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20+ Weird Looking Animals Plus Fun Facts!

Weird looking animals are all around us – but most of them you will never see in person so I wanted to bring them to you! Not only are many of them strange looking – some have pretty odd capabilities to help them in nature.

I am going to continue adding to this post so that it is the best resource out there for the most unique looking animals out there – so if you have a suggestion just leave a comment and let me know! If you have kids who really enjoy this kind of thing, they can check out our online animal classes article which showcases some really cool classes they can take, one of which is about weird animals!

These animals come from everywhere – they may be land animals or sea creatures or fly high in the sky. But they all have on thing in common – they are weird – but cool looking animals that will bring a smile to your face.

I have broken them down into categories so you can easily see the ones that most interest you! I have also included some fun facts as well to help you learn more about these interesting creatures that live among us! This is a great post to share with the kids!

These weird animals are not pets!

Yes, they care cool and unique – but that does not mean you should go out and buy one! These animals belong in the wild and if you do find them for sale, it is illegal. Please enjoy these animals online or in conservation centers – and let them remain free to roam their native environments! Thank you for caring.

Extinction Facts

Since this is a blog about saving animals – I wanted to make sure I added extra value by noting if any of these animals are showing possibilities of going extinct. So, if you are particularly fond of one of these amazing animals that are marked with an extinction risk – do a little research on them and see how you can make a difference and keep them from going extinct.

Weird Looking Mammals

California Leaf Nosed Bat

california leaf nosed bat

Definitely weird – but totally adorable, the ears on the California Leaf-nosed bat stole my heart. It is the only bat in North America that has these awesome ears and leaf looking growths on the nose.

Fun Facts

  • Do not migrate because their wings are too short and broad for long distance flight
  • Loves living life in the caves and mines in the deserts of the US and Mexico
  • Ears can measure about 1-1.5″ in length each
  • Eats grasshoppers, beetles, moths and crickets
  • Relies on echolocation to find prey


Fossa (FOO-sah)

Fossa in the wild
image credit: By Chad Teer – originally posted to Flickr as [1]

Extinction Risk: Endangered

You may be thinking – it kind of looks like a cat, but it is not! The Fossa is in a category of their own but falls within the mongoose and civet categories.

Fun Facts

  • Tails are typically as long as its body
  • Releases a stinky odor when frightened or agitated
  • Found in Madagascar – lives in tropical forests
  • Threatened species
  • Carnivore – large portion of diet comes from eating lemurs
  • Average size is 72″ from nose to tail
  • Can leap between branches and trees
  • Flexible ankles can turn almost backwards
  • Hunts day or nigh


Honduran White Bat

the honduran white bat

Extinction Risk: Near Threatened

Of all the bat species out there, the Honduran White Bat is one of the rare few that is all white. The yellow spike nose and leaf ears are the reason this creature makes the list.

Fun Facts

  • Smaller species of bat measuring 1.5″-2″
  • Likes to roost in tent leaves
  • Almost 4″ wingspan
  • Weighs about 6 grams
  • Timid and sweet
  • Can live up to 20 years
  • Fruit eaters

Lowland Streaked Tenrec

lowland streaked tenrec

You may be thinking – it kind of looks like a cat, but it is not! The Fossa is in a category of their own but falls within the mongoose and civet categories.

Fun Facts

  • Found in Madagascar rainforests
  • Eats earthworms and various insects
  • Makes crunching sounds when it sees a predator
  • Long hairs on back rise and become stiff when in danger
  • Only mammal to rub its body parts together to make sounds – called stridulation
  • Can bounce and thrust quills into an intruder
  • Life span is only up to 3 years
  • They only measure about 5-6 inches and length and weigh less than a pound


Malayan Tapir

image credit: Malayan Tapir

Extinction Risk: Endangered

The coloring and unique nose make this adorable cutie actually a bit weird looking. They almost look like an Orea cookie with their black back and front and white in the middle.

Fun Facts

  • Usually measure about 6-8 feet in length
  • Can grow up to 3.5 feet tall
  • Females are larger than males
  • Weigh from 575-700 pounds
  • Vegetarians
  • Their nose can be used as a snorkel
  • Have poor eyesight


Pink Fairy Armadillo

image credit: Cliff / Flickr

Extinction Risk: Unknown

Armadillos are cool animals as it is but add in the cuteness of the Pink Fairy armadillo with its strange pink covering and furry body and you have an extra layer of coolness.

Fun Facts

  • Found in the plains, grasslands and dunes of Central Argentina
  • Live up to 10 years
  • Grow to 2.5-4.5 inches
  • Weighs about 4 ounces
  • Rarely seen by humans so hard to study
  • Pink armor is actually blood vessels under its armor
  • Can curl up in a ball to protect their belly
  • Eat insects, worms and plants
  • Silky yellow white fur


Saiga

image credit: Japari Library

Extinction Risk: Critically Endangered

Part of the antelope family, the Saiga resides in the semi-desert grasslands of Central Asia. Their noses are what makes them a standout and why I added them to the list. They were already declining in numbers when a major disease outbreak in 205 caused almost 200,000 deaths making them critically endangered.

Fun Facts

  • Reside mainly in Asia and southeastern parts of Europe
  • Saiga are about the size of a goat having a height of only about 1 to 2.5 feet
  • Weight varies from 30-110 pounds with females being much smaller in size
  • Average life span is 10-12 years
  • Newborn saiga can outrun humans at its second day of life
  • The unique nose helps saiga warm and moisten cold, dry air in the winter and filters sand and dust during the summer
  • Herbivore
  • Great sense of smell


Star Nosed Mole

I am not sure whether to love this mole – or be repulsed by it! But I wanted unique animals and this is an animal that is definitely unique! Just not sure I would want to see one in person.

Fun Facts

  • It is known as the world’s fastest eater as it can find and eat an insect or work in just a quarter of a second
  • Over 100,000 nerve fibers are present on the star organ making it one of the most sensitive touch organ on any mammal
  • Lives in wetlands along the east cost of the US from Canada down to Georgia
  • Life span is 2-3 years, most spent underground hunting for prey
  • Can swim and smell underwater
  • Mostly blind


Sunda Colugo

image credit: K.T. / Flickr

Extinction Risk: Endangered

Although called “flying lemurs” by some people, this animal is no lemur at all and does not actually fly but glides. They have large eyes and a body that is webbed that helps them glide and hang. Weird looking – but in a cute kind of way for sure!

Fun Facts

  • Native to southeast Asia
  • Dine on leaves and young shoots making them herbivores
  • Many people think it flies, but it does not – it actually glides
  • Weights from 2-4 pounds
  • Their fur helps them camouflage themselves into the trees
  • Webbed feet help them get a better grip when climbing
  • The longest recorded glide of a Sunga Coluga was 446 feet


Western Long Beaked Echidna

image credit: Jaganath / CC-BY-SA

Extinction Risk :Critically Endangered

Definitely an animal that looks like a porcupine but is very different in so many ways.

Fun Facts

  • Native to New Guinea
  • The spines on their backs are actually hair follicles
  • When they feel threatened they will roll up into a ball and radiate their spines to protect themselves
  • Body temperature is second lowest of all mammals
  • Can live up to 45 years in the wild
  • Eats earthworms
  • Lays eggs – unlike most mammals
  • Can weight up to 36 pounds


Weird Looking Birds

Vietnamese Dragon Chickens (Dong Tao Chicken)

dong tao chicken
image credit: Gadong Tao Hungyen

Definitely not the prettiest of chickens, but this breed is one of the most expensive in the world because their large thighs are seen as a true delicacy in Vietnam.

Fun Facts

  • Used to be bred exclusively for the royal family
  • Legs are covered with red bulbous scales that are incredibly thick
  • Extremely sensitive to temperature
  • Do not lay many eggs at one time
  • Legs actually make the hatching process so often farmers will get involved to help.
  • Females are usually covered with white fathers and the males are more colorful
  • Can cost as much as $2,500
  • Can weigh up to 13 pounds

King Vulture

Extinction Risk: None

This spectacular weird looking bird, the King Vulture, is a stunning creature and considered to be the largest New World vulture. With vibrant colors and a beak made for tearing its pray you can see why it made it to our list.

Fun Facts

  • Can soar for hours without flapping its wings
  • Flies high over treetops
  • Flies higher than most other vulture species
  • Grow to about 2.5 feet tall
  • Weigh up to 8 pounds
  • Reside in dense forests that have a tropical lowland habitat
  • Found in southern Mexico to Argentina
  • Can live upwards of 20 years in the wild

Shoebill

Extinction Risk: Endangered

Some call the Shoebill the most terrifying bird in the world because of their prehistoric – and dangerous looking bill! But no worries, you probably won’t come across one any time soon.

Fun Facts

  • Reside in the swamps of the tropics of eastern Africa
  • Prey on various big fish like eels, catfish and yes, sometimes enjoy a baby crocodile
  • They poop on their own legs – this is a cool thing about them that helps keep them cool
  • Can live up to 35 years in the wild
  • Stands about 4 feet tall
  • Weighs about 12 pounds
  • Currently decreasing in population
  • Bill can be a foot long and has a sharp hook on the edge
  • 8 foot wingspan
  • Stay motionless for hours which helps them catch their prey

Weird Looking Sea Creatures

Axolotl (Ax-oh-lot-ul)

image credit:  Jane Burton / Minden Pictures

Extinction Risk: Critically Endangered

Every time I see one of these adorable creatures I swear it is smiling at me! In the wild the Axolotl is typically black or brown and white ones are found in captivity. They are part of the salamander family.

Fun Facts

  • White ones were descendants of a mutant male back in the 1800’s. They were then bred to be white with black eyes.
  • The growths from their heads look like feathers but are actually their gills
  • Found only in the lakes and canals of Xochimilco, Mexico
  • Eats small fish and worms
  • Before it was labeled endangered, it was a food favorite – especially in tamales
  • They can regenerate limbs, jaws, spines and even brains


Blobfish

image credit: Grufnik/Flickr

Not only is this one of the weirdest animals, sadly it may be one of the ugliest. Although their momma’s probably don’t think so! Their sad faces will make you feel sorry for them and suck you in, so stare with caution.

Fun Facts

  • Typically found 2,000-4,000 feet below the ocean’s surface.
  • They do not have bone or muscle
  • They rely on gelatinous flesh to keep them afloat
  • They are pretty inactive and only open their mouths when something edible comes their way
  • They like crabs, mollusks and sea urchins
  • There is little known about them in terms of life span or reproduction
  • It looks more like real fish when underwater but makes this more sad face like look when out of the water due to the lack of muscle


Blue Dragon (Glaucus)

image credit: Grufnik/Flickr

A mollusk that has an appearance that is hard to believe is real. They float on their back to use their bright blue bellies as camouflage from predators and are just a stunning creature!

Fun Facts

  • Prefers to eat the Portugese man o’war
  • Can take in the venomous tentacles of the man o’war and store them and use them if they feel threatened
  • It is a hermaphrodite meaning it can produce both sperm and egg
  • Can grow to be just over 1″ long
  • Can swallow air and use ti to float on the water’s surface


Weird Looking Insects

Treehoppers

image credit: E.S. Ross

I am not a fan of bugs, this one caught my eye and I had to learn more. Treehoppers are not only cool to look at but have some really cool features that make them so unique.

Fun Facts

  • The Treehopper has a helmet that is hard and tough and can come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors based on the species
  • They are usually under a half inch in size
  • There are over 3,000 separate species of the treehopper – each with their own look that blends into their specific environment
  • Enjoys the nutritious liquid that comes from plant stems
  • Usually found in warmer parts of the world


Giant Weta

image credit:  Sid Mosdell licensed CC BY 2.0 

Extinction Risk: Endangered

Being a person who despises bugs – this creep crawly almost made me jump out of my chair! The size of this bug makes me want to stay out of New Zealand! It is considered one of the biggest insects on earth and has a prehistoric look that is just terrifying.

Fun Facts

  • Can weigh up to 2.5 ounces
  • Carrots are a favorite snack
  • Native to New Zealand
  • Can be the size of a small gerbil
  • Their ears are below their knee joints
  • Although it looks like it should, it cannot jump
  • Tracing of existence go back to dinosaur days
  • There are various species of giant Weta


Weird Looking Primates

Coquerel Sifaka (shee-fa’-ka)

image credit: Saint Louis Zoo

Extinction Risk: Critically Endangered

One of the most beautiful weird animals on our list with their stunning body markings and big bulgy eyes. Their eyes give them a little of that creepy factor I was looking for. These beauties are part of the lemur family.

Fun Facts

  • Found in Madagascar
  • Named after the sound it makes when it sees an enemy coming
  • Mostly white with maroon patches
  • Black face is furless except for the muzzle which usually has a small white tuft of fur
  • Walking is more of a dance on their hind legs – and they use arms outreached for balance
  • Plant-eaters that prefer leaves
  • Can jump over 40 feet with their hind legs
  • About 18″ long
  • Tail is about the length of their body
  • Weigh about 9 pounds


Bald Uakari

image credit: Aaron Martin – Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Extinction Risk: Vulnerable

Personally, I find this primate to be a little scary – never mind weird! Their bright red – and bald face gives them a creepy feel like something out of a thriller movie!

Fun Facts

  • Native to the countries of Peru, Brazil and Columbia
  • Eats fruits and leaves during flood seasons and seeds, nuts and roots in the dry season
  • Rainforest habitat that tends to flood
  • Lives in the trees to avoid the floods
  • Weighs from 4 to 7 pounds
  • Can live in the wild up to 20 years
  • Grows to about 15-22″ in height
  • Red color of the face is the blood flow beneath their thing layer of skin
  • Extremely short tail which is only about 6″ in length
  • Uses and arms and legs to travel between trees
  • Usually monogamous


Tarsier

image credit: AP Photo / Aaron Favila

Extinction Risk: Endangered

This adorable little primate that loves to leap from tree to tree is one of the smallest and most unique looking primates out there with their Yoda vibe.

Fun Facts

  • Used to be found in Asia, Europe and North America but are now only found in the islands of Southeast Asia
  • Huge eyes that each weigh as much as their brain
  • Eyes are so big they can’t move them in their head
  • Heads can turn 180 degrees in either direction – which helps since they cannot move just their eyes
  • Sticky fingers are elongated for better ability to grip and cling to surfaces
  • The world’s only strictly carnivorous primate
  • They are very vocal
  • Scent glands on face, stomach and genitals to help defend territories


20+ weird looking animals

Resources: IUCN Red List used for verification of extinction status

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