People often travel to distant locations to see the local culture, sample local cuisine or simply to see the landscape and monuments there. But there are also those who are interested in seeing local, if somewhat unusual, animals. The animal world is so vast and diverse that the internet community on 9gag and Reddit regularly posts trivia and pictures about rare and exotic species. In this article, we have decided to share our vast knowledge of fauna and show you some of the most exotic animal species on planet Earth. Enjoy this little collection of ours and don’t forget to share some additional knowledge with us in the comments. Thanks!
#1 Aye-aye (Madagascar)
Madagascar is known as a place where strange animals dwell. The island features many animal species that you can’t find anywhere else. Aye-aye is such one creature, and although it looks creepy with its bulging eyes, it’s very docile in fact. Defined by its scary face and long fingers, this small type of lemur and lives in the jungles of Madagascar, where they come out at night to forage.
#2 Sloth (South America)
You have probably seen this one as it’s being featured in many memes for quite some time. With their dopey faces and long claws, sloths are quite friendly creatures known for their slow movement and somewhat dull way of life. Sloths dwell in trees and eat herbs exclusively. The sloth might be small now, but some 11,000 years ago, its ancestor, the Megatherium, was larger than modern elephant.
#3 Pangolin (Asia And Africa)
A strange, yet completely harmless creature, the pangolin looks like an armored anteater. Pangolins, however, are more closely related to dogs, cats, and even seals than to anteaters or armadillos that they resemble so much. Although they look weird and maybe even scary, pangolins are harmless and easily scared. When frightened, the animal curls up in a ball. Unfortunately, the species has been endangered because of intensive illegal hunting and poaching for their meat and scales.
#4 Magnificent frigatebird (Galapagos Islands)
Native to Galapagos Islands, magnificent frigatebirds are large creatures (at least when compared to their own kind) and their wingspan is almost nearly two and a half meters wide. Also, these birds fly, and besides that, they also attack other birds in the air, trying to steal their food. Because of that, many also call them called ‘man-o’-war’ birds. Magnificent frigatebird males have a big red sack on their chests, which they balloon up to try to attract a mate.
#5 Armadillo Girdled Lizard (South Africa)
This peculiar little creature that looks like a tiny dragon is native to the Northern and Western Cape provinces of South Africa. When threatened, Armadillo Girdled Lizards roll themselves up to protect themselves from danger. Such behavior earned them their name. Unlike most other lizards, Armadillo Girdled Lizards give birth to live young, and there is some evidence that the females may feed her young, which is even more uncommon.
#6 Maned wolf (South America)
Although named “wolf”, these beautiful creatures in a genus all of their own and are closely related to other species of canid. Maned wolf is a solitary creature native to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Peru. Unlike other hunters related to them, these long-eared canids are omnivores actually, which many zoologists find very strange. Over half their diet might be vegetable matter, in fact.
#7 Velvet ants (South America)
Dangerous and mean, Velvet ants are actually wasps of multiple different breeds. People confuse them with ants because the females of these creatures are wingless and hairy. In Chile, they are called “panda ants”, because the local specimens have black and white coloring. Their sting is very painful and strong. In fact, their sting is so dangerous that they are also called “cow killers”.
#8 Capybara (South America)
Spread all over South America, Capybara is the largest rodent on the planet. They are social creatures and tend to live in large groups that often count over 100 members. Capybaras love water, so they could be found living close to rivers and lakes. Capybaras often act as a perch for various birds, which adds to their unusual appearance. They are unusually fast for their size and tend to be very friendly, even towards humans. Also, Capybaras can stay very long underwater, and they use such tactics to avoid conflict when threatened.
#9 Pink Fairy Armadillo (Argentina)
This is definitely the most enigmatic animal on our list. Pink Fairy Armadillos are rare and so small, one of them could easily fit in a human hand. They are very shy nocturnal creatures and burrow in the ground often, so it’s not easy to find one. Pink Fairy Armadillos are extremely rare, and because of that, the scientists have not even been able to classify their conservation status. These mysterious creatures live in central Argentina, giving humans a wide berth.
#10 Fossa (Madagascar)
Just like Aye-aye, this cat-like animal is also native to Madagascar. Although it looks like a cougar, Fossa is most closely related to the mongoose and other animals like it. A carnivorous creature, Fossa hunts and eats lemurs. It is the only animal on the island big enough to eat even adult lemurs. Fossa is defined by its long body, small rounded ears, and short legs. Although it looks cute, it is actually a predator, one not to be poked.