Can You Name These Weird Animal Species from a Photo?

By: Khadija Leon

A pangolin, sometimes called a scaly anteater is a mammal which includes three genera. They have large hardened protective and sharp scales in an overlapping pattern which covers their skin. The animals are capable of curling up into a ball when they feel threatened.

The aye-aye is a nocturnal animal which has large eyes, pointed claws and bushy tails that are larger than their bodies. Like all lemurs, the aye-aye is native to Madagascar and it is also the world’s largest nocturnal animal. Aye-ayes have a unique way of finding food, and that is by tapping on the bark of trees to see if there is grub.

The Glaucus atlanticus, sometimes called the blue sea slug or blue angel, is a species of small shell-less mollusks which are known to float upside down where the ocean current carries them. They grow up to 1.2 inches in length and have a flat, tapering body with appendages that branch out.

The Patagonian mara is a large rodent which belongs to mara genies and can be found in parts of Patagonia, as well as Argentina. It is said to resemble a jackrabbit, but it has longer and more muscular limbs as well as very long ears.

The Atheris hispida, better known as the prickly bush viper, is a venomous species of vipers which are endemic to Central Africa. These snakes are known around the world for having keeled dorsal scales which give it a prickly/thorny looking appearance.

The naked mole rat, sometimes called the sand puppy, is a burrowing rodent which can be found in parts of East Africa. Its physical traits which include pain insensitive and hairless skin, help it to cope with the harsh underground environment. They also have very poor eyesight and protruding teeth.

The jerboa is a desert rodent found in African and Asian countries. The hopping animals, which are able to run at speeds up to 15 mph, have long hind legs, short forelegs, a tail which is longer than its head and body, as well as long large ears.

The Irrawaddy dolphin is a species of oceanic dolphin which can be found near the coasts and rivers in Southeast Asia. Often mistaken for the beluga whale, it has a large melon-shaped head and an indistinct beak. It also has a U-shaped blowhole in the left midline area.

Grimpoteuthis, otherwise known as the Dumbo octopus because of its resemblance to the Disney character, is a species of animals which can be found worldwide at depths that exceed 9000 feet. They are known for having large ear-like fins which extend just over the eye.

The babirusa, sometimes called a deer-pig, is a member of the swine family which can be found in the Indonesian islands. What makes this threatened species unique, specifically the male species, is it's large upward and inward curving tusks.

The goblin shark is a species of deep-sea sharks which comes from a 125 million-year-old lineage. These animals which grow up to 13 feet in length appear to have pink skin, an elongated and flattened snout and a protractible jaw containing nail-like teeth.

Lamprey is an ancient species of jawless worm-like fish which can be found in temperate waters around the world except for Africa. They are characterized by their tooth funnel-like mouth which they use to bore into the flesh of fish to suck their blood.

The Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis, also called the Indian purple frog is a species of frog which can be found in Western Ghats mountain range in India. The small frog has a bloated appearance with its arms and legs appearing in a splayed-out pattern. The adults grow to be dark purple in color.

The fossa is a mammal which can only be found in Madagascar. It has a slender body with very muscular limbs and a tail that is as long as its body, much like a cat. It has a mongoose-like head, and it comes from the same family as the mongoose.

The hummingbird hawk-mole is a species of moth which can be found distributed throughout Portugal and Japan. It has unique orange-brown hindwings and greyish-brown forewings with a black and white body. As its name suggests, it has elements from all three animals.

The star-nosed mole is a small mole of the Condylura genus and is found in the low wet areas of North America. The strange-looking blind animal is easily identifiable by its sensitive pink nose which has 22 fleshy appendages and is known as Eimer’s organ.

The desert rain frog is a species of frog which can be found in sandy shores and dunes in Namibia and South Africa. They small and plump frogs grow to lengths of 6mm and are known for their bulging eyes, short limbs, and snout, as well as their spade-like feet.

The Kiwa hirsuta, better known as the yeti crab or lobster, is a crustacean which was only recently discovered in 2005 in the South Pacific Ocean. The animal has a lack of pigment, giving it its white appearance. It also has hairy pincers which contain bacteria that detoxifies poisonous minerals in the water.

The maned wolf, also known as Lobo de crin, is a type of canid which is found in semi-open habitats in South America. Listed as near threatened, it is the tallest of all of the wild canids and it is known for having long legs, an adaptation to the tall grasslands where they are found.

The mantis shrimp is a marine crustacean which can be found in shallow tropical and sub-tropical marine habitats. There are over 400 species which range in color, but the most popular is the multicolored species. They have a second pair of thoracic appendages which they use for close-range combat.

The blobfish is a type of fish which can be found in the deep waters near Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania. They lack muscles and have a bulbous and gelatinous appearance, which also helps them to maintain their buoyancy.

The okapi, also known as the forest or zebra giraffe, is a mammal which is native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The okapi has similar striped markings to the zebra, but it belongs to the same family as the giraffe. It has a very long neck, large flexible ears, and its face is similar to its relative, the giraffe.

Cantor’s giant softshell turtle, sometimes called the Asian giant softshell turtle, is a species of freshwater turtle which are native to the waters of Southeast Asia. It has a flat looking appearance with a small broad head and small eyes, and it spends most of its life buried and motionless in the sand.

The gerenuk, sometimes called the giraffe gazelle, is an antelope which can be found in parts of Eastern Africa. The animal is characterized by having a long slender neck as well as slender limbs. The males also have a pair of lyre-shaped horns.

The Japanese spider crab is a species of crab which can be found in the waters around Japan. The crabs are known for their large leg span which can reach up to 18 feet claw to claw. It is often considered a delicacy and is eaten around the world.

The pink fairy armadillo, sometimes called the pichiciego, is the smallest breed of armadillo which is endemic to the sandy plains and dunes of central Argentina. They have small eyes, whiteish-yellow fur and a dorsal shell which has a pink appearance.

Despite its name, the panda ant is a wingless wasp which is called panda because it has a white coat that covers its entire body except for its eyes. It also has black and white spots covering different segments of its body. Due to excessive predation, the species is endangered.

The red-lipped batfish, sometimes called the Galapagos batfish, is a species of fish which can be found around the Galapagos Islands and off the coast of Peru. Despite the name fish, it is a very poor swimmer and it walks on the ocean floor. As their name indicates, they have bright red lips which make them different from other batfish.

The atretochoana eiselti, also known as the penis snake, is a species of lungless caecilian which can be found in Brazil. It has a broad flat head, sealed nostrils and its body is a fleshy dorsal fin which gives it the appearance of a human’s penis.

The saiga antelope is a species of antelope which were originally found in Mongolia, Northwest China, and parts of North America. The critically endangered animal has a very distinct facial feature which includes a pair of large and closely spaced downward facing nostrils and dark markings on its cheek.

The lowland streaked tenrec is a small mammal which can be found in parts of Madagascar. They are known for having black spiny fur with either yellow or chestnut-brown stripes running down the length of the animal's body. These animals which grow to a length of 170mm and a weight of 280 grams, also have quills on their heads and neck region.

The shoebill, also called the whalehead, is a sizeable stork-like bird which can be found living in swamps in East Africa. What makes this animal unique is its large bulbous straw-colored bill which measures between seven and nine and a half inches long, the third longest of any extant birds.

Pacu is the name used for many species of South American freshwater serrasalmid fish. These relatives to the piranha differ in many ways, the most prominent being its teeth. They have squared straight teeth which bear a resemblance to human teeth.

The tufted deer is a small species of deer which can be found in both Central China and Northeastern Myanmar. The near-threated species are known for having a tuft of black hair on their foreheads, and the males have fang-line canines which protrude upward from its mouth.

The narwhal or narwhale is a medium-sized toothed whale which can be found in the Arctic waters around Canada, Russia, and Greenland. The males possess large tusks, which is actually a canine tooth which protrudes from its upper jaw. These tusks can grow to lengths exceeding 10 feet.

The axolotl, also called the Mexican walking fish, is an amphibian (despite its name) which can be found in lakes near Mexico City. They come in a variety of colors and have wide flat heads and underdeveloped digits. This endangered species is widely used in research due to its limb regeneration abilities.

Chevrotains, also called mouse-deer, are small mammals which can be found in the forests of Southeast Asia as well as Central and West Africa. They are some of the smallest ungulates in the world and weight between 17 and 35 pounds. They have short, thin legs which aid them in running through thick foliage.

The glass frog belongs to a family of tree-dwelling frogs which can be found living in Central and South America. When looking at the frog, they appear to be green in color, but the abdominal skin in some species is transparent, allowing its internal organs including its heart and liver to be seen.

The Mata mata is a species of freshwater turtle found in the Amazon and Orinoco basins in South America. These turtles are known for their large triangular shaped heads which have many tubercles and flaps of skin giving it a rough appearance. It also has a horn on its snout and barbels on its chin and upper jaw.

The long-wattled umbrellabird is a species of bird endemic to montane forests of Southwest Colombia and Ecuador. Both the females and the males have an erectile head crest, but the males also have a large feathered throat wattle.

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Image: Wiki Commons by Judy Gallagher

About This Quiz

The word "weird" can be defined as "something or someone of strange or extraordinary character". It can also be described as something unfamiliar and in some cases otherworldly. 

Planet Earth is a strange and beautiful place, and while us humans may be the most evolved species, we're certainly not alone as there are hundreds of thousands of species on our planet, many of which were here before us. 

We all know about the lions, tigers, penguins, and pandas because those are some of the animals which we see on our televisions and at the zoos, but what about the others that are not so common? Some of these animals look so strange, it's as if they have walked out of a science fiction movie, or even landed from a spaceship.

Not only do they look unfamiliar, but their names also seem foreign.  These names include the chevrotain, the axolotl, the pacu fish, the gerenuk, and the glaucus atlanticus.

How well do you know the different species found on this earth? If you were given images of these strange looking animals, would you be able to identify them? Take this quiz to find out if you can name 40 of them!

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