Amazing Animals, part 2

This post is the continuation of my Amazing Animals, part 1 post! If you haven’t read that one yet, please do by following the link here.

I have been immeasurably excited to post this. I love learning about new, exciting, and even weird animal species. Being a wildlife major, this happens quite often, and I love telling people about them even more than I love learning about them. So without further ado, on to the next few species that I consider “Amazing Animals”:

Rusty-spotted cat ssp. <i>phillipsi</i>

Rusty Spotted Cat: Though this may look like just a house cat at first glance, it’s actually pretty amazing. These fancy felines are one of the world’s smallest cat species. They are about half the size of a domesticated house cat, and never get much larger than 12 inches in length. Unfortunately, for those of us who would love to have one as a pet, they’re only found in India and Sri Lanka, and are listed as a species vulnerable to extinction. They’re also wild cats by nature and not easily tamed.

Malayan Colugo: The moment I found out discovered this little flying lemur, I was overwhelmed with how adorable it was. Just look at those eyes. Don’t you just want to grab it and hug it?! These little guys are found in Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia jumping and gliding from tree to tree, or simply hanging around in the branches. They are close relatives of the sugar gliders (seen at many flea markets and sold as pets), but they grow to be much larger. 

Olm: I learned about these incredible creatures my freshman year of college in Biology 111. As we were entering the the chapter in our textbooks about chordates, basically animals with spinal cords, there was a picture of one of these organisms. They are model organisms to study for this grouping because they form one of the basal levels of the group. Humans are chordates, so it gives one a good idea of how broad of a group the chordates are. Olm typically dwell in caves, which the reasoning behind their lack of skin pigment, and lack of eyes. Yet they still navigate their habitats with ease, how amazing is that?

Giant isopod

Giant Isopod: The easiest way to describe this creature is a giant roly poly (a.k.a. pillbug), but they live in the ocean and grow to be much, much larger. These aquatic giants can grow up to a foot in length, and spend most of their time in the frigid depths of the world’s oceans. Like the pillbug, they are able to roll into a ball-like shape for protection from predators.  They feed upon fish, squid, sponges, and other oceanic creatures. If they can’t find food they have a fascinating ability to survive for up to five years without food. They certainly deserved a spot on my amazing animals list.

Dumbo Octopus: For those of you who are fans of Pixar films, you might find these octopuses to look oddly familiar. That’s because this is the type of octopus that Pearl from Finding Nemo was modeled after. They get the name Dumbo because of the little projections on the top of their heads that look like ears. If that isn’t enough to make you say “aww”, they also swim such a way that it looks like they’re bouncing around underwater.

Wilson’s Snipe: Keeping with the theme of Pixar inspired animals, the above animal is a Wilson’s Snipe. For those of you that have seen the movie Up, this bird differs monumentally to Kevin the snipe. Though I’m sure this wasn’t the specific species Kevin was modeled after, the Wilson’s snipe looks much different. This bird is actually a common resident of Tennessee in the winter season, in fact, it has a hunting season and is a greatly prized catch due to it’s zig-zag flight pattern.

Mirror Spider: Though this may make many of us cringe, I found this spider to be absolutely beautiful. Granted, beautiful would be the last word that many people would choose to describe a species of spider, but this one is special. It actually has specialized pigments in its thorax that create several reflective mirror-like splotches. I imagine that I would be so in awe of this spider that, if I were to ever see one, I wouldn’t even be afraid of it.

I hope you all enjoyed the second installment of my Amazing Animals list, and learned about some new, unique animals! Do you know of any amazing animals not on this list? If so, let me know! I would love to hear about it; leave it in the comments below!

As always, please follow my blog, and stay tuned for more amazing animals posts in the future.

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