The axolotl, a Mexican walking fish, can regrow body organs and lost limbs up to 5 times, making it a subject of scientific study for human regeneration. It retains its larval characteristics, including gills and an aquatic lifestyle, and feeds through suction. It’s exclusive to Mexico and doesn’t undergo metamorphosis like other amphibians.
The yeti crab, also known as the yeti lobster or furry lobster, is a tiny crab that lives in complete darkness in small hydrothermal vents and cold seeps at deep-sea levels. Its hairy appearance, which resembles that of the legendary snow monster Yeti, is due to the bacteria that grow on its arms, which are its primary food source. The yeti crab is virtually blind since its eyes are not fully developed and appear white due to the lack of colour pigment. It lives in small hydrothermal ‘envelopes’ with symmetrical claws covered in fine hair.
The Mantis Shrimp (or ‘Stomatopod’) is a small, colourful sea creature in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is known for being strong and fast when it hunts other animals like fish and crabs. They get their name from their appearance. They have a second pair of prey-catching arms that are greatly enlarged, like Mantises. This shrimp has amazing eyes located on long stalks that can move independently and can see many colours and help it find food. In addition, it has strong arms that can hit hard, like a bullet, or grab like a spear. The Mantis Shrimp is a fascinating example of a fantastic creature that lives underwater.
Pangolins, also known as “scaly anteaters,” are shy, nocturnal mammals with plate-like scales covering their entire body. They eat insects, mainly ants and termites, using their long sticky tongues, and can roll themselves up into armour-plated balls for protection. Pangolins are bipedal and can walk on their hind legs, and some species have prehensile tails for climbing. They swallow stones to aid digestion and are, unfortunately, the world’s most trafficked mammal, sought after for their scales and meat.
The Star-Nosed Mole is a small mammal found in the wet lowlands of North America. It has a unique star-shaped nose with 22 fleshy rays that it uses to explore and hunt prey. Although functionally blind, its brain is organized around signals from its nose, similar to humans’ visual processing. It can detect, determine edibility, consume prey in less than a quarter of a second, and smell underwater by blowing bubbles. The mole uses its front legs to dig shallow tunnels up to 100 feet long for foraging in marshes and swamps.
The Shoebill, or “whalehead,” is a large bird in East Africa’s swamps and marshes. It has an oversized shoe-shaped beak and a prehistoric appearance. The shoebill can look both menacing and cute with striking pale blue eyes. As an ambush predator, it can hunt large prey, including baby crocodiles, with its razor-sharp, 3rd longest beak in the world. It stands still for long periods and clatters its bills loudly during courtship or greeting, sounding like a machine gun.
Honduran white bat
The Honduran white bat is a bat species found in Central America with a unique all-white fur that makes them nearly invisible. They nest in Heliconia plant leaves, creating V-shaped “tents” by cutting plant leaves with their teeth. These bats do not have tails, have yellow noses and ears, and a black membrane on their wings. They are frugivorous, meaning they feed on fruit and prefer one specific variety of fig that grows close to their roosts. In addition, they have a built-in UV protective coat.
Potoos are neotropical birds known for their incredible camouflage skills and amusing appearance with enormous googly yellow eyes. They have “magic eyes” that can sense movement even when closed, which helps them watch for predators from their hidden positions during the day. Potoos lay a single egg on top of broken branches and have a wide range of weird and wonderful calls that can disturb night-time wanderers.
We hope these magnificent creatures have captivated your heart and soul as we bring our journey to a close. Their traits are a reminder of the vast and fascinating diversity of life on Earth. Let’s celebrate and appreciate the wonders of the wild, and may our curiosity continue to inspire us to explore, learn, and protect our natural world.