Complex and Unusual Creatures - Part Two

26. A Cardinal “gynandromorph”

This isn’t photoshopped. This is a cardinal “gynandromorph” – an animal that exhibits both female and male sexual characteristics. As different sexes are differently coloured, each half of the bird is a different shade.

27. The Glass Frog

Glass frogs are a group of South and Central American frogs with translucent skin. Their internal viscera, including the heart, liver, and gastrointestinal tract are all completely visible.

28. The Yeti Crab

This is the yeti crab (Kiwa hirsuta). Only discovered in 2005, the yeti crab lives in the South Pacific Ocean and grows to around 15cm long. Discovered at a depth of 2,200 metres (7,200 ft), it lives on hydrothermal vents.

29. The Alarm Jellyfish

The alarm jellyfish (Atolla Wyvillei) has a rather unique defence mechanism. When the alarm jellyfish is attacked, it flashes brightly using bioluminescence in an attempt to attract other animals. The idea is to encourage confusion and fights between predators, while the jellyfish can swim away.

30. The Nembrotha Cristata Sea-slug

The Nembrotha cristata, a colourful sea-slug found in the tropical Indo-West Pacific Ocean. They grow to about 50mm in length and have black bodies with a strange luminous green “trim”. Like most nudibranchs, they deliver a painful sting. They do not produce the stinging cells themselves but incorporate them into their own tissues from their prey, stinging jellyfish.

31. The Albino Tiger

A very rare albino Bengal Tiger.

32. Tube-nosed Fruit Bat

33. The Bird of Paradise

King of Saxony bird of paradise.

34. The Theridion Grallator

Theridion grallator – the happy faced spider.

35. The Red-lipped Bat Fish

36. The Goblin Shark

Goblin sharks inhabit around the world at depths greater than 100 m (330 ft), with adults found deeper than juveniles. Given the depths at which it lives, the goblin shark poses no danger to humans.

37. The Panda Ant (wasp)

The Mutillidae are a family of more than 3,000 species of wasps (despite the names) whose wingless females resemble large, hairy ants. Found in Chile, they are known for their extremely painful stings, hence the common name cow killer or cow ant. Black and white specimens are sometimes known as panda ants due to their hair coloration resembling that of the Chinese giant panda.

38. The Umbonia Spinosa

These thorn bugs are related to cicadas, and use their beaks to pierce plant stems to feed upon their sap. Their strange appearance still poses many questions to scientists.

39. Lowland Streaked Tenrec

Found in Madagascar, Africa, this small tenrec is the only mammal known to use stridulation for generating sound – something that’s usually associated with snakes and insects.

40. The Hummingbird Hawk-Moth

As this hawk-moth feeds on flowers and makes a similar humming sound, it looks a lot like a hummingbird. What’s interesting is that it is surprisingly good at learning colors.

41. The Glaucus Atlanticus (Blue Dragon Slug)

This creature is a species of blue sea slug. You could find it in warm waters of the oceans, as it floats on the surface because of a gas-filled sac in its stomach.

42. The Mantis Shrimp

Also called the “sea locusts“, “prawn killers” and even “thumb splitters”, this is one of the most common predators in tropical and sub-tropical waters; little is known about them, however, because of how much time they spend hiding in their burrows.

43. The Bush Viper

Being a carnivore predator, the Bush Viper lives up in the trees of the tropical forests of Africa, and does most of its hunting at night.

44. The Blue Parrotfish

This bright blue fish can be found in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and spends 80% of its time searching for food.

45. The Indian Purple Frog

Found in India, this species of frog have a bloated body and an unusually pointy snout; it only spends two weeks a year on the surface of earth, leaving the underground for mating.

46. The Thorny Dragon

Colored in camouflaging shades of desert browns, this lizard has a “false” head, which he presents to his predators by dipping the real one.

47. The Aye-aye

The aye-aye is a lemur native to Madagascar that combines rodent-like teeth and a special thin middle finger to fill the same ecological niche as a woodpecker. It taps on trees to find grubs, then gnaws holes in the wood using its forward slanting incisors to create a small hole in which it inserts its narrow middle finger to pull the grubs out.

48. The Maned (Wolf)

The maned wolf is the largest canid of South America. Its markings resemble those of foxes, but it is not a fox, nor is it a wolf, as it is not closely related to other canids.

49. The Clown Frogfish

A brightly colored clown frogfish shows off its stuff on a reef near Bali, Indonesia. Members of the frogfish family typically keep a much lower profile, relying on the art of camouflage—even changing colors—to stay hidden in their reef homes. Frogfish boast an array of stripes, spots, warts, and other skin anomalies that allow them to impersonate surrounding rocks or plants.

50. The Sea Cucumber

These echinoderms can grow to 6.5 feet by feeding on tiny aquatic animals, algae, and even waste material. Sea cucumbers recycle food particles into fodder for bacteria much like worms do in soil.