Month: June 2023

The World’s Rarest Fish

The World’s Rarest Fish

Whether you are an experienced angler, a novice to the fishing world, or somewhere in between, it is likely that you have heard more than a few fish stories. However, whilst the lore surrounding fishing is nearly as exciting as the sport itself, the truth can be stranger than fiction.

We are looking at several rare fish that inhabit waters all over the world. Information about these unique fish is often fascinating. The facts we learn when studying the rarest fish in the world frequently outmatches all kinds of tall tales and folklore.

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1. Devil’s Hole Pupfish

Location: Devil’s Hole, Death Valley National Park Nevada, USA

Known Number: 180

Specific Characteristics and Facts: The Devil’s Hole Pupfish inhabit the smallest geographic area of any vertebrate. Devil’s Hole is a deep, water-filled cavern carved into the side of a hill several thousand years ago. While not completely mapped, the cavern is at least 152 metres deep.

Scientists believe the Devil’s Hole Pupfish have lived in the cavern for between 10,000-20,000 years. However, they will swim to depths of over 20 metres, the fish spawn on a shallow rock shelf near the surface of the cavern.

Due to recently changing environmental conditions, conservationists regard the Devil’s Hole Pupfish is a critically endangered species.

2. The Sakhalin Sturgeon

Location: The Tumnin or Datta river, northern Japan, and Korea and occasionally in the Bering Sea

Known Number: Between 10-30 Sakhalin Sturgeon spawn each year in the Tumnin River.

Specific Characteristics and Facts: The Sakhalin Sturgeon fish were sold in Japanese fish markets as recently as the 1950s. Although the species were never exceptionally abundant, the declining numbers make them a critically endangered species. Captive breeding efforts are taking place. However, experts believe the Sakhalin Sturgeon will become extinct within the next 15 years.

3. The Red Handfish

Location: Hobart’s Frederick Henry Bay off the coast of eastern Tasmania

Know Number: Between 20-40

Specific Characteristics and Facts: The unusual Red Handfish moves across the ocean floor by using its red hand-like fins. Discovered off the Tasmanian coast in the 1800s, the Red Handfish population was always limited. In recent years, the species diminished in number because of the vulnerability of the eggs the fish lay underneath seaweed.

Australian conservationists list the Red Handfish as critically endangered.

4. The Adriatic Sturgeon

Location: The Adriatic Sea, especially on the eastern coast of the Adriatic as well as the northern coast of Italy

Known Number: Fewer than 250 Adriatic Sturgeon exist. These are fish held in captivity for breeding and released into their natural habitat. The fish is functionally extinct in the wild.

Specific Characteristics and Facts: At one time, the Adriatic Sturgeon appeared in great numbers. Overfishing led to the species near extinction. Although Adriatic Sturgeon are bred and set free near Italy, scientists see no evidence that these fish spawn once released into the wild.

5. The Tequila Splitfin

Location: The Tequila Splitfin occupy a small spring pool in Rio Teuchitlan, Mexico.

Known Number: Fewer than 500 Tequila Splitfin exist.

Specific Characteristics and Facts: Between 1992 and 2005, researchers thought the tiny Tequila Splitfin was extinct because all collection efforts failed. In 2005, scientists found a population of about 500 fish living in a pool only four metres wide. Researchers in Mexico are working to rebuild the population and release Tequila Splitfin with the hope that the species can recover.

6. The Giant Sea Bass

Location: The Giant Sea Bass inhabit regions of the eastern Pacific Ocean. The area reaches from Humboldt Bay, California USA to the tip of Baja, Mexico. Giant Sea Bass are sometimes found in the northern half of the Gulf of California.

Known Number: There are fewer than 500 Giant Sea Bass in the wild

Specific Characteristics and Facts: Giant Sea Bass once flourished in the eastern Pacific. The fish tended to congregate in large groups which made them easy to catch; the species was overfished to the point of near extinction. In recent years conservationists have helped the massive creatures make a comeback. However, Giant Sea Bass are still endangered.

7.The Kissing Loach

Location: The Kissing Loach lives in the waters near Kameoka City and Okayama City, Japan.

Known Number: There are fewer than 800 Kissing Loach in the wild.

Specific Characteristics and Facts: The Kissing Loach, also known as Aymodoki, exist in three small areas in Japan. Conservation efforts to save the species have been extraordinary; volunteers ensure the groups spawn each year. Plans are underway for a conservation park for the Kissing Loach in Kameoka City, Japan.

8. Smalltooth Sawfish

Location: The Smalltooth Sawfish lives in the waters near the Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Sierra Leone, and subtropical regions of the coastal United States.

Known Number: The total global population of the Smalltooth Sawfish is unknown. United States conservationists estimate around 300 of the species are in US waters.

Specific Characteristics and Facts: A unique-looking creature with a snout that looks like a saw, the Smalltooth Sawfish resemble sharks but are more closely akin to rays. Researchers estimate that targeted fishing eliminated around 95 per cent of the population since 1962. The remaining Smalltooth Sawfish reside in tropical and subtropical waters in the western Atlantic.

9. European Sea Sturgeon

Location: Garonne River, France

Known Number: Although thousands of European Sea Sturgeon live in captivity, fewer than 750 live in their natural habitat.

Specific Characteristics and Facts: The European Sea Sturgeon living in the wild remain in the Garonne River in France. This critically endangered species once inhabited a vast area that included the North and Baltic Seas, the English Channel, European coasts of the Atlantic, northern Mediterranean west of Rhodes, as well as the western and southern Black Sea. Conservationists raise and release the European Sea Sturgeon into the wild. However, none of these fish successfully reproduced.

10. Anglerfish

Location: The Anglerfish live in the deep-sea regions of the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Arctic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

Known Number: The Anglerfish is not a critically endangered species. Its rarity comes from the fact that the species prefers a deep-water habitat. Because of this encountering, an Anglerfish is rare.

Specific Characteristics and Facts: Anglerfish are carnivorous and will go to the ocean floor in search of prey. However, Anglerfish will swim to the surface of the ocean to feast on seabirds from time to time. The species is ferocious-looking with a mouth full of razor-sharp jagged teeth as well as an antenna that attracts prey.

11. Stargazer Fish

Location: Stargazer Fish inhabit a considerable area throughout the world’s oceans and seas. These fish live in waters near New Zealand and Australia as well as the Atlantic coast of Europe and Africa. The species is also common in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

Known Number: There is not a definitive count of Stargazer Fish worldwide. The species is endangered but not near extinction.

Specific Characteristics and Facts: The venomous Stargazer Fish buries itself in sediment to wait for its prey. Because of its hunting method, the Stargazer Fish is at risk because of habitat eradication. The chief methods of habitat destruction are bottom trawling, bycatch of skates, and catching of non-target fish.

Other Rare Aquatic Life

Although not classified as fish, these fascinating creatures are exceptionally difficult to spot in the wild.

  • Ornate Sleeper Ray – Classified as a new genus and species in 2007, the Ornate Sleeper Ray occupies the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal coasts of South Africa. Critically endangered, people have seen only a handful of Ornate Sleeper Rays
  • The Goblin Shark – Frequently known as a living fossil, the Goblin Shark’s family tree goes back approximately 125 million years. The species lives in the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans and prefers areas around the continental shelves. The species is not critically endangered and are rarely seen by humans because of the depth of the habitat.
  • Gulper Eel – The Gulper Eel is an unusual member of the eel family. It has a small chest and fins. However, the Gulper Eel’s mouth is larger than the rest of its body. Seldom seen by humans, the Gulper Eel lives in the temperate and tropical regions of the world’s oceans. The species tends to reside at a depth of 500 to 3,000 metres. They vary in size, and researchers advise the eel can grow from one metre in length to the size of a small submarine.

If you are a fishing enthusiast in search of a charter, or you fancy an exceptional outing for whale watching and sightseeing, contact WA Fishing. Our staff are professionals who create the ideal atmosphere for your excursion, and we are a sought-after venue for unique and unforgettable parties and gatherings of all types. Reservations are available for one person or up to 80 passengers.

10 Things You Need To Know About And The World’s Rarest Fish

10 Things You Need To Know About And The World’s Rarest Fish

1. The Devils Hole Pupfish is the Rarest Fish in the World

There are days when life just throws you a luxurious moment, like the kind where you suddenly come to grips with being in an extraordinary place, or where you find yourself crossing paths with a type of wildlife that doesn’t exactly occupy your normal, any-old-kinda Tuesday.

However, everything going on with the Devils Hole pupfish encompasses both, arming you with plenty of reason to set some days aside—heck, even a Tuesday—to understand and live this whole excursion for yourself. It’s that cool. There is so much to write home about the Devils Hole pupfish and its crazy-alluring environment, so—please—read on!

But if you take away one thing—and one thing only—let it be this: it’s the rarest fish in the whole world. There are different types of desert pupfish, sure, but the Devils Hole variety (Cyprinodon diabolis, if you want to get technical) has only about 100-ish individuals left in existence, all living together in the smallest, and probably most unique habitat of any known vertebrate species on earth.

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2. It Was the First Ever Species to be Classified as Endangered

Yep. Read it and weep, friends. The Devils Hole pupfish was already on the radar of desert dwellers and scientists back in the 1930s, prompting the unwavering research of Ichthyologist Robert Rush Miller to shine a light on this incredibly fascinating and tremendously rare species of fish.

As the years went by, this southern section of Nevada drew more and more attention—partially because it’s straight-up visually stunning (you know what I’m talking about if you’ve been lucky enough to visit), but also because, in 1952, the area found itself newly protected when President Truman granted Death Valley its National Monument status.

Suddenly, the word was out: this place was cool. By the 1960s, hydrogeologists realized this location was unlike anywhere else on Planet Earth and installed hydrographical instruments to keep tabs on what was going down beneath the surface. Crazy, right? When, in 1966, the Endangered Species Preservation Act became a thing, the findings of Miller’s extensive studies decades earlier earned the Devils Hole pupfish first place in line at the protection office. Bragging rights on bragging rights.

3. Finding this Unreal Desert Oasis Habitat

It might sound like we’re describing some legit sci-fi sorta stuff straight off the silver screen, but we assure you that this place is not only absolutely real, but also impressively accessible from the Las Vegas Strip itself and most places in southern California. You know when you think you’re in “middle-of-nowhere” Nevada? Let this inspire you to get that perception in check, because smack-dab in the center of what you might imagine to be desolate nothingness (like so many other endlessly double-take-worthy Nevada gems) lies the desert pupfish’s incredible habitat.

The place is Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, and actually a very hard-earned portion of the Death Valley National Park complex, within the Amargosa Desert ecosystem. Maybe it’s because it’s more remote, a bit more of a challenge to access (if you’re coming from the CA side anyway,) or the fact that it’s not a glaring option in front of you the minute you roll into Death Valley headquarters. Bottom line: along with big-ticketers like Titus Canyon, Artist’s Palette and Badwater Basin, Ash Meadows totally merits a stop… a long one, at that.

After being wowed by the Devils Hole pupfish, be prepared: your understanding of the word “oasis” will finally make sense when you come to grips with the fact that TWENTY-FIVE other endemic plants and animals seek refuge from the surrounding desert at Ash Meadows—all specific varieties of life found literally nowhere else on the planet. Yeah, how about we make it middle-of-somewhere.

4. Say Hello to Natural Warm Springs Fed by an Underground, Prehistoric Ocean

There are so many qualities about Ash Meadows to impress even the snarkiest of desert snobs, but a feature you’d have to purposely avoid are the multitude of astonishing pockets of natural springs peppered throughout the area. Picture this: you’re walking along a series of prime boardwalks through a textbook desertscape, and then BAM—one of the clearest, Caribbean-esque pools of water you’d never see coming materializes in front of you. Like a legit desert mirage, these crystal clear springs certainly feel out of place, but are evidence of another time… an ancient time.

Though hard to imagine today, all of Death Valley and Ash Meadows was once completely submerged under water around 12,000 years ago. As the climate changed, water levels dramatically receded…completely drying it out to the state you can see today, leaving these unblemished pockets of water.

Interestingly enough, as these pools became isolated from each other, the newly segregated fish slowly started evolving and adapting differently. That alone is over the top attractive, but how did those pools manage to hang on in one of the hottest and driest places in existence? Here’s where it gets interesting: these natural warm and cool springs are fed by a series of underground aquifers, sometimes called fossil water. If that doesn’t kick your imagination into high gear, there might be something seriously wrong.

The water in these pockets of pools continuously flows at whopping 10,000 gallons per minute, and something scientists believe to be the runoff from precipitation that fell on the surrounding mountains in the Pleistocene Era over 10,000 years ago.

The water flows very, very slowly into the carbonate rock aquifer and becomes more and more alkali over time. And get this, enough of this water essentially forms an entire underground, prehistoric ocean that flows underneath the Nevada National Security Site and pushed upward to Ash Meadows along fault lines at specific geographical points.

If that’s not enough to wet your whistle, a study conducted at BYU in 2010 confirmed what hydrologists basically already knew: water arriving at Ash Meadows has completed a 15,000 year journey flowing from the area beneath the NNSS. This hydrological network connects massive channels of ancient aquifers throughout southeastern California and southwestern Nevada, Ash Meadows just happens to be one of the best examples. Total. Mindblower.

5. A Sacred Place for the Timbisha People

So, what was happening around 10,000 years ago in Ash Meadows, besides retreating water levels? Before European-American explorers were called west by the California gold fields, the area we now know as Ash Meadows NWR was home to the Timbisha People, a Southern Paiute branch of the Shoshone.

All water is sacred to just about everyone in such an arid environment like this, but this area was something of a particularly spiritual nature for the Timbisha. When eyeing down these extremely vibrant pools, it’s a no-brainer that they’re a rarity and should be respected to the umpteenth degree.

The Timbisha held the natural springs at Ash Meadows with the highest honor because they provided such an artery of life—dependable water sources like these pools meant clean drinking water, food and bathing on the regular.

Probably what’s most interesting is that the Timbisha not only worshiped the springs, but also authored a boatload of fascinating cultural folklore about them, too. In a version of one legend, mothers would warn their children not play in the spring-fed pools for too long because they believed creatures would eventually emerge from the pool’s unknown depths and swallow them whole.

And the story of Tso’apittse—who the Timbisha believed was an evil giant who lived in the caves or springs in surrounding mountains—would reveal himself only to snatch and gobble up unsuspecting victims. So, see? It’s not just us and the folks at Death Valley who are thinkin’ this place has something special going on… to the Timbisha, it’s 9,000 year-old news.

6. The One-and-Only Devils Hole

This ultra-unique, teensy endangered fish lives in this crazy habitat unlike anywhere else in the world—DEVILS HOLE. Just look at the photo pictured above; this place needs barely needs an intro. Like we were talking about in #3, each of the natural springs—we’re talking every individual pool—at Ash Meadows basically has its own version of an ancient tiny fish.

They were all essentially the same type when the area was totally covered in water, but as it dried up, the fish in each separate pool slowly started to evolve differently into a subspecies of the Pupfish. In short, there are several types of desert pupfish, but the Devils Hole desert pupfish is the rarest of them all. The reason? They were the first group of fish to be isolated in their own environment, confined to Devils Hole for 10,000 to 12,000 years. Far longer than any other fish at Death Valley, including its “nearest cousin,” the Ash Meadows Amargosa Pupfish, who’s also secured it’s own spot on the endangered species list.

The mere fact that this place is the habitat to the world’s rarest fish is satisfying enough, but—trust us—it gets even better. Perfectly camouflaged against the mountainside, this phenomenal cavern opened up 60,000 years ago.

Sounds like exaggeration, but it really did go down that long ago. Like the other natural springs in Ash Meadows, Devils Hole is full of that extraordinary fossil water mentioned earlier, but this particular source is a natural warm spring sitting at a constant 92 degrees. Plus the water is a spectacular spectrum of crystal-clear blues, with pristine-as-they-come limestone walls. Together, they’re said to make up every color of the rainbow.

Aside from its ancient aquifer carrying it through all these years, the 8-by-60-foot opening just so happens to be oriented in such a way that has catered to the Devils Hole desert pupfish’s extremely particular habitat needs. All of those physical features—not to mention hours of sunlight per day and other various environmental factors—are all qualities this very finicky fish doesn’t just prefer, but, due to its evolution, now depends on.

Its seriously narrow opening is more than enough reason to probe what lies beneath, right? Since we already know there is a complex maze of underground interconnected geological features, you may be thinking, this thing must reach crazy depths.

You’re right… the thing is, Devils Hole is so profound, scientists haven’t been able to understand just how deep it actually is—as in they’ve never found the bottom. Research divers entered Devils Hole in 1991 and reached a depth of 436 feet, but could still see an additional 150 feet below before losing line of sight.

What’s most fascinating is this: its depth is so complicated that researchers think it may be connected to other parts of the world. In 2012, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Oaxaca, Mexico—a place that’s 2,000 miles away from Ash Meadows—created a tsunami in Devils Hole. Visitors can get near Devils Hole via a fenced-in scaffolding, but, because it’s home to the rarest fish on Earth and part of a cavern we just can’t quite figure out yet, the thing is pretty locked down.

I’m definitely OK with not being able to climb down in there… because after all, stuff way bigger than our lifetime is going on down here and conservation is quite simply mandatory.

7. The Story Behind the Name

Ok, so we know there’s American Indian history going on here and that there were early pioneers passing through. If a place’s name doesn’t have some cultural significance to the people who originally dwelled there, it’s not uncommon to see it christened with “gold” or “silver” in its name, especially since Nevada is home to the most ghost towns in the U.S. and most abandoned mining features, too.

In this case, neither are true… so how exactly was Devil’s Hole named? Well, the name Devils Hole was originally used to describe the cave system all the way back in 1891. Shockingly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture existed during this time and funded an expedition to map the flora and fauna in Death Valley, which was the first official scientific collection of fish species living here.

What’s most interesting is “devil” references were actually pretty commonplace in naming thermal. Scientists doing these types of field studies referred to a bunch of landscapes and geologic features around the nation, including states like New York, Pennsylvania and Utah. So when this super early study went down, their casual naming convention—Devils Hole—stuck and what we call this bewitching place a whole 120 years later.

8. Gimme Those Pupfish Specs

If the mere fact that this creature has managed to stay afloat in what most would consider to be an inhospitable environment for TEN THOUSAND YEARS isn’t enough to keep you laser focused, relax. we got you. Surprisingly enough, a fish with such huge stats is actually very tiny—the smallest of all variety of Pupfish in fact.

These dudes are typically average about ¾ of an inch in length, and have large heads but no pelvic fins. Males are usually an iridescent, deep solid blue with a black band on the tail (like the one pictured above) while females are almost olive colored. Although no one has been able to figure out just how deep their habitat is and this thing could go potentially on forever, the Devils Hole Pupfish ironically just wants to hang out near the surface.

Irony at its finest, right? Though the Pupfish have been found as deep as 80ish feet in Devils Hole, they live near the top because they rely on shallowly submerged limestone. That, and get this: owls sometimes roost in this protected habitat, and the Pupfish will sometimes eat their nutrient-rich pellets that fall into the water.

The Devils Hole pupfish are laid back creatures, rarely defending their mating territories like some of their other more aggressive cousins. Their population changes depending on the season, but as it stands, the Devils Hole Pupfish is at an all time low count, sitting under 100. There are a thousand ways to describe just how remarkable these tiny beings are, but the fact of the matter is this: they beat all odds and are what scientists describe to be an American example of orphaned evolution. Totally special on special, the Devils Hole pupfish is the straight up symbol for conservation biology… and rightfully so.

8. Equal Parks Mystery and Grandeur

When Death Valley became a protected National Monument in the 50s, it didn’t take long for this exotic landscape to catch the attention of explorers. The geography, range of light and tonal variation in the Nevada desert is enough to keep anyone who visits coming back for more, but once Devils Hole was out in the open, it drew famous adventurers like moths to a flame.

Famous adventurers like Jim Houtz, to be exact, who had a fanatical obsession with deep sea diving. We still understand so little about the uncharted territory that exists in Devils Hole, but before he took the plunge, we really had little to go off of. Houtz was rarely indoors in his younger years, but became totally infatuated with diving… so much that he later became part of the U.S. Navy’s submarine forces on an underwater demolition team—a precursor to the infamous Navy SEALs. He spent his career with the Navy, but retired by the mid 1960s.

A retired guy with a highly-publicized mapping of an unexplored underwater cavern showing up in the news every other day? As you can imagine, not much could keep Houtz away, and he officially became the very first scuba diver to explore Devils Hole and even went on to complete over 300 dives in the cave. With that kind of diving swag, it’s easy to imagine Houtz had infinite prowess, but this one surely takes the cake… up until 1965, the world record holder for a deep cave dive was none other than legendary Jacques Cousteau. That is, until Houtz beat him, exceeding a 315 foot dive at none other than the fabulous Devils Hole.

9. Extreme Complexities Below the Surface

As you might suspect, Death Valley and the discovery of Devils Hole was hugely broadcast all over the nation, but when Houtz led the endless, record-setting dives here, it upped the ante. If you were living during the 50s and 60s and paying any attention to the news, this place was most definitely on your radar. A couple of kids from Vegas started reading stories about Houtz’s dives and—come on—this was straight Journey to the Center of the Earth type stuff going on. I’m getting totally carried away now, 60ish years later, but imagine reacting to this stuff real time. We’d be hooked too. And get this: this story couldn’t get any more Vintage Vegas, either.

Paul Giancontieri first became enchanted with Devils Hole and what Houtz described as an ‘underground lake’ after seeing it the newspaper, so this 19 year old cafeteria worker at the Nevada Test Site convinced his 20 year old Vegas casino parking attendant brother-in-law David Rose that they needed to take a dip themselves. They convinced their buddy, Bill Alter and his younger brother Jack to come along, so on a warm summer night in 1965, the four boys jumped the fence surrounding Devils Hole to illegally explore its mysterious underwater caverns. While Paul, David and Bill dove in, Jack was the lookout. When Paul didn’t resurface, David and Bill went back in to look for him, but Bill turned back after he lost sight of David. But the thing is, neither Paul or David never returned, and their bodies were never found.

And you want to know irony at its finest? Houtz, the accomplished diver that inspired their illicit jaunt, was the very diver who was called in by the government to lead their 36 hour long search and rescue mission. Though Houtz and team of trained military personnel and other volunteer drivers conducted numerous dives in an effort to recover the brother’s in law, the search and rescue mission was ultimately called off. The only recoverable items found were a diving mask and snorkel, along with a flashlight tied to a ledge 100 feet below the surface—most likely serving as a failed breadcrumb of sorts. During this rescue mission, though untethered and unable to reach the bottom, Houtz described the underground channels connecting “room” to room as infinite.

10. Bring on that Weird Nevada

Not that it’s particularly thrilling to tie an over the top amazing location with one of the hugest wackos of all time, but here’s some pop culture you might dig. It’s no secret that Charlie Manson and his gang of nutsos were creeping around the Nevada deserts right before they went on their horrid killing spree in the 60s. He was enchanted with the desert and, whether it was in Nevada or southern California, story goes that he and all his brainwashed friends staked out at various remote locations for up to several weeks. Turns out, it wasn’t just the Timbisha and modern day scientists who were completely infatuated with Devils Hole in the 1960s… even Charles Manson was drawn to this wondrous place for its cryptic qualities.

Supposedly, Manson thought Death Valley had a portal to the underworld, and basically became obsessed trying to find it. They wanted to find it so he and his “Family” could spend their time during what they believed to be an upcoming apocalypse caused by a “race war.” That, and he was most likely looking for a place where he and his cult following would be able to set up shop for a while. Story goes that when he finally found Devils Hole, he sat near the edge, staring into the unknown depths and mediated for three days straight. He believed it fit the criteria for a portal to hell—he just needed to figure out a way to drain it. Ha, yeah, OK. Good one Charlie. We know how that would turn out.



As bird-lovers, we know that these are the most beautiful creatures in the world and also – the most vulnerable. Human activity, deforestation and other world-changing conditions have made a huge impact on our feathery friends and many are now on the brink of extinction.

According to EDGE, one in eight species of birds is now on the brink of extinction. There are conservation and breeding programs all over the world trying to protect these rare birds and to help them increase in number so they can return to the wild.

I’ve compiled a list of 10 birds here which are not only rare – but also unique in their appearance and behaviour.

Want to attract the rarest birds to your garden?

Bird feeders are a natural magnet for rare birds. By using a high quality feeder with high quality bird seed you could have amazing bird visitors in no time, and you’re helping nature to balance urban development.

Click here to see our selection of the best bird feeders on the planet that will attract the rarest birds in your neighborhood!

10. GOLDEN PHEASANT (Chrysolophus pictus)

You might have seen these pheasants at the zoo but those are actually hybrids.

The real golden pheasants are native to the Western forests of China. Named after their golden crests, we are wowed by the male’s colorful body! They can grow up to 41 inches long and the tail is 2/3 the length of the entire body. Golden pheasants are really hard to find and there is little known about them as they are seldom seen in their natural habitat.

There are only about 1000-2000 of these beautiful birds left.

9. CEBU FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum quadricolor)

Found only in the Cebu Islands in the Philippines, these birds were thought to be extinct due to the disappearance of their habitat. But in 1992 they popped up again in a small limestone forest in the Central Cebu Protected Landscape.

Their name, Quadricolor, refers to the 4 colors of the male’s plumage: blue, red, white and yellow. Cebu Flowerpeckers are frugivorous which means they eat only fruit and seeds.

There are only 105 Cebu Flowerpeckers in the world. A great effort is now made to conserve them.


Also known as the “Enigmatic Owlet-Nightjar” this is one of the most mysterious of all the rare birds on the list. Bigger than the Australian Owlet-Nightjar, it was second in size only to the New Zealand Owlet-Nightjar which is now extinct.

Back in 1880, only two New Caledonian Owlet-Nightjars were collected. One of them was discovered as he flew into a bedroom in Tonghoué, a small village in New Caledonia. By 1915 only very few were spotted. Researchers believe that their numbers haven’t risen.

The New Caledonian Owlet-Nightjar is black with grey stripes with a long slightly rounded tail, short, rounded wings, and long, stout legs showing he is a ground feeder. Its voice is unknown but it is assumed he makes similar sounds to other Owlet-Nightjars: whistles and prolonged trilling sounds.

Less than 50 New Caledonian Owlet-Nightjars are left and no conservation efforts have been made to conserve this species.

7. IMPERIAL AMAZON (Amazona imperialis)

The Dominican Republic’s Imperial Amazon, locally known as the sisserou, is endemic to this Caribbean island and is its national bird.

The species is critically endangered. In 2019, it was estimated there were only about 50 mature individuals left in the wild, down from a previous count of hundreds. The reason for this was twofold: a serious loss of natural habitat and to make things worse, Hurricane Maria.

Imperial Amazons are about 19 inches long, weighing about 23 oz (females) or 32 oz (males). Rather big for a parrot! As they are very shy, they travel in groups of three at most. Sometimes they feel comfortable enough to flock together with red-necked amazons. They are good climbers and strong flyers with powerful wings. They prefer to perch on the tops of trees. They are difficult to detect, as they are well camouflaged by their plumage.

6. BLUE-EYED GROUND-DOVE (Columbina cyanopis)

These lovelies are the rarest and most endangered doves in the world, found in the Cerrado region of Brazil. For 75 years they were thought to be extinct, until 12 of this species were happily rediscovered in 2015!

Ornithologist Rafael Bessa heard a mysterious bird call, recorded it and when he played it back, discovered that it was the Blue-eyed Ground-Dove. To his surprise, they were not extinct after all.

Named for their shimmering blue eyes which match the spots on their wings, the azure blue is a striking contrast to the rest of their mud-brownish-red plumage.

5. Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus)

The kakapo is a nocturnal, flightless parrot endemic to New Zealand with no close relatives at all! This odd-looking yet sweet bird is critically endangered.

Kakapos are loners who never leave their territory but stay in the same range for most of their life.They nibble seeds, plants and various fruit from the ground though they can climb high into trees. They like to leap from trees and flap their flightless wings, but at best, manage a comical yet controlled plummet.

Before Man arrived on the islands of New Zealand, this bird was very common throughout all the forests but when humans and other predatory mammals arrived, their numbers dropped dramatically. By the 1990’s, there were only 50 left and now none can be found in the wild, but in conservation parks where much effort is being invested to bring their numbers up again.

4. Rufous-headed Hornbill (Rhabdotorrhinus waldeni)

Native to the Philippines, the Rufous-headed Hornbill is one of the most endangered of its species. They sport a bony ‘casque’ which sticks out from the top of their wrinkly red-orangey bills. The bill may seem strong but it is actually structurally thin with hollow bone cells.

Rufous-headed Hornbills have an interesting way of protecting their little ones: both mama and papa use saliva and mud to build a wall across the entrance to a tree cavity, essentially sealing the female and eggs inside. They leave a small hole at the top through which the male can pass food. And if that isn’t enough, the parents are extremely territorial when defending the nest.

The Rufous-Headed Hornbill is now extinct on some of the Philippine Islands due to severe deforestation, in addition to hunting and nest poaching. However a great conservation effort is being made to save them, mainly by guarding their nests. Optimistically, their numbers seem to be back on the rise.

3. New Zealand Rock Wren (Xenicus gilviventris)

As one hears from the name, the New Zealand rock wren is endemic to the South Island of New Zealand. Its Māori name, pīwauwau, means “little complaining bird” and mātuitui which means “twitch”, after its bobbing motion.

The New Zealand rock wren is not the best flyer, it can hardly manage more than 7 feet off the ground or distances of more than 100 feet! They hop and run in a very unusual way as they bob their heads and flick their wings.

They have long stout legs, making them good rock climbers. They can survive in high altitudes, with snow year round, up to a height of 1000 feet.

Rock wrens eat mainly invertebrates from the ground, as well as berries, seeds and nectar from flax flowers.

The New Zealand rock wren population decreased dramatically almost by 50% between 1985-2005. The remaining survivors were removed to the southern tip of the southern island for conservation, closely monitored and kept away from their main predators, stoats and rats.

2. STRESEMANN’S BRISTLEFRONT (Merulaxis stresemanni)

The Stresemann’s Bristlefront is one of the rarest birds on earth – so rare that there is only one left.

Researchers thought all was lost until in December 2018 in Brazil, one Bristlefront was spotted. You would think this would have brought hope for the species but unfortunately due to the loss of most of their habitat in the Atlantic forests of the Americas, the chances are pretty slim. The Atlantic Forest has been reduced to less than 8 percent of what it was and as a result, many species have become completely extinct.

The Stresemann’s Bristlefront is an unusual species. These long tailed burrow nesters from the Rhinocryptidae family get their name from the feathers on their heads. They are almost 8 inches long. The male is charcoal gray and the female a reddish cinnamon brown.

1. South Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher (Ceyx melanurus)

For the first time in 130 years, this Philippine-based bird has been spotted, and for the first time ever – photographed and exposed to the world!

One of the most unpredictable flyers, this cute little species managed to evade us since 1890. The South Philippine dwarf kingfisher has a stunningly coloured plumage with a kaleidoscope of metallic lilac, orange, and bright blue spots. They breed and roost in tropical or subtropical habitats such moist lowland forests.

Their numbers are endangered to habitat loss. The scientist Miguel David De Leon as well as the rest of his team have dedicated their careers to studying, documenting and ensuring this sweet birds conservation.


Vogelkop Superb bird-of-paradise (Lophorina niedda)

As bonus let’s talk about the beginning of a new species – of a rare bird recently discovered!

For many years, this bird was mistaken for the wider-spread though closely related Superb Bird-of-Paradise. Recently, ornithologists recognized major differences in the two birds such as different mating dances, different female attributes and even different chirps. So they classified the Vogelkop Superb Bird-of-Paradise as a species of its own.

Both birds are endemic to New Guinea, but the Vogelkop Superb Bird-of-Paradise is found only in the Bird’s Head (Vogelkop) island in the far west.

The courtship dance is a wonder to watch! (I highly recommend watching it in the video below.) The male performs an elaborate dance in which he spreads out his black cape like a movie screen – and on that screen are tantalising bright blue breastplates and blue eyes that star in an all-absorbing blackness.

He moves around the female, back and forth in a semi-circle, until the female can resist no longer and gives in.

Ready to find the rarest birds in your area?

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10 of the Largest Living Creatures in the Sea

10 of the Largest Living Creatures in the Sea

The largest living things in the world call the sea their home, and in fact, the largest creature to have ever lived on the planet currently resides in the ocean. Some of these creatures remain elusive and wildly mysterious. That’s what happens when you live in a place as unexplored as the ocean. And that’s also why it has been especially difficult to nail down the size of certain sea creatures. At least it was until a group of scientific researchers embarked on a comprehensive survey and review of past studies for the largest known marine species. Here is what they found.

Lion’s Mane Jellyfish | Total Length: 120 Feet (36.6 Meters)

While the blue whale is the overall-largest creature of the sea, the lion’s mane jellyfish goes to the top of the list for being the longest. These languid beauties have tentacles that reach an astonishing 120 feet in length.3 It’s hard to know why they are graced with such extraordinary appendages. They are said to get tangled in marine debris or with other tentacles, and as they take notably more time to contract, they are more vulnerable to predators with a taste for jellyfish arms. That said, their long main of poison-equipped tentacles makes an excellent trap for prey.

Blue Whale | Total Length: 108.27 Feet (33 Meters)

Most of us have seen photos of a glorious, gigantic blue whale; but without something to show scale, it’s hard to fathom just how tremendous they are in size. The blue whale is the largest animal ever known to have existed — even out-sizing dinosaurs. They weigh up to 441,000 pounds. Their hearts are the size of a car; their heartbeats can be detected from two miles away.4 At birth, they already rank amongst the largest full-grown animals. Because of commercial whaling, the species almost went extinct by the 20th century. Thankfully, it has slowly recovered following the global whaling ban. That said, there are fewer than 25,000 individuals left. These animals remain endangered and face a number of serious threats including ship strikes and the impacts of climate change.5

Sperm Whale | Total Length: 78.74 Feet (24 Meters)

At almost 80 feet in length, the beautiful sperm whale happens to be the largest of the toothed whales and the largest toothed predator of all. If you were to place it on its end and put it on the street, it would be as tall as an eight-story building. Its clicking call can be as loud as 230 decibels underwater, equivalent to 170 decibels on land— about the loudness of a rifle shot within a few feet of one’s ear.6 It has the largest brain of any animal on the planet, tipping the scales at around 20 pounds.7 Unfortunately for the sperm whale, they were fiercely hunted in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Whalers sought the spermaceti — a waxy substance found in cavities in the whale’s head — which was used for candles, soap, cosmetics, lamp oil, and many other commercial applications.8 Before whaling, there were an estimated 1.1 million sperm whales. Today, there are several hundred thousand — which may be a lot compared to other whales in peril, but still disheartening given their once abundant population.

Whale Shark | Total Length: 61.68 Feet (18.8 Meters)

Meet the largest fish in the sea, the beautiful whale shark. These majestic giants roam the oceans across the planet, looking for plankton and doing other things that fish do — sometimes even playing with people who love to swim with them. At 60 feet in length, if you run into a whale shark, you’re unlikely to miss this friendly creature. If the shark’s size doesn’t get your attention, the distinct light and dark markings should.9 More whale than shark, these fish are listed as endangered as they are still hunted in some parts of the world.10

Basking Shark | Total Length: 40.25 Feet (12.27 Meters)

The basking shark is, to the best of our knowledge, the second largest fish in the modern ocean. The largest one on record measured in at over 40 feet — about the length of a school bus. And even more impressively, they can weigh in the range of 8,500 pounds.11 The basking shark is often seen with its enormous snout open wide near the water’s surface. But not to worry should you come across one while taking a dip in the ocean; they are gentle giants with a diet of mostly plankton, fish eggs, and larvae.

Giant Squid | Total Length: 39.37 Feet (12 Meters)

Taking the prize for being the longest cephalopod is the giant squid.12 Scientists have had few opportunities to observe the incredibly elusive animals in their natural habitat. The first time a giant squid was filmed in its deep-sea home was in 2012 by a group of scientists from Japan’s National Science Museum. What we have learned about this enormous cephalopod is that it has quite a reach. Their feeding tentacles can catch prey at distances of over 30 feet. The giant squid is also legendary in the realm of sea monster tales where it has been associated with the sea monster Kraken.

Giant Pacific Octopus | Radial Spread: 32.15 Feet (9.8 Meters)

The aptly named giant Pacific octopus is the biggest cephalopod of all. This oversized octopus has a radial spread of more than 32 feet. Though typically reddish brown, the octopus can change its color when threatened or in need of camouflage.13 Intelligent by nature, the giant Pacific octopus can open jars, solve mazes, and play with toys. Aquariums often have enrichment activities for the octopuses to engage their brains. In the wild, the giant Pacific octopus is found throughout the Pacific from Alaska to Baja California, and as far northeast as Japan.

Oarfish | Total Length: 26.25 Feet (8 Meters)

The decidedly odd shaped oarfish is often referred to as a sea serpent or dragon. These guys are long — the longest bony fish that we know of — and live at depths of 3,300 feet. Because they reside in the deep dark water columns of the open ocean and rarely come to the surface, they are not often seen alive and healthy. Most of our knowledge comes from specimens that have washed ashore. Oarfish, also known as ribbonfish, are long — 26 feet — and do not have scales. They are also known for their large eyes, all the better to see in their deep, dark habitat.

Ocean Sunfish | Total Length: 10.82 Feet (3.3 Meters)

Also known as a mola mola, the wonderfully weird ocean sunfish is the heaviest of all bony fish.14 Affectionately called a “swimming head,” the giant fish without a tail has been measured at 10.82 feet and an astonishing 5,070 pounds. And if you’re wondering how a fish without a tail swims, it powers itself by its mighty fins. These fins also allow them to swim on their side. Generally a solitary fish, ocean sunfish are sometimes found in groups when cleaning. Ocean sunfish have a diet consisting mainly of jellyfish and zooplankton. Their predators include sharks and sea lions.

Japanese Spider Crab | Leg Span: 12.14 Feet (3.7 Meters)

With a leg span of over 12 feet, the Japanese spider crab is an arthropod, from the same phylum that includes crustaceans, spiders, and insects. And it is not only the largest crab or crustacean in the family, but it also holds the title for the largest living arthropod of all.15 As the Japanese spider crab ages, its legs continue to grow while its carapace remains the same size. Juvenile Japanese spider crabs are known to decorate their shells for camouflage.

Why This Matters to boisetaxicompany

Understanding our fellow creatures is key to protecting biodiversity and habitat conservation. We hope that the more we learn about amazing species like the ones on this list, the more motivated we’ll all be to help protect our oceans.

12 of the weirdest deep-sea creatures that lurk in the oceans

12 of the weirdest deep-sea creatures that lurk in the oceans

While the ocean remains largely unexplored, we occasionally get a glimpse of the weird and wonderful creatures that eke out a living in the deep (like the ever-popular blobfish). Here are some that are totally out-of-this-world.


Two hundred metres is all that separates you from an alien world, right here on Earth. Descend that far into the ocean, and you enter the ‘twilight zone’ of the deep sea, where the Sun’s rays gradually fade away and animals play a deadly game of hide-and-seek with predators in the shadows.

Dive down beyond 1,000 metres and you’re in the ‘midnight zone’, a vast darkness punctuated by flashes of light from life forms that hunt for food and seek mates here. It’s a world with terrifying teeth, like those of the fangtooth fish. But don’t let the fangtooth scare you: it’s about the size of a grapefruit.


Lots of different animals drift in the ‘inner space’ of the deep ocean, where they are collectively known as zooplankton – from the Greek for ‘animal drifters’. Some of them live their whole lives as drifters, such as the ‘seed shrimp’ (1) tucked up in its orange carapace, and the ‘sea butterfly’ (2) – a snail that swims instead of crawls.

Others are only temporary members of the zooplankton – the larval stages of animals such as sea stars (3), which eventually sink back down to continue their lives on the seafloor. Spending time as drifters means they can be carried to new places by ocean currents, if they’re not eaten by other zooplankton on the way.

Leptocephalus larva

Ocean animals often have early stages in their life cycles that are very different from their adult form. This leaf-like leptocephalus larva will eventually develop into an adult eel, transforming the shape of its body.

Having a thin, see-through body as a larva may help it to survive the gauntlet of predators in the zooplankton as it grows. Because the larvae and adults look so different, larval forms were often described as different species from the adults, until marine biologists realised they were different stages of one life cycle.


Copepods are tiny crustaceans, typically only a millimetre or two in size, and are often eaten by deep-sea fishes such as the thread-tail and the stoplight loosejaw. Most copepods graze on microscopic algae that thrive near the ocean surface, and their faeces and dead bodies help to carry carbon into the deep below.

But these ‘sea sapphire’ copepods are different: the females live as parasites inside drifting jelly animals called salps, while these colourful males swim free in the ocean. The males have tiny crystal plates in their skin that reflect blue light, giving them a glittering appearance.

Dragonfish and Hatchetfish

Like underwater fireflies, many deep-sea animals can produce spots or flashes of light, known as bioluminescence.

In the twilight zone, the remnants of sunlight cast shadows that reveal animals to predators, so lots of species in this zone are speckled with lights for camouflage. The underside of the hatchetfish, for example, has bioluminescent organs that match the faint light coming from above, breaking up its silhouette.

Down in the midnight zone, animals such as the dragonfish use bioluminescent searchlights to find their prey. And throughout the deep ocean, creatures signal with lights to other members of the same species, to attract a mate, for example.

Stoplight Loosejaw

The stoplight loosejaw fish is one of the stealthiest predators in the deep. Its lower jaw is an open frame of bone with no fleshy floor across it, which means it can snap shut very quickly like a mousetrap. And it’s called ‘stoplight’ because the bioluminescent organs near its eyes produce red light.

Most bioluminescence in the deep ocean is blue, as that colour travels well through water, and the eyes of many deep-sea animals aren’t sensitive to red light. But the stoplight loosejaw can see red, so it can light up its prey without alerting them to the danger.

Glass squid

There are around 60 species of glass squid in the ocean, and they get their name from their transparent bodies – a neat trick to avoid casting a shadow that could be spotted by predators in the twilight zone.

The top image is the juvenile of a lyre cranch squid. The two appendages sticking out from it are eyes on long stalks. Those eyes are more opaque than the rest of its body, so each eye also has a bioluminescent organ to mask its shadow. But when this juvenile grows up, those stalks will disappear, and it will move down to live in the midnight zone as an adult.

Cock-eye squid

Squid in the deep ocean come in a range of sizes, from the Kraken-like giant squid that can stretch more than 10 metres to the tips of its longest tentacles, to tiddlers measuring about 15 centimetres long.

And deep-sea squid come in a variety of shapes too: the cock-eye squid, also known as the strawberry squid, has one eye twice the size of the other. It swims in the twilight zone with the large eye looking up for shadows cast by potential prey, and the smaller eye keeping a lookout for possible predators below.

Thread-tail fish and Boxer snipe eel

The thread-tail fish and the boxer snipe eel have long, thin, ribbon-like bodies. The thread-tail’s body is about 30 centimetres long, with streamers twice as long on its tail, which gives this fish its name. Its other name is the ‘tube-eye fish’ thanks to the binocular-like lenses of its eyes, which are used to spot the shadows of prey in the twilight zone. So unusual is the tube-eye fish, that it’s the only species in an entire taxonomic order.

The boxer snipe eel grows to nearly 1.5 metres long, and feeds by sweeping its long jaws through the water, snagging the appendages of passing crustaceans on its fine teeth.


Life can be scarce in the dark depths, which is a problem when animals need to find a partner for mating. Hanging on to a potential mate is a good solution, and some deep-sea anglerfishes take that to extremes.

The males are much smaller than the females, and when boy meets girl, he gives her body a kiss that lasts the rest of his life. The male’s blood supply joins up with the female’s through his lips, and he lives off her like a parasite while she catches prey with her bioluminescent lure. But the dangling male is a handy accessory for the female to carry around, ready to fertilise her eggs when she releases them.

17 Hewan Raksasa Zaman Purba dan Modern

17 Hewan Raksasa Zaman Purba dan Modern

Hewan Raksasa – Selain manusia dan tumbuhan, bumi juga menjadi habitat bagi jutaan spesies hewan. Setiap spesies hewan tersebut memiliki ukuran tubuh yang beraneka ragam. Bahkan tak sedikit hewan berukuran besar atau disebut hewan raksasa.

Untuk menentukan ukuran hewan, kita bisa mengukur panjang, tinggi, dan berat tubuhnya. Meski kini beberapa hewan raksasa sulit ditemukan karena telah punah dan menjadi fosil, namun di masa lalu hewan-hewan berukuran besar ini ternyata pernah hidup berdampingan dengan manusia.

Berikut ini adalah beberapa contoh hewan berukuran raksasa yang pernah hidup di bumi tapi kini telah punah, antara lain:

1. Argentavis magnificens

Secara harfiah, Argentavis magnificens berarti burung Argentina yang luar biasa. Dulu, burung ini banyak ditemukan di kawasan Argentina dan Amerika Selatan.

Burung raksasa Argentavis magnificens memiliki ukuran mencapai dua meter dengan rentang sayap sepanjang tujuh meter. Jika disandingkan, hewan raksasa ini nyaris sebesar pesawat Cessna 152.

2. Smilodon

Hewan raksasa berikutnya adalah Smilodon, yaitu kucing bertaring tajam yang memuncaki sebagai predator hampir di seluruh dunia selama 42 juta tahun. Namun sayangnya, Smilodon punah sekitar 10 ribu tahun silam.

Menariknya, Smilodon diketahui telah berevolusi membentuk beberapa garis keturunan spesies baru. Beberapa jenis baru dari Smilodon adalah antaranya Smilodon fatalis, Smilodon gracilis, dan Populator Smilodon.

Smilodon berasal dari Bahasa Yunani yang berarti pisau dan gigi. Penamaan ini sangat sesuai dengan penampakannya, karena kucing raksasa ini memiliki taring besar melengkung dengan panjang mencapai 28 cm. Kucing hutan raksasa yang mengerikan ini dulunya hidup di hutan Amerika Utara, Amerika Selatan, hingga Amerika Tengah.

3. Megalodon

Menurut teori para ilmuwan dunia, kepunahan megalodon disebabkan karena makanan utamanya hilang dari samudera. Super predator bersirip yang menyeramkan ini pernah hidup di perairan bumi sekitar 16 juta tahun yang lalu.

Megalodon adalah salah satu jenis ikan raksasa yang mampu tumbuh hingga 18 meter atau sebesar dua bus bertingkat yang disejajarkan. Tidak hanya memiliki tubuh yang besar, megalodon juga mempunyai mulut super lebar.

4. Megatherium

Hewan raksasa berikutnya adalah megatherium yang sering disebut sebagai kukang tanah raksasa. Habitat megatherium berada di sekitar kawasan Amerika Utara dan Amerika Selatan sekitar 2,6 juta tahun yang lalu.

Megatherium adalah jenis mamalia terbesar yang pernah hidup di muka bumi. Bobot tubuhnya mencapai 4.000 kilogram yang nyaris sebesar seekor gajah. Apabila dibandingkan dengan kukang yang sering kita lihat saat ini, tentu saja ukurannya sangat berbeda jauh.

5. Woolly Rhinoceros

Woolly rhinoceros atau badak berbulu memiliki panjang tubuh tiga meter dengan berat antara 1.800 sampai 2.700 kg. Binatang raksasa ini telah berkeliaran di bumi sejak akhir zaman es sekitar 8 ribu tahun SM.

Para ilmuwan percaya, salah satu penyebab kepunahan Wooly rhinoceros ialah karena perubahan iklim yang terjadi pada 10 ribu tahun SM. Namun ada juga ilmuwan yang berpendapat, bahwa badak berbulu ini mengalami kepunahan karena perburuan oleh manusia purba.

6. Sivatherium

Sekitar 8 ribu tahun yang lalu, sivatherium merupakan salah satu jenis hewan raksasa yang berkeliaran di sekitar Asia dan Afrika Utara. Hewan ini sekilas tampak seperti campuran antara kijang dan jerapah dengan tubuh menjulang.

Sivatherium mempunyai tubuh besar dengan bahu kuat untuk mengangkat kepalanya yang berat. Hal ini disebabkan karena sivatherium tak hanya memiliki sepasang tanduk, melainkan dua pasang tanduk. Tanduk tersebut berada di kepala dan berada tepat di atas mata.

7. Quinkana

Quinkana adalah reptil raksasa dengan panjang tubuh mencapai enam meter, kaki panjang, dan gigi super tajam. Ini artinya, quinkana bisa berjalan lebih cepat daripada buaya yang hidup di zaman modern saat ini.

Hewan yang hidup pada era Pleistosen atay sekitar 1,6 juta tahun yang lalu ini adalah predator di daratan.

8. Glyptodon

Glyptodon merupakan mamalia besar dengan kulit seperti berlapis baja yang punah sekitar 10 ribu tahun lalu. Cangkang glyptodon mirip lapisan baja yang super kuat untuk menghalau serangan predator lain.

Hewan yang sekilas tampak seperti armadillo atau trenggiling ini tidak bisa menarik kepala mereka ke dalam tempurung seperti kura-kura. Glyptodon hanya mengandalkan cangkang besi tebal dan berduri tajam untuk melindungi diri.

9. Paraceratherium

Paraceratherium adalah salah satu jenis binatang raksasa buas yang hidup sekitar 25 juta tahun lalu di kawasan Asia. Sayangnya, catatan fosil paraceratherium relatif jarang ditemukan sehingga cukup sulit menggambarkan seperti apa penampakannya.

Namun berdasarkan konsensus ilmiah umum, hewan ini memiliki kepala dan leher yang panjang sekaligus berotot.

10. Varanus priscus

Varanus priscus merupakan sejenis hewan reptil raksasa pemakan daging. Tubuhnya berukuran mencapai 7 meter dan bobot lebih dari 1.800 kilogram.

Hewan raksasa yang serupa dengan kadal ini menghuni Australia bagian selatan selama era Pleistosen. Banyak ilmuwan yang berpendapat, Varanus priscus adalah hewan vertebrata berbisa yang pernah hidup di muka bumi.

Hewan Raksasa di Zaman Modern

Berikut ini ada beberapa hewan raksasa di zaman modern yang hingga kini masih hidup, yaitu:

1. Paus Biru

Hewan raksasa di zaman modern yang pertama adalah paus biru atau Balaenoptera musculus. Ukuran mamalia ini bahkan lebih besar dibanding dinosaurus atau binatang purba raksasa lain yang pernah hidup di bumi.

Panjang tubuh paus biru dapat mencapai 30 meter dengan berat sekitar 200 ton atau lebih dari 200 ribu kilogram.

2. Hiu Paus

Hiu paus atau Rhincodon typus adalah hewan mamalia terbesar di perairan. Panjang hewan ini mencapai 9,7 meter dengan berat tubuh nyaris 9 ton.

Meski hidup di zaman modern seperti sekarang, namun siapa sangka jika hiu paus sudah ada di lautan sejak 60 juta tahun lalu. Hiu ini mampu bertahan hidup hingga lebih dari 70 tahun. Uniknya, dengan ukuran tubuh sebesar itu, hiu paus adalah pemakan plankton.

3. Gajah Semak Afrika

Gajah semak Afrika atau Loxodonta Africana adalah mamalia darat terbesar di dunia dengan bobot lebih dari 6 ton. Salah satu jenis hewan raksasa ini merupakan sub spesies dari gajah Afrika.

Gajah semak Afrika mempunyai tubuh dengan panjang mencapai 7,5 meter dan tinggi 3,3 meter hingga ke bagian bahunya. Sementara gadingnya bisa tumbuh mencapai 2,5 meter dan beratnya antara 25 sampai 50 kilogram. Gajah semak Afrika memiliki empat gigi geraham dengan berat masing-masing mencapai 5 kilogram dan panjang 30 cm.

4. Beruang Kutub

Beruang kutub atau Ursus maritimus adalah spesies karnivora darat terbesar yang hidup di bumi. Panjang tubuhnya mencapai 2,7 meter dengan berat hampir 600 kilogram. Mamalia raksasa ini merupakan predator paling ditakuti oleh singa laut.

Hewan ini dikategorikan sebagai perenang andal karena mampu berenang hingga sejauh 1,5 kilometer tanpa henti. Beruang kutub berenang dengan menggunakan tungkai depan dan belakang.

Hewan ini juga dibekali dengan indera penciuman yang sangat tajam. Jadi tak heran, jika mereka mampu mencium bau bangkai paus atau anjing laut dari jarak hingga 30 kilometer.

5. Jerapah

Jerapah yang memiliki nama ilmiah Giraffa camelopardalis adalah hewan raksasa zaman modern dengan leher berukuran sangat panjang. Ketinggian tubuh jerapah nyaris mencapai 5,8 meter dengan berat sekitar 2.000 kg.

Bahkan, jerapah diklaim sebagai hewan raksasa tertinggi yang kini hidup di darat. Secara umum, jerapah hidup di kawasan benua Afrika dan Asia.

6. Buaya Muara

Buaya muara atau Crocodylus porosus adalah jenis reptil terbesar di dunia yang juga dikenal dengan sebutan saltwater crocodile. Hewan ini disebut sebagai buaya muara karena memang habitatnya ada di sekitar sungai yang dekat dengan muara.

Buaya yang juga sering disebut buaya laut atau buaya air asin ini memiliki bobot tubuh sekitar 1.360 kilogram dengan panjang mencapai 6,3 meter. Buaya muara diketahui paling banyak hidup di sekitar kawasan Asia Selatan, Asia Tenggara, dan Australia.

7. Gajah Laut

Hewan raksasa di zaman modern yang terakhir adalah gajah laut. Binatang dengan nama ilmiah Mirounga ini adalah jenis pinnipedia terbesar atau kelompok hewan mamalia air yang memiliki kemampuan untuk berjalan di darat menggunakan kedua siripnya.

Gajah laut yang sekilas seperti anjing laut ini bisa tumbuh dengan panjang maksimal sekitar 6 meter dan berat nyaris 5 ton.

10 Hewan Berumur Paling Panjang di Bumi

10 Hewan Berumur Paling Panjang di Bumi

Ada banyak hewan di dunia yang bisa hidup lama hingga melebihi usia rata-rata manusia. Umumnya, hewan berumur panjang itu didominasi oleh mamalia dan invertebrata yang hidup di wilayah perairan.

Hewan yang berumur panjang dilengkapi dengan sifat-sifat untuk bertahan hidup, dan terkadang bahkan menghentikan atau membalikkan proses penuaan.

Para ilmuwan telah mengungkap hewan yang paling lama berada di Bumi. Lantas apa sajakah itu? Berikut ini daftar 10 hewan yang hidup paling lama di dunia mengutip laman LiveScience.

1. Kura-kura raksasa seychelles – berumur 190 tahun lebih

Kura-kura terkenal karena umur panjangnya. Hewan darat tertua yang masih hidup adalah kura-kura raksasa Seychelles berusia 190 tahun (Aldabrachelys gigantea hololissa) bernama Jonathan.

Kura-kura itu hidup di pulau St. Helena di Samudra Atlantik Selatan setelah dibawa ke sana oleh orang-orang dari Seychelles pada tahun 1882.

Tak ada yang mengetahui pasti usia Jonathan, tetapi foto kura-kura tua itu yang diambil sekitar tahun 1882 dan 1886 menunjukkan bahwa hewan tersebut setidaknya sudah berusia 50 tahun pada akhir abad ke-19.

Pada 12 Januari 2022, Guinness World Record mengumumkan bahwa Jonathan adalah kura-kura tertua yang pernah ada. “Dia adalah ikon lokal, simbol kegigihan dalam menghadapi perubahan,” kata Joe Hollins, dokter hewan Jonathan, kepada Guinness World Records saat itu.

Kura-kura raksasa perlu hidup lama agar bisa berkembang biak berkali-kali dan menghasilkan telur yang banyak, karena telurnya selalu dimakan predator.

2. Bulu Babi Merah – berumur 200 tahun

Para peneliti terdahulu berasumsi bahwa bulu babi merah tumbuh dengan cepat dan memiliki masa hidup hingga sekitar 10 tahun, tetapi ketika para ilmuwan mempelajari spesies ini secara lebih rinci, mereka menyadari bahwa bulu babi terus tumbuh sangat lambat dan, di beberapa lokasi, mampu bertahan selama berabad-abad jika mereka dapat menghindari pemangsa, penyakit, dan nelayan.

Bulu babi merah yang ditemukan di Washington dan Alaska diperkirakan hidup lebih dari 100 tahun, dan bulu babi merah yang paling lama hidup di British Columbia, Kanada, kemungkinan berusia sekitar 200 tahun, menurut sebuah studi tahun 2003 yang diterbitkan dalam jurnal Fishery Bulletin.

3. Paus Bowhead – berumur 200 tahun lebih

Paus Bowhead atau paus kepala busur adalah mamalia yang berumur panjang. Masa hidup pasti paus Arktik dan sub Arktik ini tidak diketahui, tetapi ada temuan yang membuktikan bahwa mereka dapat hidup selama lebih dari 200 tahun, menurut National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Paus memiliki mutasi gen yang disebut ERCC1, yang terlibat dalam perbaikan DNA. Hal ini dapat membantu melindungi paus dari kanker, dan penyebab potensial kematian. Selain itu, gen lain yang disebut PCNA dapat memperlambat penuaan, menurut laporan Live Science.

4. Kerang mutiara air tawar – berumur 250 tahun lebih

Kerang mutiara air tawar (margaritifera margaritifera) adalah kerang yang menyaring partikel makanan dari air. Hewan ini hidup terutama di sungai dan dapat ditemukan di Eropa dan Amerika Utara.

Kerang mutiara air tawar tertua di dunia diketahui berusia 280 tahun, menurut World Wildlife Fund for Nature.

Invertebrata ini memiliki masa hidup yang panjang berkat metabolisme yang rendah. Meski demikian, kerang mutiara air tawar merupakan spesies yang terancam punah. Populasi mereka menurun karena berbagai faktor yang berhubungan dengan manusia, termasuk kerusakan dan perubahan habitat sungai tempat mereka hidup.

5. Hiu Greenland – berumur 272 tahun lebih

Hiu Greenland (somniosus microcephalus) hidup di dalam samudra Arktik dan Atlantik Utara. Hewan ini dapat tumbuh hingga sepanjang 7,3 meter.

Hiu Greenland memangsa ikan dan mamalia laut seperti anjing laut, menurut observatorium hiu St. Lawrence di Kanada.

Sebuah studi tahun 2016 tentang jaringan mata hiu Greenland, diterbitkan dalam jurnal Science, memperkirakan hiu ini dapat memiliki masa hidup minimal 272 tahun. Hiu terbesar dalam penelitian itu diperkirakan berusia sekitar 392 tahun, dan para peneliti memperkirakan bahwa hiu tersebut bisa berusia hingga 512 tahun.

6. Cacing tabung -berumur 300 tahun lebih

Cacing tabung adalah invertebrata yang hidup di dasar laut.

Beberapa cacing tabung hidup di sekitar lubang hidrotermal, tetapi spesies yang paling lama hidup ditemukan di lingkungan yang lebih dingin dan lebih stabil yang disebut rembesan dingin, tempat bahan kimia keluar dari retakan atau celah di dasar laut.

Sebuah studi tahun 2017 yang diterbitkan dalam jurnal The Science of Nature menemukan bahwa escarpia laminata, spesies cacing tabung rembesan dingin di Teluk Meksiko, hidup hingga 200 tahun, dan beberapa spesimen bertahan selama lebih dari 300 tahun.

7. Karang Hitam – berumur 4.000 tahun lebih

Karang ini terlihat seperti bebatuan dan tanaman bawah air yang berwarna-warni, tetapi sebenarnya terdiri dari kerangka luar invertebrata yang disebut polip. Polip ini terus berkembang biak dan menggantikan diri mereka sendiri dengan membuat salinan yang identik secara genetik, yang seiring waktu menyebabkan struktur kerangka luar karang tumbuh semakin besar.

Karang hitam yang hidup di perairan dalam adalah salah satu karang yang paling berumur panjang. Spesimen karang hitam yang ditemukan di lepas pantai Hawaii diperkirakan berusia 4.265 tahun.

8. Spons kaca – berumur 10.000 tahun lebih

Meski namanya spons kaca atau glass sponge, ini adalah hewan. Spons kaca terdiri dari koloni hewan, mirip dengan karang, yang juga dapat hidup selama ribuan tahun.

Anggota kelompok ini sering ditemukan di laut dalam dan memiliki kerangka yang menyerupai kaca, karena itulah diberi nama spons kaca.

Sebuah studi pada 2012 yang diterbitkan dalam jurnal Chemical Geology memperkirakan bahwa spons kaca yang termasuk dalam spesies monorhaphis chuni berumur sekitar 11.000 tahun.

9. Ubur-ubur turritopsis dohrnii – berpotensi hidup abadi

Turritopsis dohrnii disebut ubur-ubur abadi karena berpotensi hidup selamanya. Ubur-ubur ini memulai hidup sebagai larva sebelum menetap di dasar laut dan berubah menjadi polip.

Polip ini kemudian menghasilkan medusa atau ubur-ubur yang berenang bebas.

Ubur-ubur, yang berasal dari Laut Mediterania, dapat membalikkan siklus hidup mereka beberapa kali dan karena itu mungkin tidak akan pernah mati, menurut Natural History Museum di London.

10. Hydra – berpotensi hidup abadi

Hydra merupakan sekelompok invertebrata kecil dengan tubuh lunak yang sedikit menyerupai ubur-ubur dan mereka juga memiliki potensi untuk hidup selamanya.

Invertebrata ini sebagian besar terdiri dari sel induk, yang terus beregenerasi melalui duplikasi atau kloning, sehingga hewan ini tidak menua seiring bertambahnya usia.

Mereka mati dalam kondisi alami karena ancaman seperti pemangsa dan penyakit, tetapi tanpa bahaya eksternal ini, mereka dapat terus beregenerasi selamanya