17 Rare Animals You Had No Idea Existed (17 Photos)

Courtesy : Funlyest


[post_ads_2]Crocodiles exist in many different places, but the Gharial is only found in India. It used to populate many of the large Indian rivers, but it’s now found in only a couple small tributaries and faces imminent extinction due to overfishing problems. The gharial immediately stands out because it has a long, narrow snout/mouth that looks much friendlier than the average crocodile, at least until it opens that mouth and reveals all the pointy teeth inside. The males also grow a big nasally bump at the end of their snouts, which is kind of cute, but then again all those teeth are still nasty.


The Angonoka or Ploughshare Tortoise is one of the rarest tortoises in the world and is noted for its unique shell shape and colors. Let’s keep working with Madagascar for a bit – this is the Angonoka, possibly the most endangered tortoise in the world. It is also called the Ploughshare Tortoise for the way that its shell ends in scale-like patterns around its legs. Like all tortoises, this little guy looks harmless, but they live in several small clans numbering around only 600 in total. It takes the young tortoiselings around 20 years to reach breeding age, so continuing the species takes time.


This pig-like animal is famed for it’s odd collection of jumbled tusks, but only exists on a few islands in Indonesia. The Babirusa or Pig-Deer is, well – not exactly a looker. It has the rough shape of a hairless boar, but longer legs that could look more at home on a deer, hence the common name. The males have a very unique collection of four tusks that grow so tangled together over time that the poor creature can sometimes impale itself. There are four different types of babirusa, but they all live on only four islands in Indonesia, where humans make their lives a little harder by regularly cooking them up into pork-venison.

Panda Ant

[post_ads_2]This little guy has the hair and markings of a panda, making it one of the cutest – and most deadly – ants on the planet. Is it an ant, or is it a panda? Actually, it’s a type of wasp that happens to have a white-and-black coloring pattern than can resemble a panda, as long as you are squinting (other colors of hair are possible in different subsets of the species). The Panda Ant is primarily found on the coast of Chile, but the population may be growing into northern regions. However, you may want to stay away if you find one – this is one wasp with a very, very powerful sting, and it’s been known to bring down cows. Ouch.


The okapi is not only a rare quadruped, but also managed to escape discovery until the 1900s. The okapi immediately raises so many questions. Why is it only part zebra? Did the other zebras kick it out? What is with those big flapping ears? Can I pet one? But one of the more interesting things about the okapi is that it avoided official discovery until 1901, when an explorer stumbled on them in Central Africa (the nearby pygmies had, of course, known about the okapi forever). Believe it or not, the okapi is far more closely related to the giraffe than the zebra.


The tarsier and its trademark wide-eyed gaze are some of the shyest little tree-loving primates around. You may have seen pictures of the tarsier around the Internet – there’s something about his buggy, paranoid eyes that’s somewhere between “too much coffee” and “so cute!” These tiny primates live on a small collection of islands in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.The little lemur-like animals spend most of their lives leaping from tree to tree…and oddly enough, hunting small prey like frogs and lizards. They are the only fully carnivorous primates in the world.

Javan Rhino

[post_ads_2]The Javan Rhino is one of the most endangered animals in the world, with only a few dozen left in Indonesia. There are five species of rhino in the world and each has its problems, but the Javan rhino is certainly the most rare. They used to live in Vietnam, but were eventually poached to extinction there, leaving only around 35 of the animals in the wild in Java, Indonesia’s National Park. Javan rhinos are smaller than larger rhino species and have the overall appearance of a lighter build, with smaller horns than other rhinos. Like the Indian rhino, it is known for armor-shaped skin folds.

Sao Tome Shrew

This nimble little shrew lives on one tiny African island and is growing rarer thanks to deforestation. At three inches long, the Sao Tome shrew is a tiny little scurrying rodent, but still fairly large for a shrew. These animals are known for their long snouts, and interestingly, their especially extra-white teeth, which compare favorably to the usually yellow teeth of other shrews. They live almost entirely on a small shield volcano island off the western coast of Africa. The population of Sao Tome shrews continues to decrease because of deforestation and the introduction of invasive species providing unwanted competition for food and other resources.

Bush Viper

The Bush Viper of Africa is famed for its unique scale patterns, but those fangs are still full of venom. Several things make the bush viper stand out from the snake crowd. For one thing, it is an arboreal viper species, which means that it lives and hunts primarily in trees (cue shrieking sound due to snakes falling from above). They are also found only in tropical forests in the central areas of Africa – fortunately, within these jungles the bush viper remains relatively plentiful. Another standout feature of the viper is its color. These snakes have an astonishing number of possible colors and color patterns, from lime green to beautiful mottled black-and-white scales.

Pink Fairy Armadillo

[post_ads_2]This tiny armadillo is indeed pink, and is found only in the deserts of Argentina. Just to clarify, the Pink Fairy Armadillo does not look like a fairy at all. It looks, in fact, like an armadillo. The “pink” part of the name comes the armadillo’s pinkish armored top (it’s bottom half is covered with pinkish fur, too). The “fairy” part comes from the fact that this is the smallest armadillo ever found in the world. It lives only in the desert regions of Argentina, where it digs for ants and worms spending most of its time hiding out underground.

Lowland Streaked Tenrec

The fascinating, porcupine-like tenrec is another creature found only in certain parts of Madagascar. The tenrec is one of the most unique animals in the world. It has bristles sort of like a porcupine mixed in with its fur, but a snout more like that of an anteater, and sharp orange and black coloring on its spines that look like something from a cartoon. It exists only in certain areas of Madagascar, where it does indeed scoop up ants and other insects with that long snout. The sharpest spines around its head are detachable – all the better to get rid of predators – but its underside is soft brown fur.

Durrell’s Vontsira

[post_ads]This tiny, ferret-like marsh creature is so rare that it was almost extinct immediately after being discovered in Madagascar. Madagascar is a wonderful little microcosm of animal life, complete with all sorts of rare creatures that could exist nowhere else. Point in case, the salanoia durrelli, or Durrell’s Vontsira, a small creature found in one lone marsh in the middle of the island and already endangered by other species. The few photos available make the vontsira look more like a cousin to a wolverine than anything else, but this creature is actually most like a Brown-Tailed Mongoose that really, really likes the mud.

Saiga Antelope

This odd antelope is found only in mid-southern Asia, primarily Kazakhstan. We all have a picture of antelope in our heads – the graceful, bounding deer-like creature with sweeping horns. And the Saiga antelope does meet these qualifications…except for its long, hanging snout, which makes the animal look more like something from sci-fi show than a real antelope. It uses this trunk-like snout for many different purposes, including filtering out dust when breathing, and rooting out food. The Saiga species is found only in certain arid spots in Asia, and withstands both burning hot summers and icy winters like a boss, putting the prettier antelope to shame.


Megamouth Shark

[post_ads]These oddly-shaped sharks are so rare only a handful of humans have ever seen one in the wild. Aren’t shark names fun? This shark gets its name from the way its whole body seems to funnel up to its giant mouth. However, on the terrifying scale the shark ranks pretty low: That broad mouth is fang-free, and its dopey-eyes make the shark look like less of a predator and more of a befuddled whale – it even eats via filter like whales do. Only around 70 of these sharks have ever been seen, and scientists still know very little about their habits or even where they live, although many sightings are near Indonesia.

Gooty Sapphire Ornamental Tree Spider

This spider, confined to trees in India, really does manage to look like an ornament instead of a real creature. Yes, we know that tree spiders are terrifying. But take a breath, then peek at the Gooty spider, named after the nearby Indian village where it was first discovered. The blue and white markings on its body and legs is particularly striking, and the spider generally lives up to its name as much as possible. It’s a good thing that they’re easy to notice because no one wants an 8-inch tree spider to catch them by surprise. The spider has recently been discovered here and there in one forest between the regions of Nandyal and Giddalur.

Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat

This snuffling marsupial lives in only one remote location in Australia. Australia is home to plenty of unique animals and more than its fair share of marsupials, but the northern hairy-nosed wombat is one of the most rare. Only around 163 of these animals are believed to exist in the Epping Forest National Park. They use those large, hairy noses to feed on various types of grass and sense their surroundings (they have bad eyesight), but fortunately the wombats don’t need to eat every day because of their low metabolism. Droughts and bushfires continue to endanger these surprisingly cute, burrowing creatures, but their population appears to be slowly building.

Red Wolf

The red wolf has beautifully colored fur, but may not be with us for much longer. The red wolf takes us to the United States, where this predator shows off its beautiful coat with various notes of fire and crimson. The red wolf is much smaller than the famous gray wolf, and hunts much smaller game too, like rabbits and squirrels. The United States tried to save this striking wolf in the 1970s, but genetic testing confirmed that while some hybrids remained, there were too few true red wolves left in the wild for the species to survive. By the 1980s, the red wolf was declared extinct in the wild, with only a few left in captivity.


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Juicy: 17 Rare Animals You Had No Idea Existed (17 Photos)
17 Rare Animals You Had No Idea Existed (17 Photos)
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