Our planet is inhabited by a wide variety of animals. Some species are still unexplored by scientists and there is almost no reliable information about them. The amazing animal world of the earth strikes our imagination. Some specimens are like heroes of science fiction movies. At first glance it seems that such wonders just can not exist. But they exist and are part of the earth's ecosystem and are in great need of our protection.
Flying lemurs belong to the species of six-winged lemurs. They are small, stealthy animals that lead a nocturnal lifestyle. The animal gets this name because of its folded membrane, which allows the lemur to glide between trees at a distance of up to 100 m almost without losing altitude. Six-wings can camouflage well and blend into the bark of trees. They are not easy to spot in the foliage. Flying lemurs move very swiftly along the tree trunk and very rarely come down to the ground. In search of food, the lemur can cover a distance of up to 1.5 km during the night. The weight of the zondo lemur does not exceed 2 kg, body length a little more than 40 cm, tail 10 - 27 cm.
A very unusual and rare nocturnal animal lives in northern Madagascar. It is a rutabaga or aye-aye lemur. The locals associate many superstitions with this animal. They are even afraid to pronounce the name of the animal in their native language. In fact, the Pandemonium is quite cute and harmless representative of the lemur family. The weight of an adult reaper is about 3 kg, body length reaches 44 cm. The main decoration of the animal is a fluffy tail up to 60 cm long.
It feeds on maggots, nuts, fruits, mushrooms and even on growths on tree bark. Thanks to its long fingers, it can easily get larvae from under the bark of a tree. The aye-aye lemur is on the verge of extinction and is included in the Red Book. In order to increase the number of the population, reserves are created where the animals are protected.
The axolotl is a rare animal native to Mexico that lives in freshwater with temperatures no higher than 20 degrees Celsius. The locals call the axolotl a water dog or dragon and consider it a deity. The animal is essentially the larva of the ambystoma. The offspring of the Mexican and tiger ambystoma suffer from neotenia due to a lack of the hormone thyroidin, so they never mature. At the same time, they reach sexual maturity and are capable of bearing offspring.
The ability to regenerate in axolotls never ceases to amaze. They can regrow lost gills, a tail, limbs, skin and even internal organs. Axolotls are favorites of aquarists. They are not difficult to keep at home and large, spacious aquariums with clean, cool water. The animal feeds on fish, bloodworms, tadpoles and earthworms. In captivity, it can live up to 15 years and grow to 90 cm in length.
Another representative of Madagascar's amazing fauna is the leaf-tailed gecko. It is a genius of camouflage. The flat tail and torso with veins of the Madagascar gecko resembles fallen leaves, which greatly increases the chance of not being spotted and eaten by predators. The gecko chooses its dwelling in fallen leaves under small bushes, it searches for food at night and can sit motionless on a bush for a long time during the day, imitating fallen leaves.
Another name of the lizard is the Satanic leaf-tailed gecko. In case of danger, the animal opens its red mouth with sharp teeth, trying to frighten a predator, or throws back its tail to hide from the offender. This is a rather large lizard, it grows up to 30 cm in length, can be any color from gray-beige to white with brown stripes. It is an endangered species of reptile, strictly protected by law and included in the Red Book.
The Trumpet Truncher
The most bizarre and unusual animal on earth is the trumpet tooth. It is unlike any other animal we know. Its origin is still a mystery. Its limbs resemble hooves, its body resembles a kangaroo, its muzzle resembles an anteater with hare ears and a pig snout. It is the only mammal of this species on the planet. The animal lives in Central and Southern Africa.
The pipefish is a harmless animal that lives in burrows. They are excellent diggers. The tube-tooter feeds on termites, ants, beetle and locust larvae, and can eat more than 50,000 insects in a day. In times of drought, tubeworms prefer juicy fruits and berries. Although in the wild the tube-toothed cat prefers to eat small insects and their larvae, in zoos they eat porridge, eggs, milk, and meat. The trumpet-tooter is nocturnal, hiding in burrows or basking in the sun during the day. They are slow and clumsy, so baby tube-tooters often fall prey to large predators.
The armadillo is an unusual animal native to Central and South America and the southern United States. It gets this name because of the hard shell on its back, which is a means of protection against predators. At the slightest danger, the armadillo, like a hedgehog, curls up into a ball and becomes invulnerable to almost all predators. There are about 20 species of armadillos in the wild. The largest is the giant armadillo, which is 1.5 meters long and weighs 65 kilograms. The cloaked pink armadillo is the smallest representative of this mammal species. An adult individual weighs about 100 g and has a body length of 14-16 cm.
The most studied species is the nine-lipped armadillo. Its body is covered with bony plates and in the middle of its back there are belts connected by flexible skin. It feeds on ants and termites. Sharp claws and powerful limbs allow them to quickly open termites and anthills. The animal leads a nocturnal lifestyle, live singly and do not take root in captivity. During the day, armadillos hide in their sheltering burrows.
This frog species is found in Equatorial Guinea, Congo, Cameroon, and Nigeria. Little is known about the lifestyle of hairy frogs. During the mating season, numerous skin outgrowths on the hind limbs and flanks of the male frog, which look like hair. What is the purpose of this ornamentation scientists have not yet figured out. There is an assumption that it is an additional organ of breathing and touching. Hairy frogs feed on insects and snails. Adult males are more than 10-12 cm long, females about 9 cm. Average life expectancy is 5 years.
Pangolins closely resemble armadillos and anteaters. Their body is covered with rigid, movable diamond-shaped scales. Their abdomen, muzzle, and the inside of their limbs are covered with wool. An interesting peculiarity: the edges of the pangolin's scales are always pointed; as they wear off, the scales are replaced by new ones, but the number of scales remains unchanged. Pangolins are nocturnal and feed on termites and ants. The weight of the pangolin varies from 4 to 27 kg, body length from 30 to 88 cm.
These animals are not afraid of water and eagerly bathe in bodies of water, but they use ants to clean their bodies from parasites. The pangolin climbs into the anthill, opens its scales and lets the ants bite its body. The formic acid kills the parasites. When finished, the pangolin presses the scales tightly against its body and kills the ants under the plates.
The Peters Trunk Dog
The trunk dog is a monogamous and territorial animal of the jumping dog family. They have nothing in common with their usual four-legged friends. They live in Africa and are very jealous of their territory, and the pair has a very clear division of labor. The female drives other females out of her territory and the male takes care of the representatives of the stronger sex. These animals are not tame, practically do not take root in captivity, to meet the Peters trunk dog in a zoo is a rarity.
The animal has a keen sense of smell, thanks to which it is always aware of trespassing territory and the location of the female. The head and shoulders of the animal are covered with red hair, while the rest of the body is black. A strongly elongated snout resembles a trunk. It feeds on insects that it finds in fallen leaves. This animal leads a daytime lifestyle, but at night it sleeps in nests of branches and grass.
The quokka is a short-tailed kangaroo that lives in the western part of Australia and is strictly protected by law. It is forbidden not only to take the animal out of the country, but even to touch it. It is a nocturnal marsupial animal that feeds on plant food. The quokka lives in areas covered with shrubs and grass, and may move to wetlands in times of drought.
During its life, a quokka can give birth to about 15 cubs, with only one baby in a litter. Like kangaroos, quokkas or wallabies carry their cubs in their abdominal sacs. At the moment of danger, the female can throw the baby out of the sac, thus distracting the predator's attention. This way, she buys time to escape the imminent threat.
Quokkas live in packs, they are very sociable and not afraid of people. Because of the unusual expression of their muzzle, quokkas were called "the happiest animal on earth". This is a very rare marsupial species, which is on the verge of extinction. Wallabies are protected by the World Wildlife Fund. An adult quokka weighs up to 5 kg, with a body length of about 50 cm and a tail of 30-35 cm.
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