5 weird and wild animals you’ve (probably) never heard of
Scientists believe that there are almost 9 million species of animals in the world, yet 86 percent of land animals and 91 percent of marine animals have yet to be identified. It would take 1,200 years and the work of over 300,000 taxonomists to describe the remaining unclassified species. Unfortunately, a lot will go out before you can identify them. Even among the known animals, there are many species that people have never heard of. Here is an introduction to five animals you may not know, but are definitely worth knowing.
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Amami, a rare type of rabbit, can only be found on two small islands, which are part of the Amami Archipelago in southern Japan. These 4 to 6 pound nocturnal rabbits are primitive and related to ancient rabbits that lived on the mainland, which is why the Amami is often referred to as a living fossil. Their numbers decreased because they were preyed upon by other animals, mainly an invasive species of mongoose, which was brought to the islands to eat poisonous snakes, but instead focused on the rabbit. Amami’s number fell to just a few thousand, putting them in danger. When the government eradicated the mongoose, the rabbit population increased and they were removed from the endangered species list in 2013. Interestingly, unlike other rabbits, Amamis reproduce only twice a year, giving birth to only one or two young.
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A member of the antelope family, African plains and mountain bongos have horns and a reddish coat with yellow or white Vertical stripes, which serve to hide them from predators. These animals are generally non-territorial and easily frightened. When i’m afraid, these fast runners seek a safer area and, exceptionally, turn their backs on danger. Their markings make them less visible from behind, and this position also gives bongos the advantage of being able to escape more easily. Usually solitary, males only interact with other bongos for mating, while females live in small groups. Even if they are nocturnal, and therefore rarely seen, hunting dogs have been very successful in finding bongos, and these rare antelopes are hunted for their meat and as trophies. There are only a hundred mountain bongos left in the wild, making them critically endangered. Although there are a greater number of lowland bongos (but still less than 28,000), they are classified as “near threatened” by the IUCN.
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The idea of a rodent over 100 pounds may sound like something out of a horror movie, but these members of the Order Rodentia – the largest in the world – are nothing like the average or ubiquitous mouse. New York rats. Those giant but gentle creatures are incredibly friendly, kind and loving to other capybaras and other animals, whether in the wild or when they are kept as a pet. Native to South America, the capybara is a semi-aquatic herbivore, which lives in family groups of about 10, but as large as 30. Young capybara often fall prey to predators such as snakes, crocodiles and humans. Unfortunately, these peaceful animals are hunted for their meat. Several hundred years ago, the Catholic Church classified them as fish (they are mammals) because they live in water and have webbed feet. The motivation was that they could be eaten during Lent. The Capybara have adapted to live near humans, and even coexist with people in residential areas.
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Most people have never heard of or saw a pangolin before COVID-19[female[feminine. Known in Asia and Africa, the rest of the world became familiar with this mammal when it was mentioned as a transmission possible source of COVID from animals to humans. Although they look like an anteater or armadillo, the only scaled mammal in the world is actually more closely linked to bears, cats and dogs. Pangolins have been around for 80 million years and are now in danger of extinction. An important part of the ecosystem, they excel at pest control by feeding on up to 70 million insects per year. Ironically, although the pangolin is not widely known, it is the most poached and trafficked animal in the world, with up to 200,000 pangolins eaten each year. Among some traditional medical schools, it was long believed that the consumption of pangolin meat and scales offered medicinal and sexual benefits. In order to reduce trafficking, the Chinese government has removed pangolin scales from its list of traditional medical treatments in the Chinese medicine pharmacopoeia.
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Of course, we’ve all heard of the octopus and squid, but a lot of people don’t know the giant squid. With eyes like as big as plates, these enormous animals live at ocean depths of over 3,000 feet in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. The largest of the cephalopods, which dates back 500 million years, the giant squid can reach 30 feet in a short time. With a lifespan of only 5 years, their ability to grow at such an impressive rate indicates an adequate supply of food and a lack of predators. But squids have a formidable predator in the sperm whale, which will dive thousands of meters to reach their prey. The biggest giant squid we know reaches almost 43 feet and weighed nearly a ton. Until about ten years ago, practical knowledge was gleaned from floating and dead giant squids found by fishermen. Then in 2012, Japanese scientists working with the Discovery channel filmed a giant squid in its natural environment for the first time. As for their mode of propagation, scientists have developed theories about the mating habits of the giant squid, but I’m not quite sure. However, they are believed to only mate once in their lifetime.