The coolest animal species in the world

Stef Zisovska
 
The eyes of slow lorises are large and have a reflective layer, called the tapetum lucidum, to help them see better at night - Author: David Haring - CC BY-SA 3.0

Our planet is full of amazing animal species that we have never heard of. Some of them look like they’re not from this planet, some of them are really rare, and for some, we have never shown interest. However, our close or far-flung surroundings are thriving with life of many different forms, and it’s amazing to learn about it. It’s especially cool when you teach your kids about the extraordinary animal species that roam the earth. Take a deep breath and let’s have a look at some of the coolest animals in the world.

Okapi

An okapi

The okapi is one of the weirdest-looking animal species in the world and at times looks like a masquerade costume. It’s also called the forest giraffe or the zebra giraffe. It maybe looks more like a zebra, but it is in fact closely related to the giraffe. The okapi is a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. It’s a solitary animal that only communicates with other okapi individuals when it breeds.

Axolotl

A captive axolotl

The axolotl is also known as the walking fish, but it’s not actually a fish at all. Although it’s an amphibian, it remains in the water. It’s native to Mexico and can be spotted in various places around the country. Its popular name is the Mexican salamander, and again, this one is often kept as a pet.

Bearded vulture

Bearded vulture

The bearded vulture lives in various mountainous regions of southern Europe, but is found mostly in Asia and Africa. It has the same habits as many other vulture species, but as well as eating carrion, the bearded fellow attacks live prey as well. Unlike other vultures, this one has a big head, and it’s not bald either.

Pink fairy armadillo

Pink Fairy Armadillo – Author: cliff1066™ – CC-BY 3.0

The pink fairy armadillo is endemic to central Argentina, and it’s the smallest species of armadillo in the world. Its unique pink armor makes it easy to spot on sandy plains and dunes. This cute animal is mostly nocturnal, feeding on ants, larvae, and plants.

Pacu fish

Pacu with humanoid teeth – Author: Nisamanee Wanmoon – CC BY-SA 4.0

Have you seen a fish with human teeth before? Well, now you have. The pacu is a native of South American waters. It’s related to the piranha, though it only eats nuts and seeds. That said, nasty injuries can be caused to humans if the fish is disturbed. Pacu live in the Amazon River.

Slow loris

Slow loris – Author: Jmiksanek – CC BY-SA 3.0

You have probably seen this adorable animal on YouTube videos of people’s pets, which is completely wrong. The slow loris is a cute mammal, native to Southeast Asian forests, where it belongs. Despite its cuteness, the loris has quite venomous teeth. The toxins from its teeth can be spread on the fur as well when the animal is grooming itself. This way the mother loris protects its babies from predators. Their other defensive mechanism is its slow and silent movement. These cuties suffer a lot from humans. People hunt them and pull out their teeth, which causes infection and death in many cases, and also sell them as pets. Don’t buy one!

Liger

Hercules the liger and his trainer Bhagavan Antle – Author: Andy Carvin – CC BY-SA 2.5

Although it sounds like a made-up cartoon character, the liger is a real animal, and it dates from the early 19th century. It’s a breeding species between a male lion and female tiger, and it grows bigger than both parents. Unfortunately, ligers can be seen only in captivity because lions and tigers don’t share the same natural habitats and they would never mate under natural circumstances. Although cool, this animal species is artificial and produced by humans.

Our planet is full of amazing creatures that we rarely if ever hear off, and many of them are endangered. To protect these species, we need to stop hunting them and using them for our entertainment. Wild animals belong to the wild!

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