8 Times We Had to Look Closer to Spot Nature’s Secrets
It’s always a good idea to take a moment and reflect on some of nature’s strangest creatures. There are plenty out there, from small and furry, like the alpaca, to large and fearsome, like the great white shark. The world is full of uncanny animals and plants that don’t get much attention because they’re too far off our radar or in places we can’t access easily. However, they’re definitely worth knowing about.
1. The American coot
The American coot (Fulica americana) is a very unique bird that has adapted to its environment in a way that no other species of coot has. Coots have specialized lobed feet, which enable them to walk on top of pond lily pads as well as swim and dive with ease. Their palmate design allows them to walk, swim, and dive.
2. The Chinese water deer
The Chinese water deer is a small deer native to Asia. It is the only deer species in which males do not have antlers. Instead, they have tusks, which are long and curved, and sharp upper canine teeth that protrude from the mouth.
3. The lowland streaked tenrec
This small mammal is native to Madagascar. Their snouts are long and pointed, and their coats are spined. Their social behavior makes them the only species of tenrec that groups together. Moreover, it’s the only mammal to use stridulation (when an animal rubs parts of its body together to give a sound), which only insects and snakes typically do.
4. The sarcastic fringehead fish
This species is a big-mouthed blenny found in the coastal waters of California and Mexico’s Baja California. They are called “fringeheads” because of their fringed eyes, while the “sarcastic” in their name may refer to their sardonic closed mouths. Their ocean floor dens might be caves, shells, or even plastic bottles.
When 2 male fish are trying to establish dominance, they open their mouths wide at each other to determine who’s the largest fish. It looks as if they’re kissing awkwardly from a distance.
5. The hairy frogfish
While most fish are known for their smooth, streamlined appearance, the hairy frogfish, or Antennarius striatus, is a rare exception. The only twist is that it’s not hair, but rather, a small skin extension, also known as spinules, that helps this fish camouflage itself against coral and seaweed.
6. The Japanese raisin tree
Its scientific name is Hovenia dulcis and it has been used in Eastern Asian traditional medicine for thousands of years. The Japanese raisin tree bears fruit that is edible in its raw and cooked forms: when eaten fresh, the flesh tastes like pears, and when dried out, it becomes shriveled and wrinkled, just like raisins.
7. The hagfish
While they may not sound like the most exciting creatures in the world, these animals have what is probably one of their most unique abilities: they can produce slime. During predator attacks, they shoot out a slimy substance that seals the mouth and clogs the gills of the predator, allowing them to escape.
8. The armadillo
The armadillo is known for having an odd way of digging and rolling into protective balls. It’s also pretty well-known for having poor eyesight and peculiar huge front claws.
What is the most odd-looking plant or animal you’ve ever seen? Which one of these strange animals would you like to keep as a pet?