation…

Animal Facts: Clever Animals

Maybe the most important, yet forgotten, of all animal facts is how clever animals are.

It is a wonderful to think that ants can build giant cities and farm cattle, that apes and dolphins can use tools, and that most animals have their own language – dolphins even call each other by their name.

And the extent of the intelligence of animals has only being scratched by science, so much more will be discovered!

"Every time we assign a level of intelligence to an animal, further study proves they are smarter than we thought."

Neil deGrasse Tyson

The American Pika

The American Pika stacks food (several foot thick!) during the warm part of the year in preparation for winter, doing several hundred trips a day back to its den.

What so special about that?

pika

A Pika collecting food for winter, Credits: Wikicommons

The Pika selects plants carefully: it picks plants ready to eat quickly but also poisonous plant.

Why go to the trouble of collecting poisonous plants?

Because thanks to their poison these plants remain fresh for a long time, the poison acts as a preservative. The more poison, the longer the plants remain fresh.

So the Pika selects plants with different poison contents: the more poisonous the plants are, the later they’ll become eatable, and so the Pica has fresh food till the end of winter!

Too clever!


We are so lucky: our world is magnificent: the creatures living in will never stop to entertain, interest and amaze us!

Knowing all these animal facts can only reinforced our desire to get involved and protect wildlife.

So now that you know why we are fighting, keep on the fight! Browse Wildhelpers site and find out how you can help wildlife!