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11 Unique Australian Animals
11 Unique Australian Animals

11 Unique Australian Animals

People tend to have two reactions when it comes to Australian animals.

Either their faces light up at the thought of cute kangaroos and koalas, or they actually recoil in horror.

Though several Australian animals are considered dangerous, you’re more likely to get injured from a horse than a snake in Australia.

Over 80% of mammals and reptiles in Australia are found nowhere else on Earth. This makes for some truly fascinating creatures, some famous and others not as well known, to discover in Australia.

Here are 11 unique Australian animals, including some you may not know exist!

Koalas

No one can resist the cuddly allure of koalas. These iconic Australia animals are marsupials, a kind of mammal that is born undeveloped and is carried in a pouch. Like all marsupials, including kangaroos, wombats and Tasmanian devils, baby koalas are called joeys.

Newborn koalas are called pinkies, born blind and about the size of a jellybean. After birth the pinkie immediately crawls into its mother’s pouch, where it’ll stay for 6 to 7 months. At around 9 to 10 months the joey leaves the pouch for good, ready to munch on a variety of eucalypts. The leaves of these trees are highly toxic and low on nutrition, requiring lots of energy to digest.

This is why koalas spend so much time snoozing so as to preserve energy – often sleeping up to 18-20 hours a day!

What sets the koala apart from other marsupials is that it has no tail. Nonetheless, koalas live high among eucalypts with ease. They mostly hang about in tall eucalypt forests and woodlands of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Contrary to popular belief, the koala is not a bear – though it’s certainly as cute as a teddy bear. Their cuddly exterior makes them appear docicle, and though koalas usually keep to themselves, they can attack if they feel threatened. If spotted in the wild, it’s best to keep a distance.

Where to See Koalas

One of the best places to see koalas in the wild is Kangaroo Island, a natural island sanctuary home to many of Australia’s native animals. This island off the coast of South Australia is surrounded in stunning bays, untouched wilderness and free roaming wildlife, including koalas. It’s the ultimate Australia bucket list destination for animal lovers.

In the state of Queensland, sanctuaries and zoos allow you to hold koalas, so if you’re after that once-in-a-lifetime snapshot with a koala, be sure to do it in Queensland! It’s illegal to hold koalas anywhere else.

Kangaroos

Tell anyone you’re going to Australia and one of the first things they’ll ask is if you’re going to feed the kangaroos. And you’ll most likely answer “Yes!”

These native Australian animals are marsupials as well as macropods, meaning “big foot.” Red kangaroos, tall and strongly built, are the largest marsupials and the largest Australian mammal, sometimes standing at over 6 feet tall. Other types of kangaroos include the eastern gray and Kangaroo Island kangaroos, both smaller and tamer than red kangaroos. Gray kangaroos live in the forests of Australia and Tasmania while red kangaroos are found in the eucalyptus woodlands of the Northern Territory.

An old legend about the origin of the name “kangaroo” states that when James Cook asked Aboriginals what these creatures were called, they answered “kangaroo” meaning “I don’t understand your question.”

Though this tale has been proven false, who can resist a good origin story?

Recent linguistic studies uncovered the word “gangurru” from the Aboriginal language of Guugu Yimidhirr, referring to a species of kangaroo and is very likely the source of its name.

Male kangaroos can be very aggressive toward each other, fighting over mates, but kangaroos generally keep to themselves and hop away on sight of a human. With powerful hind legs and a strong tail used as a sort of third leg for balancing, these creatures pack incredible kicks. They’re easily nature’s most skilled kick boxers.

Where to See Kangaroos

You’ll find kangaroos in nearly all Australian wildlife sanctuaries and zoos, but seeing them in the wild is a real special treat. You’re very likely to see them roaming throughout forested national parks with beaches, as well as along the side of the road on the outskirts of major cities. The best time to spot kangaroos in the wild is at dusk.

Wallabies

We’ll admit it – it’s kind of hard to tell wallabies and kangaroos apart. But it gets pretty easy once you see them side by side.

Wallabies are almost an exact miniature of kangaroos. Though they can measure up to 6 feet in height from head to tail, wallabies tend to be much smaller than kangaroos, which can reach up to 8 feet in height from head to tail.

Another way to tell wallabies and kangaroos apart is from their hind legs. Wallabies have more compact legs for moving through dense forest areas while kangaroos have knees and feet set wide apart. Though smaller, their legs allow for tremendous kicks when threatened and are also great for hopping at high speeds. They also tend to be more colorful than their larger cousins, with the yellow-footed wallaby boasting yellow-orange features across its coat.

There are roughly 30 different species of wallabies, grouped by their habitat: shrub wallabies, brush wallabies, and rock wallabies. Larger wallabies tend to be social animals, traveling in groups called mobs. As herbivores, wallabies mainly feast on grasses and plants including flowers, ferns and moss.

Wallabies as a whole are not an endangered species, but there are some species of rock wallabies as well as the banded-hare wallaby that are endangered.

Where to See Wallabies

You’re very likely to see wallabies bounding along the roads in the outskirts of major Australia cities. Locals even report wallabies hanging around gardens and backyards. You’re even likely to see them lying between grapevines of vineyards throughout the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. Wildlife parks and zoos are the best spots for seeing wallabies, as these nimble creatures usually dash away at the sight of humans.

Tasmanian Devils

When early European settlers posted in Hobart, Tasmania, they came across a strange creature with frightening growls, high-pitched screeches and unearthly screams. Coupled with red ears and disturbingly wide jaws lined with sharp teeth, the settlers decided to call these creatures “devils.” This is how the Tasmanian devil got it’s name, though it may just be the cutest devil ever to grace Australia.

These small creatures almost look like a cross between a small dog and a bear. Their coarse dark fur and round ears give them a baby bear-like appearance, complete with a pudgy build. With a pouch to carry their young, a mother devils can nurse up to four devils at a time.

As the world’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial, they tend to eat carrion more than hunting live prey. Small native animals such as wallabies, wombats and possums are favorites, though they’ll also devour reptiles, birds and even sheep.

Though nocturnal, devils like to lay out and bask in the sun. They’re huge water lovers, wading and splashing about, even just sitting and laying in water to keep cool. Even devils can’t resist a lazy sunbathing day.

Once present in mainland Australia, Tasmanian devils are now only found on the island state of Tasmania. Loss of habitat and more recently Devil Facial Tumor Disease are the leading causes of declining numbers of devils, now listed as endangered. Though there are huge efforts to minimize the impact of this disease, it’s a difficult task, as this disease is highly contagious among devils. For these brash creatures that often fight over mates, a simple touch is all it takes for the disease to take hold.

Where to See Tasmanian Devils

Though it’s rare to see devils in the wild, you’re more likely to come across them in maintained wilderness refuges and wildlife parks. Some of our favorite places to see devils are the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo in northeastern Tasmania and Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary just half an hour outside of Hobart.

Wombats

These stout marsupials look like miniature bears with chunky cheeks. They grow up to 3 feet long and can weigh between 44 and 77 pounds. Their waddling walk and pudgy appearance make them seem slow and docile, but they can run up to 25 miles per hour. As highly territorial creatures, they attack when defending their territory. These nocturnal animals dwell in burrows dug with their long claws.

Like all marsupials, wombats possess a pouch where their young are nurtured for the first few months of life. Unlike most other marsupials, however, the wombat’s pouch faces backwards toward its rear. This is to prevent soil from getting into the pouch as the wombat burrows.

But this strange feature is nothing compared to its poo. Molded by the horizontal ridges of its large intestine, wombat poo is notorious for its cube shape. In this way, the wombat’s cube-shaped poo allows it to stay in place and mark its territory.

Where to see Wombats

You’re most likely to see wombats roaming Cradle Mountain in Tasmania and the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney, but it’s rare to see them out in the wild as they are nocturnal creatures. You’ll definitely find them in wildlife parks and zoos, with some offering the opportunity to pet and feed them.

Dingoes

As cute as a dog yet severely misunderstood, the dingo is one of Australia’s most controversial animals. The origin of these creatures is much debated, with recent studies suggesting that dingoes originally migrated from central Asia across land bridges over 18,000 years ago.

Intensely intuitive and intelligent, Houdini has nothing on dingoes. With incredible agility, flexible joints, rotating wrists and fantastic jumping, digging and climbing abilities, dingoes are the ultimate escape artists. They can even rotate their necks up to 180 degrees around. Imagine seeing your dog do that!

Though they share many characteristics with dogs, dingoes are decidedly not dogs at all. They are classed as a unique species called Canis dingo.

Highly individualistic and naturally cautious, dingoes are very curious but are more likely to avoid unfamiliar threats and confrontation. They tend to shy away from humans, rarely showing aggression or attacking.

Although rarely kept as pets, it is legal in the states of New South Wales, Northern Territory, Victoria and Western Australia to keep a pet dingo with a license. But doing so is not a light task – dingoes require large amounts of space, lots of bonding, and extensive training.

Where to see Dingoes

Most zoos and wildlife parks house dingoes, but if your heart is set on seeing them in the wild, head to Fraser Island off the coast of Queensland.

Quokkas

With teddy bear ears and tiny doe eyes, look for the happiest animal on Earth at Rottnest Island in Western Australia. This small macropod is in the same family as kangaroos and wallabies, with a Mona Lisa smile to add even more cuteness.

These nocturnal creatures are about as large as a common house cat and look like a tiny, chubby kangaroo. They also have a pouch where the baby joey lives in for six months.

When quokkas aren’t eating grasses, shrubs and leaves, they roam around Rottnest Island with the liberty and confidence of a tourist. With no natural predators or traffic on the island, quokkas have grown accustomed to humans and often make attempts to sneak into restaurants and campsites in search of food.

Though it may be tempting to give a quokka a snack, feeding quokkas human food is greatly discouraged. Attacks are extremely rare, but bites have been reported – usually when people are trying to feed them.

It’s also illegal to touch a quokka – they are wild animals after all – but snapshots and selfies are allowed, even highly sought after. As naturally inquisitive creatures, they have little fear of humans and will often approach people on their own, sporting a huge picture-perfect smile.

Where to see Quokkas

Your best chance to see quokkas in the wild will be in Rottnest Island, a popular holiday destination off the coast of Western Australia. This island boasts lovely white sand beaches, stunning coasts and sparkling bays with clear waters perfect for snorkeling.

You’re also very likely to see quokkas in zoos and wildlife parks throughout Australia.

Tree Kangaroo

The tree kangaroo is very much like a shy toddler hiding behind his mother’s leg. Solitary and elusive, there is still so much to learn about this marsupial. There are 12 known species of tree kangaroo, all looking quite different from each other. Some look like a woolly cross between a bear and a kangaroo with golden and red coats. Others have black and dark brown coats with smooth faces. They typically grow up to 3 feet tall and weigh up to 30 lbs depending on the species.

They dwell among the trees in tropical rainforests of the mountains in Queensland, New Guinea and surrounding islands. Though “kangaroo” is in their name, these creatures do much better among the trees than on the ground below. They hop just like kangaroos but rather awkwardly, leaning far forward to balance their long, heavy tail. They are more bold and agile in trees, hopping across branches with the help of their powerful hind legs and tail.

Tree kangaroos eat mostly fruit, leaves, tree bark and other foliage found in their rainforest habitat. Its average lifespan is unknown, but in captivity they can live for more than 20 years.

Where to see Tree Kangaroos

The only places you’re sure to see tree kangaroos are in zoos and wildlife parks throughout the state of Queensland. But if you’re lucky you might see them in the Atherton Tablelands near Cairns. You might also spot tree kangaroos on the Jungle Surfing tour in Daintree Rainforest!

Platypus

Imagine being the first person to see a playtpus. Good luck trying to convince anyone that this creature is real! It doesn’t help that this elusive animal is hard to spot – its silvery brown fur blends within the glistening surfaces of the streams and rivers in its habitat.

The platypus is monotreme, a kind of mammal that lays eggs instead of giving birth to live young. There are only four other monotremes, the others being different species of echidnas, another animal endemic to Australia. It’s also one of the few species of venomous mammals in the world. Males have a spur on their hind legs capable of delivering a venom severely painful to humans, though nothing life-threatening.

These contrary features make it a wonder that the playtpus isn’t an extinct creature from long ago. In fact, when scientists first observed a preserved body of a platypus they thought it was fake, made of different animals parts sewn together.

Though the platypus is abundant in the wild, numbers are decreasing, bumping the platypus to a “near threatened” status.

Where to See a Platypus

The platypus is generally found in the riverbanks of Australia’s eastern coast as well as Tasmania. There are only a few wildlife sanctuaries in Australia that house platypus, including the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Taronga Zoo in Sydney, and Healesville Sanctuary near Melbourne.

A special tank called a platypusary is required for housing a platypus. For this reason there are no playtpus in captivity outside of Australia.

These special tanks allow you to see a platypus up close, where its twists and turns in the water will reveal its playful nature.

Quolls

With a stocky body and a long tail, these spunky creatures are much like a cross between a Tasmanian Devil and a cat. Its white-spotted dark brown coat and dainty pink nose make it look like the star of a cartoon.

But these carnivorous marsupials mean business. Their sharp teeth delight in munching on birds, reptiles and small mammals such as bandicoots, possums and rabbits. Mainly nocturnal animals, quolls will sometimes bask in the sunshine, much like Tasmanian devils.

Females also grow a pouch where their young live for the first few months of life. Like wombats, their pouch opens toward the rear – only the spotted-tail quoll has a true pouch. Larger quolls live up to four to five years while smaller quolls have a lifespan of about two years.

There are four species of quoll native to Australia: the western quoll, eastern quoll, spotted-tail quoll and the northern quoll.

Listed as endangered, major conservation efforts are underway to help preserve quolls and reintroduce some species in the wild. Recently, conservation efforts have led to the successful birth of rare eastern quolls in the wild for the first time in half a century.

Where to See Quolls

Quolls are native to the eastern coast of Australia while eastern quolls are found only in Tasmania. You’re not very likely to see them in the wild outside of dedicated nature park refuges, so your best bet is to see them in wildlife parks and zoos.

Lyrebirds

It wouldn’t be surprising at all if lyrebirds are in fact robots in disguise. With incredible abilities to mimic chainsaws, camera shutters and toy guns, lyrebirds are easily one of Australia’s most impressive birds.

Some reports even swear to hearing lyrebirds mimic human speech.

Lyrebirds, found in the rainforests of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, pick up sounds from their surrounding environment. It’s able to recreate such fantastic sounds through the complex muscles of its syrinx. It takes up to one year for the lyrebird to hone its song, made up of calls from other birds. These vocalizations easily fool other birds, often responding to the lyrebird’s call.

And if such impressive tunes are not enough, male lyrebirds will display their gorgeous lyre-shaped plumes during courtship.

With such charming features, the lyrebird will surely win a mate.

There are two species of lyrebirds: the superb lyrebird and the Albert’s lyrebird, named after Prince Albert. As ground dwelling birds, they rarely take flight. Though the status of lyrebirds is “near threatened,” they are currently not an endangered species.

Where to See Lyrebirds

The lyrebirds at Healesville Sanctuary near Melbourne love to show-off their songs to visitors. Spot wild lyrebirds in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, both just an hour away from Melbourne.

Want to See Australia’s Unique Wildlife?

Known for its array of fascinating native wildlife, a trip to Australia isn’t complete without at least petting a koala or kangaroo.

But once you step inside a wildlife park, you’ll discover so many more breathtaking Australian animals you might’ve not known existed.

If seeing Australia’s wildlife is a huge bucket list item for you, we know the best places for unforgettable wildlife experiences.

The Top 10 Cutest Animals in the World
The Top 10 Cutest Animals in the World

The Top 10 Cutest Animals in the World

The planet has hundreds of cute, cuddly, adorable animal species. How can you narrow them down to one list? It wasn’t easy, but we stuck with animals whose little faces will melt your hearts and who also have cute mischievous personalities.The planet has hundreds of cute, cuddly, adorable animal species. How can you narrow them down to one list? It wasn’t easy, but we stuck with animals whose little faces will melt your hearts and who also have cute mischievous personalities.

This list of the world’s cutest animals is sure to make you smile.

#10. Pygmy Marmoset

The pygmy marmoset (Callithrix pygmaea) is a tiny New World monkey native to the Amazon rainforests of South America. It is the smallest monkey and one of the smallest primates in the world. A typical pygmy marmoset weighs just over three ounces. Its other names are pocket monkey, little lion, and dwarf monkey.

This tiny baby has an inquisitive face and fluffy fur. The monkey’s thick fur makes it look bigger than it is to scare off predators. Pygmy marmosets live in Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and parts of Bolivia.

And while it’s arguably already one of the cutest animals in the world, there are still 9 more to go!

Pygmy marmosets are not endangered, but they are frequent victims of the illegal pet trade.

#9. Red Panda

The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. This beautiful creature looks like a cross between a fox and a giant panda, but it’s not related to either. It is closer to a raccoon or skunk.

The red panda has thick red fur and a striped, bushy tail. It is about the size and weight of a domestic cat. Its mischievous face and playful behavior have made it a favorite among people visiting zoos and sanctuaries.

Sadly, red pandas are critically endangered. Like giant pandas, they only eat bamboo, and habitat loss has led to severe population declines. Some zoos have successfully bred red pandas, however. The Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands manages the red panda international studbook.

The Knoxville Zoo in Tennessee holds the record for the largest number of red panda births in North America.

#8. Meerkat

Meerkats are so cute they even had their own TV show. Do you remember Meerkat Mansion?
The meerkat (Suricata suricatta) is not a cat. It’s actually a small mongoose. Native to southern Africa, the meerkat has enormous eyes and a long tail. Meerkats have incredibly cute behavior, including sitting up high on their hind legs and looking around.

A meerkat stands about 14 inches tall with a long tail. Meerkats are highly social. They live in groups called “mobs” that comprise two or three meerkat families. These mobs live in their own extended underground burrows.
Meerkats are listed as “least concern” for conservation status. You can find meerkats in wildlife sanctuaries in Africa and in zoos around the world.

#7. Axolotl

The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) or Mexican walking fish is related to the tiger salamander. Despite its name, it’s a reptile and not a fish. An axolotl ranges in length from 6 to 14 inches.
Why is it on our list of cute animals? Its tiny, smiling face is the reason. The axolotl always looks like it’s sweetly smiling. Scientists say this is because it has a trait called neoteny, which means it looks like a baby its whole life. It also has fluffy appendages that look like feather boas.
Sadly, this adorable animal is critically endangered. Conservation efforts and breeding programs have had some success restoring axolotl populations to lakes in Mexico.

#6. Hedgehog

This tiny creature is known for its round, spiked body and intensely adorable facial expression. The hedgehog (Erinaceusis) is a member of the Erinaceinae family.
There are 15 species of hedgehog. This cute critter lives in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Hedgehogs were introduced to New Zealand. There are no hedgehogs in Australia or North America. Hedgehogs are tiny, but they are not defenseless. Their sharp teeth and spines make them difficult for predators to catch and eat.
While hedgehogs are not native to North America, they are becoming popular as pets in the U.S., the most common choice being the African pygmy hedgehog. A hedgehog can cost between $100-$300, but some states ban them as pets such as Georgia, California, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania.
Hedgehogs are listed as “least concern” for conservation status.

#5. Chevrotain

The Chevrotain (Tragulidae), is also known as the mouse deer. Chevrotains are native to the warmer parts of Southeast Asia, India, and parts of Africa.
The chevrotain is the world’s smallest hoofed mammal or ungulate. Scientists say they have rediscovered a type of chevrotain that had been “lost to science” for nearly 30 years.
There are several species of chevrotain, and they’re all tiny. Depending on the species, a chevrotain can weigh anywhere from 4 to 33 pounds. The smallest is the lesser Malay, and the largest is the water chevrotain.
This cute little baby looks like a tiny deer with the face of a mouse. This adorable animal, however, is under threat from habitat destruction and hunting.

#4. Sea Otter

Recently, a sea otter named Joey captured the hearts of YouTube viewers who watched as he was rescued from near death and raised at an otter sanctuary in Canada. Joey’s daily fight for survival and his love of toys drew millions of viewers.
That’s not surprising, since a sea otter is one of the most adorable animals on land or sea. The smallest marine mammal, the sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. About 90% of the world’s sea otters live in Alaska.
What makes this furry ocean animal so cute? It has a small, round face and a tendency to float on its back in an adorable position. Even more enchanting, sea otters are known to hold hands when they float on the water together.
Sadly, sea otters were hunted to near extinction, and their population has not fully rebounded. Today, they are classed as endangered.

#3. Fennec Fox, the Smallest of All Foxes

The national animal of Algeria is also a delicate, slender beast with a baby face, fluffy paws, and enormous ears.
The fennec fox (Vulpes zerda) is a small fox that’s native to the Sahara Desert. It lives in Morocco, Mauritania, northern Niger, Egypt, and the Sinai Peninsula. Its big ears help it shed heat, which is how it can survive in those hot climates. The thick fur on its feet protects it from the scorching desert sands. It feeds on small birds, rodents, fruits, and reptiles. The smallest member of the canid family, a fennec fox only weighs about four pounds.
This cute fox lends its name to Algeria’s national football team, Les Fennecs. It is a protected species in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.
Fennec foxes are plentiful, and they are listed as “least concern” for conservation status.

#2. Black-Footed Cat — Small but Fierce

The black-footed cat (Felis nigripes), also called the small-spotted cat, is the smallest wild cat in Africa and one of the smallest wild cats in the world. It stands between 14 and 20 inches tall. It has black or dark brown feet and a gorgeous, black and silver spotted coat.
This adorable wild cat has a small, round face and pointed ears. Its kittens weigh only three ounces at birth.
The black-footed cat is a nocturnal hunter that preys on birds, small rodents, and occasionally rabbits. In Africa, these little cats are known for their fierceness. One legend has it that a black-footed cat can bring down a giraffe.
Black-footed cats are found only in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. They live primarily in grass plains, scrub deserts, and sand plains, including the Kalahari and Karoo Deserts. The Wuppertal Zoo, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Brookfield Zoo, and Philadelphia Zoo have had success breeding black-footed cats in captivity.

#1. Quokka — The World’s Happiest Wild Animal

In the world of cute animals, it’s hard to pick just one winner, but the quokka’s friendliness gives it the edge. This small, cuddly creature is known for its sunny personality.
The quokka (Setonix brachyurus) is also known as the short-tailed scrub wallaby. It is a small, round creature about the size of a cat. Its face looks like a cross between a mouse and a rabbit. The quokka is a marsupial. It’s nocturnal and carries its young in a pouch.

The only place quokkas live is on Rottnest Island off the coast of Australia. It is one of the most remote locations in the world. Despite this, they have become so popular that they are now a tourist attraction. Locals say if you really want to show your love for quokkas, you should support conservation efforts that help preserve their territory. Quokkas are officially listed as “vulnerable” because of habitat loss.

Summary of the Top 10 Cutest Animals in the World

You met them and your heart melted. Let’s review those 10 critters that made our list for the cutest:
Rank Animal1 Quokka2 Black-Footed Cat3 Fennec Fox4 Sea Otter5 Chevrotain6 Hedgehog7 Axolotl8 Meerkat9 Red Panda10 Pygmy Marmoset

For Contrast, What is Considered the “Ugliest” Animal?

With no skeleton and no scales, the blobfish is an unusual deep-sea fish that lives off the coasts of Australia and Tasmania. Their faces are oddly human-like and wear a perpetual frown. They can reach lengths of 12 inches and live in depths of 3,900 feet. Bless its heart.

The 10 Strongest Animals on Earth
The 10 Strongest Animals on Earth

The 10 Strongest Animals on Earth

When we talk about determining the strongest animal in the world, it’s hard to say definitively which animal wins. This is because there are so many different kinds of strength that it is nearly impossible to pick a single animal as the strongest of all.

Instead of trying to determine a single winner, this list features 10 amazing creatures that all possess their own impressive kind of strength, relative to their size. Some of the animals that made this list may surprise you, but you surely wouldn’t want to get on the bad side of any of them, no matter how small they are!

1. Strongest Mammal: Elephant — Can Carry Seven Tons

Elephants can carry up to 14,000 pounds, which is roughly around the weight of 130 adult humans.

When you think of sheer brute strength, you probably think of lions or gorillas. However, the reality is that the majestic and typically docile elephant wins the prize for the world’s strongest mammal.

An Asian elephant‘s trunk has more than 150,000 muscle fibers making up 40,000 distinct muscles. Comparatively, the trunk consists of very little fat and no bones or cartilage. In addition to being incredibly strong, elephant trunks’ tips have finger-like abilities. This allows elephants to use fine motor skills and manipulate very small objects with their trunks.

Yet elephants’ intense level of power also allows them to easily uproot fully grown trees or forcefully spray up to a gallon of water. In addition, elephants can carry up to 14,000 pounds, which is seven tons. To put that into perspective, that weight translates to about 130 adult humans.

Visit the elephant encyclopedia page to learn more about these strong herbivores.

2. Strongest Bird: Eagle — Carries Four Times Its Weight

The harpy eagle is the most powerful bird of prey in the world.

he beautiful and graceful eagle holds the title of the strongest bird. There are about 60 different species of eagle in the world today, and they are some of the largest birds of prey in existence.

Some eagle species prey on comparatively large animals like monkeys and sloths, so it should come as no surprise that they are able to easily lift things that are many times their own weight during flight.

For example, the amazingly powerful harpy eagle weighs about 11 pounds, yet it can carry away prey that weighs up to 35 pounds — that’s about the weight of a medium-sized dog, like a corgi.

Read more about eagles and their other behavioral traits here.

3. Strongest Fish: Goliath Grouper — Can Attack Adult Sharks

As soon as you take one good look at the Atlantic goliath grouper, you will likely understand how it got the title of “strongest fish.” They can grow to be up to nine feet long. And the largest recorded size of one of these massive fish is 800 pounds — that’s about the weight of a female moose!

They will eat just about anything in the ocean, and they are big and strong enough to even eat sharks. Goliath groupers have attacked octopuses, sea turtles, barracudas, and even human divers.

Fishermen who want a serious challenge often seek out goliath groupers because their enormous size and relative strength make them extremely difficult to land.

Currently, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers goliath groupers a critically endangered species due to overfishing. But conservation efforts over the past few decades have bolstered population numbers significantly.

Learn more about different species of fish here.

4. Strongest Animal Relative to Size: Dung Beetle — Lifts 1,141 Times Its Weight

When you search the internet for terms like “world’s strongest animal,” the dung beetle is almost always one of the top results.

The dung beetle certainly earns its place as one of the strongest animals in the world, especially when you consider its size versus how much it can carry. They typically grow to be up to one inch long and weigh less than an ounce, but they can carry an amazing 1,141 times their own body weight.

To put that kind of strength into perspective, if a human could move that much weight, it would be the same as one person pulling six full double-decker buses by themself.

Dung beetles use this super strength to roll enormous balls of dung back to their homes, but they also utilize their strength to defend against thieves and impress females during mating periods.

Learn more amazing beetle facts here.

5. Strongest Insect: Hercules Beetle — Moves 850 Times Its Own Weight

Technically, the strongest insect title also belongs to the dung beetle, but the Hercules beetle is a close runner-up and definitely worthy of notice as well.

Hercules beetles can grow to be up to seven inches long and weigh up to four ounces. The Hercules Beetle is a large and fairly impressive insect. They are known for their long horns which act as a defense against predators. They can be also used when males fight each other over a potential mate.

Male Hercules beetles maintain a territory during the mating season and fight to protect it from other males. The insects are named after Hercules, the hero of Ancient Greece mythology who was infamous for his strength.

While they cannot carry quite as much as a dung beetle relative to their size, these insects are still believed to be able to move a whopping 850 times their own body weight.

Find out more on the Hercules beetle encyclopedia page.

6. Strongest Bite: Saltwater Crocodile — Generates 3,700 Pounds of Force

Out of all of the big and powerful animals in the world, it might surprise you to learn that the saltwater crocodile takes the prize for the animal with the strongest bite. Interestingly, the saltwater crocodile is also the world’s heaviest reptile, weighing up to 2,200 pounds.

When measured, a saltwater crocodile’s immensely powerful jaws produced a bite that generated about 3,700 pounds of bite force. In comparison, our own jaws are capable of producing only 200 pounds of bite force, and even the mighty lion can only generate about 1,000 pounds of force with its bite.

Read more about crocodiles here.

7. Strongest Snake: Anaconda — Squeezes With the Power of 10 Humans

Anacondas are considered the strongest snakes in the world, and they can also grow to be some of the largest as well. In fact, the green anaconda also holds the title of the heaviest snake in the world at 1,100 pounds.

A big enough anaconda has been known to kill large deer, jaguars, and even black caimans (a reptile similar to an alligator). Anacondas can constrict around their prey with the strength of at least 10 powerful humans, so they are generally considered to be apex predators. Because they can kill and eat such large animals, a single meal can provide enough nourishment that an anaconda doesn’t have to eat again for weeks or months.

Read more about various snake species.

8. Strongest Vertebrate: Blue Whale — Can Move 30 Tons

The blue whale is not only the largest animal in the world, weighing in at about 200 tons, but it is one of the most powerful as well.

Blue whales can generate 600 horsepower, which is the same as many top-tier cars such as the Aston Martin DB11 and the Porsche 911 Turbo. In addition, they can travel easily at speeds up to 23 miles per hour for long distances, and they can move at least 30 tons through the water.

Find out more about the amazing blue whale.

9. Strongest Kick: Zebra — Kicks With About 3,000 Pounds of Force

Between the well-known force behind the kick of a red kangaroo and a giraffe, you might be surprised to read that the zebra beats them both.

When threatened, an adult zebra can kill a fully grown male African lion with a single blow to the body. Though it is difficult to get a precise measurement, it is thought that a zebra can kick with nearly 3,000 pounds of force.

Learn more about the beautiful, yet powerful zebra here.

10. Strongest Fighter: Grizzly Bear — Can Lift More Than Twice Its Own Weight

Despite their cuddly appearance, grizzly bears are strong and deadly creatures. They can weigh up to 500 pounds and reach top speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. Even though they are far smaller than their polar bear cousins, they are much more aggressive and far more likely to win a fight. They have immensely strong front legs and are built to take down large creatures like elk, musk ox, bison, and reindeer.

Find out more about this fearsome fighter on the grizzly bear encyclopedia page.

10 Facts About the Strongest Animals in the World

Here are a few fun facts about some of the strongest animals on Earth:

  1. Rhinoceroses are one of the strongest animals in the world, with a weight of over a ton and the ability to charge at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.
  2. Elephants are known for their strength, being able to carry heavy loads and move large objects with their trunks.
  3. Gorillas are incredibly strong primates, capable of lifting objects weighing more than 1,000 pounds with ease.
  4. Bulls are known for their strength and aggressive behavior, often used in bullfighting.
  5. Hippopotamuses are considered to be the strongest swimmers and are known for their powerful jaws and teeth.
  6. Grizzly bears are known for their incredible strength and large size, able to stand up on their hind legs, and weigh up to 1,500 pounds.
  7. Kangaroos are surprisingly strong and capable of jumping up to 30 feet in a single leap.
  8. Snails are considered to be one of the strongest animals in the world, with a muscular foot that allows them to carry up to 100 times their own body weight.
  9. Ants are incredibly strong for their size and capable of lifting objects many times their own weight.
  10. The dung beetle is considered to be the strongest insect in the world, capable of rolling balls of dung that are many times its own weight.

Summary of the 10 Strongest Animals in the World

Strength comes in many shapes and sizes. When it comes to strength, there is no clear winner. So many creatures have their own amazing types of strength and power that it’s hard to pit them against each other to decide who is the all-around strongest. But, this top 10 list should have given you a better idea of all of the different kinds of strength that exist in the animal kingdom.

16 of the Smallest Animals on Earth
16 of the Smallest Animals on Earth

16 of the Smallest Animals on Earth

Humans are so small compared to some animals; next to creatures like elephants and whales, we seem minuscule. But on the other end of the spectrum are animals a whole lot smaller than us — so small in fact, that we can hardly find them in the wild, let alone understand how they survive from day to day.

From a tiny chameleon to a pygmy monkey, here are 16 of the smallest animals on Earth.

The pygmy rabbit can be as small as 9.25 inches long.

Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit

Averaging 9.25-11.6 inches (23.5-29.5 centimeters) in length, the endangered pygmy rabbit, or Brachylagus idahoensis, lives primarily on the West Coast of the United States. They tend to live in tall, dense sagebrush, which also makes up the majority of their diets.

A fully-grown dwarf lanternshark is about 8.3 inches long.

Dwarf Lanternshark

The smallest species of shark on Earth is the dwarf lanternshark or Etmopterus perryi, which grows to about 8.3 inches (21.1 centimeters). Their bodies contain light-emitting organs that allow them to camouflage in sunlight and attract small animals in darker, deeper waters.

Pygmy marmosets can wrap around a human’s finger at 4.6 inches tall.

pygmy marmoset

The pygmy marmoset, or Cebuella pygmaea, is the world’s smallest monkey. The tiny creatures live in the rainforests of South America and tend to be between 4.6-6.2 inches (11.7-15.7 centimeters) tall, without counting their tails.

The Barbados threadsnake is the smallest snake at 4.1 inches long.

Barbados Threadsnake

Believed to be the world’s smallest snake, the Barbados threadsnake, or Leptotyphlops carlae, grows to only about 4.1 inches (10.4 centimeters) on average. Some scientists believe that the entire population of threadsnakes exists within a few square kilometers in Barbados.

The Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur is just 3.6 inches long.

Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur

The nocturnal mouse lemur, or Microcebus berthae, is another tiny primate species, Found only on the island of Madagascar, they live and hunt alone and grow to be a mere 3.6 inches (9.1 centimeters).

Williams’ dwarf gecko is just 3 inches.

Williams’ Dwarf Gecko

Known by many as the Turquoise or Electric Blue Gecko, the average adult Williams’ dwarf gecko, or Lygodactylus williamsi, is just 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) long. Found only in Tanzania, the species is considered critically endangered.

The bee hummingbird grows to be about 2.2 inches.

Bee_hummingbird

The world’s smallest bird, the bee hummingbird, or Mellisuga helenae, usually grows to be about 2.2 inches (5.6 centimeters) long. Endemic to Cuba, the bird weighs less than a dime and can beat its wings up to 200 times per second.

Speckled padloper tortoises can be as small as 2.4 inches long.

A speckled padloper tortoise.

The smallest species of tortoise on Earth is the speckled padloper tortoise, or Homopus signatus. It grows to be between 2.4-3.1 inches (6.1-7.9 centimeters) long. The entire population of the species exists exclusively in the Little Namaqualand region of South Africa.

Baluchistan pygmy jerboas are incredibly tiny.

An illustration of the Baluchistan pygmy jerboa. Shutterstock

A typical Baluchistan pygmy jerboa, or Salpingotulus michaelis, has a body length of 1.7 inches (4.3 centimeters), making it the smallest rodent in the world. Native to Pakistan and Afghanistan, the creature has relatively long legs that sometimes inspire comparisons to kangaroos.

The Etruscan shrew is about 1.5 inches long on average.

Etruscan Shrew

Without factoring in its tail length, the adult Etruscan shrew, or Suncus etruscus, averages about 1.5 inches (11.4 centimeters) long. Found in a belt of land that extends from the Mediterranean region to Southeast Asia, these tiny animals eat up to 25 times per day because of their high metabolism.

The Kitti’s hog-nosed bat is the world’s smallest mammal at 1.1 inches.

Kitti’s Hog-nosed Bat

Averaging between 1.1-1.3 inches (2.8-3.3 centimeters) with head and body combined, the Kitti’s hog-nosed bat, or Craseonycteris thonglongyai, is the world’s smallest mammal. Found in Thailand and Burma, the endangered species lives primarily in limestone caves.

A Brookesia micra grows to be only 1 inch long.

Brookesia Micra

The average adult Brookesia micra chameleon grows to be just over 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) long. That’s small enough to sit on top of a human finger. Researchers discovered the species, which is endemic to Madagascar, in early 2012.

The Virgin Island dwarf sphaero can be a mere 0.6 inches.

Virgin Islands Dwarf Sphaero

The Virgin Islands dwarf sphaero, or Sphaerodactylus ariasae, lives in the Caribbean and tends to be just 0.6 inches (1.5 centimeters) long. Thought to be the world’s smallest reptile, researches believe the species exists only in the Dominican Republic’s Jaragua National Park.

The Monte Iberia eleuth is a tiny frog that grows to be 0.4 inches.

Eleutherodactylus iberia

The Monte Iberia eleuth, or Eleutherodactylus Iberia, is the smallest frog in the Northern hemisphere. It’s tied for the world’s smallest tetrapod with another frog, Brachycephalus didactylus. Both reach only about 0.4 inches (1 centimeter) in size.

The pygmy seahorse can grow up to 2 centimeters.

A pink and white pygmy seahorse next to coral.

The pygmy seahorse can grow up to just 2 centimeters, according to the Australian Museum. As Insider’s Jay Caboz reported, the pymgy seahorse was discovered in 2017. Pygmy seahorses can camoflage with surrounding coral.

“They are so incredibly tiny and well camouflaged that seven of the eight known species have only been discovered since the turn of this millennium,” said marine biologist Louw Claassens, Insider previously reported.

A spruce-fir moss spider is about a quarter-inch long.

A spruce-fir moss spider.

The spruce-fir moss spider is “about the size of a pencil eraser,” according to a report from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Bryophyte turfs along high-elevation, mountainy areas in the southern Appalachian region typically house the spider species.

Top 10 Scariest Animals in the World
Top 10 Scariest Animals in the World

Top 10 Scariest Animals in the World

Key Points:

  • The second largest crocodile in the world, the Nile Crocodile, is the most aggressive type, with the world’s most powerful bite. Inhabiting the rivers of Africa, they usually kill their victims by drowning them.
  • The Australian stonefish has 13 spines along its back which carry venom that can kill most animals and even humans. These fish are the most venomous in the world, and especially dangerous because of their natural stone-like appearance which can fool unsuspecting victims.
  • The blue-ringed octopus, native to the waters of Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and India, spews deadly venom from its body when it feels threatened. Scientists believe that the poison is strong enough to kill up to 24 adults in minutes.

Wolverine Animal Facts – Wolverine Showing Teeth

While many animals in the world are sweet and cuddly, running into others is very dangerous. These animals are the most aggressive in the world. Therefore, they are terrifying enough that you may find yourself living your worst nightmare if you encounter one of them. This list of the world’s scariest animals has been compiled by considering the most aggressive animals in the world. While some animals may be more deadly, they may have a very timid nature. Therefore, they are not the scariest animals in the world.

#10 Cape Buffalo

Top 10 Scariest Animals in the World

The Cape buffalo is the largest and most powerful buffalo in Africa. While these animals only stand about 55 inches tall and have very short legs, they are terrifying animals because of their horns. These animals prefer to eat woody plants, and their special incisors let them eat plants that are often too tough for other animals to digest.

When Cape buffalo feel the least bit cornered or like they are in danger, they become raging maniacs. They will take out anything in their paths with their horns. They will quickly fight to protect themselves or nearby calves even if they are not their own.

Cape buffalo tend to live in herds containing up to 450 cows. One interesting fact is that they seem to vote on the direction they will next travel. While resting, they lay on the ground in the direction that they think the herd should go next. Then, when they get done chewing their cud, the direction that most animals are lying in will be how the herd moves. Therefore, if you encounter a herd, you may want to move in a different direction to avoid these terrifying animals.

#9 Black Rhinoceroses

Top 10 Scariest Animals in the World

Both black and white rhinoceroses are gray, but the black rhinoceros have a pointed upper lip while the white one has a square lip. Before you get close enough to see, except through binoculars, you may want to consider that black rhinoceroses are very unpredictable, making them a very terrifying animal.

Like Cape buffalo, these animals have massive horns that they use as defensive weapons. While both males and females have horns, the male is usually the longest. Rhino horns can grow up to 3 inches per year and get to be over 5 feet long. Females are most apt to use their horns to protect their young while males are most likely to use theirs whenever they feel aggressive.

#8 Hippopotamuses

Top 10 Scariest Animals in the World

You may wonder if hippopotamuses are enormous teddy bears, but nothing could be further from the truth. Hippos are the third-largest living mammal, and they have been known to use their weight to dump boats and do other aggressive acts.

Furthermore, hippopotamuses have enormous teeth. Their teeth grow throughout their lifetime and can be up to 20 inches long. These animals can run up to 20 miles per hour to catch their prey. Once they do, they use their large teeth to kill and eat them.

#7 Cassowaries

Top 10 Scariest Animals in the World

Cassowaries are the second largest bird on earth, behind the ostrich. They use their size to be very aggressive. Ostriches, chickens, and cassowaries are the only birds with scientific evidence of a bird killing a human.

Cassowaries often use their strong legs as weapons. They can kick forward and backward. They also use their heads to head butt and their large beaks to peck a person. Cassowaries can also jump over crouched people so they can attack them from the front and the back.

Science recognizes three different species of Cassowaries, all of which are from the Northeastern Australian islands. The dwarf Cassowaries is the smallest, however, the orange-throated Cassowaries is among the largest standing at nearly 5 feet tall. However, the largest of all is the Southern Cassowaries which reach a staggering 5 foot 6 inches tall. These massive beasts are aggressive and dangerous!

#6 Wolverines

Top 10 Scariest Animals in the World

While wolverines usually weigh less than 40 pounds, you will not want to get into a fight with one. When wolverines are challenged they are likely to first throw a temper tantrum, hissing and showcasing the murderous capabilities of their talons through false swipes. They will also attempt to create the illusion that they are of much larger size by standing on their hind legs.

If that does not work, expect the wolverine, which is one of the scariest animals in the world, to commence its attack with its claws. They make easy work of tearing skin from the wolverine’s prey. Then, they use their sharp teeth as powerful tools for further dismemberment. While they tend to leave humans alone, they have killed deer, bears, and other mammals much larger than themselves without showing any signs of fear.

#5 Belcher’s Sea Snake

Top 10 Scariest Animals in the World

Found primarily in the Indian Ocean, Belcher’s sea snake is the most dangerous in the world. This snake seldom grows to be over 3.3 feet long and has a slender body, a yellow base, and green crossbands.

Scientists feel that this snake that can stay underwater for up to 8 hours could kill up to 1,800 people with a single bite if it had a way to spread its venom. If you get bitten by one, you have about 30 minutes to receive antivenom, or you will die. The likelihood of getting bitten, however, is low because this snake is usually timid.

#4 Stonefish

Top 10 Scariest Animals in the World

Stonefish live among the reefs off Australia’s coast. They have 13 spines along their back. Each spine carries venom that can kill most animals, humans included. These fish are the most venomous in the world. These fish can survive on beaches for up to 24 hours, making it more likely that you would step on one.

This fish is extremely dangerous because of its incredible camouflaging capabilities. Therefore, it can easily be mistaken for a harmless stone amongst all the others scattered about the ocean floor before an animal gets too close to this toxic creature.

#3 Golden Poisonous Dart Frog

Top 10 Scariest Animals in the World

The golden poison dart frog may not look like the world’s most terrifying animal, but this bright yellow frog has enough venom in its body to kill 10 adults. Its venom is so deadly that the indigenous people of Colombia tip their arrows and blowguns with it before using them.

Scientists are unsure how the golden poisonous dart frog gets its venom. Scientific studies show that if the frog does not eat its usual diet of Columbian plants and insects, it does not have venom. While an encounter with this animal can be terrifying, scientists have also found it very useful.

#2 Blue-Ringed Octopus

Top 10 Scariest Animals in the World

While most octopuses are content to squirt ink at you if they feel threatened, that is not true of the blue-ringed octopus. Instead, they spew poisonous venom at you. This octopus that lives in the waters of Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and India can be easily identified because of the blue rings that appear on its body whenever it feels threatened. Scientists believe that the poison is strong enough to kill up to 24 adults in minutes. The venom in this animal is more potent than that of any land mammal.

The bite of a blue-ring octopus is so slight that it would be hard to notice if a person steps on one accidentally. But within 5 to 10 minutes, symptoms will start to show which can include: numbness, progressive muscular weakness, tingling sensations, difficulty breathing and swallowing, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty speaking. There is no current antidote for the venom, so a person must ride out whatever symptoms arise, which usually start to fade in 15 hours. There are only 3 recorded deaths by the blue-ring octopus venom ever, and on average, about 3 people a year are bitten by one.

#1 Nile Crocodile

Top 10 Scariest Animals in the World

All species of crocodiles attack approximately 1,000 worldwide annually, and about 40% of those attacks are fatal. The most aggressive crocodile is the Nile crocodile, which can be found throughout Africa. The Nile crocodile is afraid of nothing, and it is the second-largest crocodile in the world.

Nile crocodiles can be as long as a giraffe is tall. It is the top predator in Africa’s rivers, and they have the world’s strongest bite. Crocodiles hold their prey underwater to drown them. Then, they use their 64 teeth to turn their victim repeatedly until pieces of the flesh come off. These animals work in unison to dismantle their prey’s bodies quickly.

Summary of the Top 10 Scariest Animals in the World

Here’s a reminder of how scary animals can be with a summary of the 10 scariest:

Meet The Biggest Animal in the World
Meet The Biggest Animal in the World

Meet The Biggest Animal in the World

The Antarctic blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus ssp. Intermedia) is the biggest animal on the planet, weighing up to 400,000 pounds (approximately 33 elephants) and reaching up to 98 feet in length. The whale has a heart the size of a small car, and during the main feeding season, it consumes around 7936 pounds of krill per day.

It is the loudest animal on Earth, even louder than a jet engine — its calls reach 188 decibels while a jet reaches 140 decibels. The whales’ low-frequency whistle can be heard for hundreds of miles and is probably used to attract other blue whales. Read More!

Meet The Biggest Animal in the WorldMeet The Biggest Animal in the World

The Antarctic blue whale is ‘critically endangered’

The blue whale population in Antarctica was drastically reduced by commercial whaling, which started in the southern Atlantic Ocean in 1904. Despite legal protection through the International Whaling Commission in the 1960s, illegal hunting continued until 1972.

From about 125,000 individuals in 1926, numbers were reduced to about 3,000 individuals in 2018, which classifies the species as “critically endangered” on the IUCN Red List.

A remarkable number of Antarctic blue whales was recently sighted

A team of scientists led by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) was able to share some good news when returning from their recent expedition to the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia.

They counted 55 Antarctic blue whales during their 2020 expedition, which they describe as “unprecedented”. The South Georgia Waters remain an important summer feeding ground.

Dr. Jennifer Jackson, a whale ecologist at BAS, says: “After three years of surveys, we are thrilled to see so many whales visiting South Georgia to feed again. This is a place where both whaling and sealing were carried out extensively.

It is clear that protection from whaling has worked, with humpback whales now seen at densities similar to those a century earlier when whaling first began at South Georgia.”

What is WWF doing?

For many years, WWF has worked with the Southern Ocean Commission (CCAMLR) to protect the most critical habitats for iconic species such as whales, penguins, seals, seabirds and their prey – tiny Antarctic krill.

In the Southern Ocean, CCAMLR has made a commitment to implement a network of marine protected areas around Antarctica, to protect a range of wildlife impacted by climate change including areas where whales feed on tiny Antarctic krill. WWF works with scientists to provide important information to help governments protect these crucial foraging areas.

“Antarctic blue whales are the largest animals on Earth and a spectacular wonder to witness in the wild. They are the true Antarctic giants. However, they are critically endangered, very slowly recovering from the impacts of 20th Century whaling.

Now, we are working to protect the important foraging areas for blue whales in the Southern Ocean before it’s too late. This research reaffirms there is still hope,” says Chris Johnson, Global Lead for the Protecting Whales & Dolphins Initiative.

Top 10 Longest Living Animals
Top 10 Longest Living Animals

Top 10 Longest Living Animals

Animals living under natural conditions rarely approach their maximum possible age because of very high death rates due to infant mortality, diseases, predators, bad weather, habitat destruction, or competition for food and shelter.

Here we list ten animals that would have the longest lifespans living under ideal circumstances.

10. Macaw

Recognisable by their brightly covered feathers, macaws are members of the parrot family. They have a long lifespan and, in the right environment, will live to be 60 to 80 years old. There are at home in the rainforests and feed on a mix of nuts and seeds. Unfortunately, though, the majority of these beautiful birds are endangered in the wild and a few are already extinct due to habitat degradation and the illegal pet trade.

Top 10 Longest Living Animals

9. African Elephant

African elephants are the largest living land animals and, with an average lifespan of 70 years, one of the oldest. Experts are able to tell the age using several characteristics including their size and number of teeth. It’s a process that requires observational skills and a lot of practice!

Females reach breeding age around 10-12 years old and, unlike us, they may remain fertile for the rest of their lives. They may give birth to around 7 babies in total. Being a mummy elephant is no easy task though. Their pregnancy lasts 22 months, which is almost three times as long as a human pregnancy! Read more about elephants.

Top 10 Longest Living Animals

8. Longfin Eel

Longfin eels typically live up to 60 years old though the longest living on record reached 106! They are native to New Zealand and Australia and spend most of their life hiding in freshwater streams before migrating to the Pacific Ocean to breed. They only do this once in the lifetime and die after spawning. Very slow-growing animals, growing only 1-2cm a year, but females eventually grow to an impressive 73–156 cm in length.

Top 10 Longest Living Animals

7. Galapagos Giant Tortoise

It’s not just the Galapagos Giant Tortoise size that’s worth noting; it’s also their age. They can live to be well over 100, with the oldest known to be 152! The oldest is not the most famous, though. Lonesome George was the last remaining Pinta Island Tortoise on the islands and, for a while, the world’s rarest creature. He died in 2012 at around 100 years of age. Like many of the animals on our list, giant tortoises have a slow pace of life, munching on grass and other vegetation, basking in the sun and resting for up to 16 hours a day.

Read More about Galapagos giant tortoises.

Top 10 Longest Living Animals

6. Red Sea Urchin

Red sea urchins are believed to be almost immortal and are known to live for over 200 years with no signs of ageing. They are far more likely to be eaten by a predator than die of an age-related condition, and a 100-year-old is just as healthy and able to reproduce as a young individual. Finding the age of these spiny echinoderms is possible by measuring the levels of carbon-14, a process known as radiocarbon dating.

Top 10 Longest Living Animals

5. Koi Fish

The average lifespan for Japanese Koi is around 40 years though they can live a lot longer if living in the right conditions. One particular koi, named “Hanako”, was the remarkable age of 226 when she died in 1977. Scientists were able to estimate her age by counting growth rings in her scales.

Top 10 Longest Living Animals

4. Bowhead Whale

Bowhead whales can live for over 200 years, which is longer than any other mammal. It’s not always easy to tell their age, though, as they spend their lives in the Arctic and sub-Arctic and can outlive the researchers that study them. One way to estimate age is to base it on fragments of harpoons left in the blubber of captured animals – one individual had harpoon fragments dating back to the 1800s! Another way is to use DNA to estimate lifespan, with scientists suggesting bowhead whales can live to the grand old age of 268!

Read More about bowhead whales.

Top 10 Longest Living Animals

3. Greenland Shark

Greenland sharks live for between 300 and 500 years and are the longest-living vertebrate. They take life very slowly, moving at an average of 0.76 mph. They grow about a cm every year, and females may not reach sexual maturity until they are 100 to 150 years old – that’s one long childhood! Despite their huge size and long lifespan though, these sharks have been a mystery to scientists for years. It was only recently that they discovered a new method of estimating age that involves radiocarbon dating the lens of the eye. New tissues are added to the lens every year and it is possible to tell the age by how much carbon isotope is present in the tissues.

Top 10 Longest Living Animals

2. Ocean Quahog

Ocean Quahogs are an edible clam with an impressive lifespan. Many will live to see their 400th birthday and the oldest one on record was 507 years old when it was caught off the coast of Iceland in 2006. Scientists were able to determine the age by counting growth rings on the shell, similar to how we age trees. They can also find out other information too. How the shells form over time tells scientists how the oceans have changed throughout the years – they are a living creature and a picture of life in a changing world!

Top 10 Longest Living Animals

1. Immortal Jellyfish

Can you imagine being immortal? Reaching old age and then instead of dying, going back and starting again as a baby? To us, this is the stuff of dreams. For the immortal jellyfish, it is real life. These amazing animals start their life as larvae, known as planula, swirling around in the ocean. They then settle on the seafloor and become static polyps before transforming into swimming medusa. So far, so normal. But, if at any stage immortal jellyfish experience injury or stress from changes in their environment, they can go backwards to the polyp stage and start again. And they can do this over and over if they get the chance. Many won’t though as they become dinner for other animals.

Read More about jellyfish in our Animal A-Z

Top 10 Longest Living Animals

10 Animals That Eat Plants
10 Animals That Eat Plants

10 Animals That Eat Plants

Welcome, this blog will dive deeply into our Top 10 Animals That Eat Plants! With more and more humans deciding to eat only plant-based diets, this is becoming a more and more exciting topic! These animals interacting with plants are known as herbivores who consume large quantities of plant matter daily to fulfill their appetite.

A herbivore doesn’t need to be of a specific size. The largest animals alive on earth today are all herbivores. The top 11 animals that eat plants have their bodies adapted to grazing grass and eating leaves that are abundant everywhere.

Now, if you’re curious why nature has classified the world into different categories, namely herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores, you will be amazed to know why.

So, buckle up and keep reading to learn some exciting facts regarding herbivores and a brief outline of the top 11 animals that eat plants.

This is the central discussion on why nature has made herbivores adapt to eating green matter only.

Similar to how lazy human beings feel for most of their day, animals tend to avoid tasks that consume a lot of their energy, such as catching prey. Therefore, the easiest way forward for these animals is to eat what is abundantly available without having to work hard for it.

Besides, if no herbivores existed on this planet, we would be surrounded by uncontrollable vegetation. Similarly, if no carnivores existed on earth, there would be too many herbivores to strip the world of its foliage.

Therefore, nature’s way of keeping a balanced ecosystem is primarily why we have equal proportions of herbivores and carnivores on earth.

Sounds fascinating, right? Read more!

How Do Herbivores Digest Their Food?

If you’re thinking that a herbivore’s digestive system is the same as that of a typical carnivore having a simple digestive tract, you’re highly mistaken!

A few plant-eating animals, such as camels, giraffes, and deers, have a complex digestive system with more than one stomach cavity and a long digestive tract.

Moreover, all herbivores have large and flat teeth to help grind the green matter effectively and break through the cellulose cell walls of the plant cells. Special fluids and bacteria in the stomach help digest the food.

In the case of animals with multiple stomach chambers, they continuously chew the food back and forth from one stomach chamber to another until it has passed from all of them. This aids in the effective digestion of food without leaving unnecessary digestive matter behind.

Top 10 Animals That Eat Plants In The World

Plant-eating animals are a fascinating species of the animal kingdom. Their unique lifestyle and behavior that helps them survive in this evolving world are fascinating to study.

So, stay with us to discover some of the most amazing facts about animals that depend on plants to stay alive!

1. Cow

Cows are domestic species found everywhere in the world. They make excellent farm animals that provide various benefits to human beings. For example, we consume cow meat and milk and use their skin to make leather products.

These bulky domestic mammals come in different colors, ranging from white, brown, and black. Their weight ranges up to 2000 pounds, almost equal to that of a small car! The two horns on their heads distinguish them from other species of cattle.

The anatomy of cows is evidence that these animals are perfectly herbivorous. Their wide mouths and substantial flat teeth aid them in grazing grass and chewing tough plant species.

If you’ve been to the countryside, you may have seen cows chewing on something, with their mouths constantly moving in circular motions.

This is primarily because they are ruminants with a four-chambered stomach that constantly brings food back and forth for them to chew until it reaches the last chamber.

This implies that digesting food is not a matter of concern for cows, and they can ingest lots of grass while grazing because their stomach is there to do the job of digestion effectively.

2. Goat

Goats are rotund herbivores that possess horns and cloven feet. They may be domestic and kept on farms for their meat and milk. Some goats are, however, native to mountain areas with rugged and rocky terrains.

Their slim bodies, cloven hooves, and muscular strength allow them to climb steep mountainous territories easily.

These animals mostly spend their time grazing grass in surrounding areas as herds, vegetation being their primary food source. Despite being fond of grazing grass, mountain goats habitually eat big plants and mosses.

The lips of a goat are big enough to help them grab food and slide it into their mouths. Moreover, they have a wider upper jaw compared to the lower jaw, so they only chew the food in circular motions from the sides of their mouth.

Like most other grazing species, such as cattle, goats have chambered stomachs of 4 cavities that can hold vast gallons of food instantly. It takes around 15 hours to digest their food thoroughly.

3. Deer

Deers are the most evolved species on earth that have experienced several mutations due to competitive environments.

Their massive specialized horns, known as the antlers, safeguard them from predator attacks since they can throw a counterattack. This characteristic makes them a distinctive herbivorous species of the wild.

Several species of deer are alive on this planet and are, indeed, a fascinating creation of nature. They come in many distinctive coat colors, ranging from brown to gray, and have short tails.

Deers are herbivores with specialized body systems that help them feed and digest green matter effectively. Their motile lips and specialized teeth aid in plucking and ingesting food in their four-chambered stomach.
endangered Visayan Spotted Deer

These ruminants tend to be very picky about their diet. Their antlers shed and regrow every year, requiring them a vast variety of nutrients to cope with the growing process.

Therefore, they naturally prefer eating good-quality food rich in nutrients that are imperative for the antler growth process.

4. Horse

The horses we see daily are domesticated species descended from the ancient wild horses that are now labeled extinct.

They are the most valuable animals till present for humans as they contributed as the principal source of transport in ancient times and as racing animals for entertainment purposes.

Horses tend to be perfect companions of humans due to their ability to show affection and bond with their fellows.

They come in various beautiful coat colors, ranging from white to chestnut brown and gold to black. Moreover, their strong muscular bodies make them speedy runners.

These herbivorous animals are adapted to eating grass since their large and flat frontal teeth allow them to pluck the grass out of the ground. The set of molars and premolars then aid in chewing.

However, these animals’ digestive system is different from the usual herbivores.

Their stomachs are tiny compared to their large bodies, so they are used to eating fewer but recurrent meals every day.

5. Gorilla

If you’ve watched the Hollywood movie “King Kong,” you might be familiar with what a gorilla is. These giant apes are native to mountains and lowland areas of Africa.

A surprising fact: Gorillas are one of those animals closely related to human beings.

These gigantic creatures are mighty, with big hairy bodies and bulging abdomens. The most distinguishing part of their appearance is their big round nostrils protruding outwards.

Gorillas tend to walk on their four limbs with much of their weight on the knuckles that support them while walking.

Surprisingly, gorillas despise water and usually don’t even drink water for days. They hydrate themselves through the food they eat or the morning vapors.

These vegetarian species feed primarily on green matter, including leaves and tree stalks. A few western species prefer eating fruits. However, they are known to eat small mammals and insects occasionally too.

6. Zebra

Zebras are one of the most captivating wild species, famous for their characteristic black and white striped coat. These African natives are found in the grasslands and woodlands and are closely related to the family of horses and donkeys.

The stripes on their body function similarly to a human fingerprint, allowing scientists to distinguish between their different species easily.

Zebras have a fantastic digestion system since their bodies are adapted to efficiently filtering proteins and other vital nutrients from the roughest grass.
zebra

This implies that food quality does not matter to these herbivorous species. They tend to survive well in dry periods when the amount and quality of vegetation are low.

They achieve this advantage through rapid digestion, where their stomach and intestines do not hold food inside for long. Therefore, their food intake must be large enough to provide adequate nutrients and nourishment to their bodies.

7. Panda

Giant pandas are the most adorable species on earth that are closely related to the family of bears. They are indigenous to the bamboo forests of China and were known to be on the verge of extinction before being conserved.

Pandas are famous for their beautiful black and white patterned fur that helps them camouflage and attract mates.

Moreover, we love pandas because they eat and sleep all day, a thing every human being can relate to!

These charming creatures cannot survive a day without bamboo. They spend around 12 hours every day devouring bamboo! They use their vast hands to grab the bamboo stalks and their sharp teeth aid in removing the hard outer layer.

They have strong jaws that help chew the inner matter of a bamboo stalk. Moreover, they also particularly like the bamboo leaves and consume them altogether by stripping them off a branch.

However, these are not the only particulars forming a giant panda’s diet. They consume anything they can, including fruits, small insects, and even rodents.

8. Elephant

Elephants are the most giant terrestrial animals with highly distinct anatomy and complex behaviors. These creatures are often found dwelling in Asian and African forests and savannas.

The most giant land animal is the African bush elephant, weighing more than 9 tonnes!

These creatures of the wild have a distinctive physical appearance incorporating a huge prehensile trunk, gigantic ears, and thick white ivory tusks.

An elephant’s trunk is handy to the species as it performs the task of helping them in eating, drinking, breathe, loading, etc. Moreover, they consume the leaves and fruits from trees using their trunks to pluck the food and put it in their mouth.

Despite their gigantic bodies, elephants feed on plant matter to get nourishment, so they have to eat more than 350 pounds of vegetative matter every day.

In addition, elephants are grass grazers, which they consume when they are not comfortable searching for plants and fruits to eat.

9. Kangaroo

Kangaroos are an exciting species of the wild that are known for hopping behavior. There are currently 14 different species of kangaroos native to Australian woodlands.

The anatomy of a kangaroo is highly distinct, where the species rely on their long hind legs to hop and bounce their way forward. Their thick and long tails help them maintain balance while jumping.

These adorable creatures have small forelimbs, almost relating to a human arm. Moreover, female kangaroos have a pouch on their abdomens that contain mammary glands to feed and shelter their babies until they are mature enough to leave the mother’s body.

At a time, a female kangaroo can give birth to four little joeys (baby kangaroos), although it is very rare. A point to acknowledge here is that the little ones look adorable in their mother’s pouch!

Besides, kangaroos are herbivorous creatures who depend almost entirely on grass, flowers, and plants to fulfill their appetite. In addition, some may sometimes consume moss and even insects.

Their digestive tract resembles that of cattle. Their four-chambered stomachs ensure that the food they consume is digested fully and the nutrients are assimilated perfectly in their bodies.

Moreover, their perfectly built dental structure ensures their food is ground to perfection before moving into the stomach.

If you’re a kangaroo lover, click here to learn more about these adorable creatures.

10. Koala Bear

Koalas are fascinating tree-climbing creatures of Australian wildlife similar to the family of kangaroos in how they carry their offspring in pouches on their abdomen.

They have a furry appearance resembling a sheep and have sharp claws and toe pads to help them climb trees easily.

They are habitual in eating and sleeping for most of their day. Their food and shelter depend entirely on eucalyptus trees, where they live and eat eucalyptus leaves.

Despite the toxic nature of eucalyptus leaves, a koala’s digestive system is adapted to removing harmful toxins from its body and absorbing only the nutrient content.

Due to significantly less nutrient consumption, koalas feel lazy and sleepy throughout the day.

Unfortunately, their constant poaching for fur has led to a remarkable decline in their population. The southern population of koalas is almost on the verge of extinction.

Bonus Animal! The Giraffe

Giraffes are the most exciting African wild species known to be the tallest mammals alive on earth. Their tall legs and neck are more significant in height than an average adult human!

These cute creatures have a unique and beautiful coat patterned with irregular blocks ranging from chestnut brown to dark brown.

The rest of their skin is light yellow-colored, providing them with the perfect camouflage by blending in with the tall trees in the woodlands.

These herbivorous species feed on leaves and fruits from tall trees since they have the advantage of reaching heights no other mammal can get to.

Moreover, being a massive creature compels them to consume a considerable amount of food every day, approximately equal to 75 pounds!

In addition, a giraffe’s tongue is prehensile, similar to an elephant’s trunk and a monkey’s tail, which helps it pluck food and pull it inside their mouths.

The Final Word on Animals That Eat Plants

Animals are a pivotal part of our ecosystem, without whom the world would be a strange place to live in.

Nature has granted animals the ability to maintain a balance in their surroundings. The herbivores control the amount of greenery in the world, while the carnivores ensure that the herbivores don’t strip the earth of its natural green charm.

Therefore, man must conserve the surrounding wildlife and make the world a haven for them.

The World’s Rarest Fish
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.

Read more!

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

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.

Find more!

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.

THE 10 RAREST BIRDS IN THE WORLD
THE 10 RAREST BIRDS IN THE WORLD

THE 10 RAREST BIRDS IN THE WORLD

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.

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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.

8. NEW CALEDONIAN OWLET-NIGHTJAR (Aegotheles savesi)

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.

BONUS!

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

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. https://boisetaxicompany.com/

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.

Fangtooth

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.

Zooplankton

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) https://boisetaxicompany.com/ 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

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.

Anglerfish

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

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 https://boisetaxicompany.com/ 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

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 https://boisetaxicompany.com/.

Studi Ungkap Asal Muasal Gajah Memiliki Belalai Panjang, Ini Kata Ahli
Studi Ungkap Asal Muasal Gajah Memiliki Belalai Panjang, Ini Kata Ahli

Gajah adalah hewan yang dikenal dengan keunikan belalainya yang menjuntai panjang dan kuat. Jika ditelusuri, kira-kira bagaimanakah belalai tersebut dapat tumbuh?

Para ilmuwan yang mempertanyakan hal tersebut, kini telah mengetahui bagaimana belalai gajah dapat berkembang dengan sangat menakjubkan.

Keunikan Belalai Gajah

Belalai gajah merupakan suatu bentuk keajaiban biologi evolusioner. Dilansir dari Live Science, panjang belalai gajah dapat tumbuh hingga lebih dari 2 meter dengan lebih dari 40.000 otot dan serabut saraf di dalamnya. Hal itu yang membuat belalai sangat kuat bahkan mampu mengangkat beban berat.

Beban berat yang diketahui mampu diangkat oleh belalai gajah adalah mencapai lebih dari 270 kilogram. Meski kuat, gajah menggunakan belalainya dengan hati-hati terutama saat memegang kacang tanah, makanan mereka.

Penelitian yang terbit dalam jurnal eLife pada 28 November lalu, menunjukkan bahwa perubahan oleh iklim dapat memengaruhi evolusi belalai gajah ini sebagai bentuk tekanan dari lingkungan dan biologis.

Untuk memeriksa evolusi pada belalai gajah, para peneliti mengaku kesulitan karena belalai gajah yang lunak membuatnya sulit mengalami fosilisasi dengan baik. Para peneliti sulit untuk mendapatkan bukti mengenai perkembangan belalai dari bentuk paling awalnya.

Evolusi Belalai Gajah

Menurut para peneliti, kebanyakan hewan berbelalai panjang memiliki rahang bawah yang panjang pula. Namun kemudian rahang tersebut mengalami perubahan menjadi lebih pendek seiring dengan evolusi belalai, meski masih dipertanyakan hubungan antara keduanya.

Dalam studi ini, para peneliti membandingkan tiga keluarga mamalia mirip gajah di Tiongkok utara yang hidup pada sekitar 11 hingga 20 juta tahun lalu.

Mereka menyelidiki bahwa bentuk fisiologi ketiganya berbeda tergantung pada apa yang mereka makan dan pengaruh ekosistemnya.

Ketiga kelompok tersebut adalah Amebelodontidae, Choerolophondontidae, dan Gomphotheriidae. Ketiganya berasal dari garis keturunan nenek moyang Gomphoteri yang diketahui masih hidup.

Peneliti dari University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chunxiao Li, menyatakan bahwa perbedaan bentuk pada belalai gajah purba ini menunjukkan adanya evolusi yang terjadi.

Untuk mendapatkan petunjuk lebih mendalam, para peneliti menganalisis enamel gigi ketiga gajah itu untuk mengetahui kebiasaan makan dan kondisi ekosistem lingkungan hidupnya.

Hasilnya mengatakan bahwa Choerolphontidae tampaknya hidup di lingkungan yang relatif tertutup seperti hutan. Lalu, Amebelodontidae hidup di habitat yang lebih terbuka seperti padang rumput. Sedangkan Gomphotheriidae diketahui hidup di antara habitat keduanya.

Para Agen Nova88 peneliti mendapatkan hasil tersebut dari simulasi matematis dengan gerakan rahang ketiga spesies itu.

“Choerolphontidae hidup di hutan yang lebat dan banyak tumbuhan dengan cabang memanjang secara horizontal,” kata Shi Qi Wang, profesor di Akademi Ilmu Pengetahuan Tiongkok.

Rahang mereka cocok untuk memberi tekanan ke atas dan bawah, bukan ke depan atau belakang. Sehingga gerakannya cocok untuk memotong cabang daun yang horizontal. Sementara belalainya relatif primitif dan kikuk.

Rahang tersebut berbeda dengan milik dua spesies gajah lainnya yang hidup di habitat lebih terbuka. Mereka lebih bisa memotong cabang pohon yang vertikal seperti rerumputan.

Bentuk hidung pada tengkoraknya juga lebih mirip dengan gajah modern, di mana belalainya mampu bergerak lebih banyak, seperti melingkar untuk menggenggam makanan.

“Kita tahu seluruh lingkungan paleo berubah dari hangat menjadi dingin dan kering. Pada saat itu gajah-gajah purba mulai menggunakan belalainya untuk mengambil rumput,” jelas Li.

Gajah yang hidup di habitat terbuka ini memiliki kemampuan yang mendorong evolusi pada belalai sampai zaman ini. Hal ini juga menjadi bukti bahwa tapir yang hidup di hutan memiliki belalai yang lebih lemah.

“Kami kini menemukan mengapa belalai gajah begitu kuat dan fleksibel dan membuat rahang mereka menjadi lebih pendek,” kata Wang.

Melalui penelitian ini kini dapat diketahui bahwa belalai gajah telah berevolusi hingga menjadi seperti yang sekarang.