The animal world of our planet never ceases to amaze us with the presence of amazing creatures of the most unusual shapes and colors. Some of them are so whimsical that it seems that nature created them in a playful mood.

We present to your attention another selection of the most amazing, unusual, little-known or rare representatives of the fauna from different parts of the globe.

At the end of the article you will find short videos about these unusual animals.

 

Striped seal

Striped seal (ribbon seal) or lionfish
wikimedia.org
Striped seal (ribbon seal) or lionfish
wikimedia.org
Striped seal (ribbon seal) or lionfish
pixnio.com
Striped seal (ribbon seal) or lionfish
flickr.com

The striped seal (ribbon seal) or lionfish is a rare species of seals, which got its name due to its peculiar coloration. Adult males have a very contrasting color – a general dark, almost black background with white stripes encircling the body in several places. Females have a similar type of coloration, but less contrast, and their general background is lighter, and the stripes sometimes merge and are often almost indistinguishable.

Striped seals are common in the Arctic and subarctic regions of the Pacific Ocean, namely in the Bering and Okhotsk Seas.

Among the ice, they choose even white ice floes, even high ones – the animals jump out of the water very well. They carefully check the ice floe, inspect it, jumping on it several times before choosing a place there and falling asleep. But already on the ice they lose their vigilance, and it is even easier to get close to them than to other seals.

The adult striped seal feeds mainly on fish, cephalopods, and sometimes crustaceans.

When these seals are caught in nets, they pretend to be dead.

 

Inca Tern

Inca Tern (Inca tern)
wikimedia.org
Inca Tern (Inca tern)
wikimedia.org
Inca Tern (Inca tern)
wikimedia.org
Inca Tern (Inca tern)
wikimedia.org

The Inca Tern (Inca tern) is distinguished by its ash-gray plumage, as well as white swirling tufts of feathers about 5 cm long on both sides of the base of the beak.

The Inca Tern breeds on the rocky coastline from Peru to northern Chile. It winters in coastal regions from Ecuador to central Chile. Since 2004, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed the status of this bird as "somewhat threatened", as the population of the Inca tern has experienced a significant decline.

The size of the Inca tern is about 40 cm, and it weighs about 190 grams. It makes sounds that are vaguely similar to a cat's meow.

The Inca Tern hunts in the cold but fish-rich Peruvian Current. Often she follows fishing trawlers to get hold of the rest of their prey. She also accompanies sea lions, whales and cormorants, catching fish that they frighten away.

 

Plains viscacha

Plains viscacha
snl.no
Plains viscacha
wikimedia.org
Plains viscacha
wikimedia.org
Plains viscacha
flickr.com

Plains viscacha is a species of mammal from the chinchilla family. Males have characteristic black mustaches and stiff sideburns, and they are also significantly larger than females. Plain viscacha is a large rodent, weighing up to 9 kg.

These animals live in northern, central and eastern Argentina, southern and western Paraguay and southeast Bolivia.

Viscachas live in colonies ranging from a few to hundreds. They build elaborate burrows that house successive colonies for decades.

Plains viscacha collect branches and heavy objects to close the entrance to their burrow. When they live close to human settlements, they tend to hoard brooms, tables, gardening tools, firewood, trinkets, pieces of concrete, and many man-made items to cover their burrow.

 

Baron's Mantella

Mantella baroni (Baron's mantella, golden spotted frog or Madagascar poison frog)
wikimedia.org
Mantella baroni (Baron's mantella, golden spotted frog or Madagascar poison frog)
wikimedia.org
Mantella baroni (Baron's mantella, golden spotted frog or Madagascar poison frog)
wikimedia.org
Mantella baroni (Baron's mantella, golden spotted frog or Madagascar poison frog)
wikipedia.org

Mantella baroni is a species of small poison frog native to Madagascar. This frog is also known by other names such as Barona's mantella, golden spotted frog or Madagascar poison frog.

This family is estimated to have colonized the island of Madagascar 76–87 million years ago, evolving in insular seclusion and adaptively changing in the geographic range and number of species on the island.

It lives in swampy forests, streams, bamboo groves, on the edges of forests and near rivers.

Barona's mantella feeds primarily on ants, but also consumes a number of other arthropod species such as beetles, spiders, and mites.

Ingestion of mites allows them to secrete high concentrations of pharmacologically active alkaloids in their skin, making them toxic to predators, and their bright coloration serves as a warning sign that ingestion can be dangerous and cause disease.

 

Large gliders

Large gliders (greater gliders)
wikipedia.org
Large gliders (greater gliders)
wikimedia.org
Large gliders (greater gliders)
wikipedia.org

Greater gliders are 3 species of large gliding marsupials in the genus Petauroides, all of which are native to eastern Australia. These are the largest marsupial gliders in the world. They use their furry membranes to glide up to 100 meters between trees. They also wrap themselves in their membranes, using them as blankets to keep warm.

Until 2020, they were considered one species. All 3 species differ in size, with the northern grand glider only growing to the size of a small ring-tailed opossum, while the southern grand glider only grows to the size of a domestic cat. The central large glider occupies an intermediate position between these two.

These animals are rather clumsy on the ground, but very nimble in the trees and in flight. Their body is covered with shaggy hair, which increases their apparent size, and the tail is long and fluffy, from 44 to 53 centimeters. Each side of the body has membranes that extend between the elbow and ankle, which give these animals the ability to perform controlled gliding.

Large gliders are predominantly nocturnal, spending the night foraging in the highest parts of the forest. During the day, they spend most of their time in tree cavities, with each animal inhabiting up to 20 different dens within its home range.

 

Striped seal

 

Inca Tern

 

Plains viscacha

 

Baron's Mantella

 

Big glider