Creepy Animals

…they're really interesting.

Jan 16 2012

Bornean Bay Cat

Borneo Bay Cat in captivity.


The ultra elusive, uber evasive, super rare Bornean Bay Cat had never been seen by a living human until a specimen was captured alive (above) in 1992. The nocturnal cat species lives only on the island of Borneo and due to rapidly increasing deforestation, a population of less than 2500 is estimated!

Rare Borneo Bay Cat in the wild.

Cat. At bay. In Borneo.

Photo via Mongabay

Aug 15 2011

Metallic Beetles

Super shiny gold and silver beetles

Shine on.

These radiant gold and silver beetles (Chrysina aurigans [left] and Chrysina limbata [right]) live in the dense rainforests of Costa Rica. And they’re gorgeous. We only wish we could wear precious metals from head to toe. Shamefully, these insects actually use their reflective bodies to hide amid vegetation by replicating shiny surfaces like beads of water.

What? How? Why?

The beetle’s wings manipulates light. According to NewScientist, ‘Light travels at different speeds through each of the 70 or so layers of exoskeletal chitin. Part of the light is reflected off each layer, and the intensity of the reflections is amplified as they constructively interfere with one another, creating an opulent sheen.’

Photo via Eduardo Libby. Want more bling? We do too:

Shiny blue beetles on leaf.

The lustrous blue of the Green Dock Beetle.

Photo via MObugs

Green metallic scarab beetle on flowers.

The green sheen of the Metallic Scarab Beetle.

Photo via What’s That Bug

Iridescent metallic beetle on flower.

The iridescent opalescence of Chrysolina Fastuosa.

Photo via Jaap Polak

Purple metallic beetle eating leaf.

The glitzy gloss of the Purple Metallic Beetle.

Photo via

Aug 9 2011

Bare-faced Bulbul

Bare-faced bulbul bird.

Bare bare birdie.


Bare-faced bulbul bird in tree.

Laying shame to the Bald Eagle.

Clearly the Bare-faced Bulbul has nothing to hide. And yet, this Bulbul has barely faced human contact. The songbird was only recently discovered in central Laos twittering about the steep features of the limestone karst region near Pha Lom.

Photo via Bird Forum

Aug 3 2011

Goliath Tigerfish

Goliath tier fish caught

Now open wide...


Goliath tiger fish with large teeth.

Just a little wider...


Goliath tiger fish mouth open with sharp teeth.

That's it.

Grows like goliath, hunts like a tiger and swims like a fish. The Goliath Tigerfish lurks the waters of the Congo River system and several other lakes in southern Africa. This fish is remarkably adept at swimming and killing due in part to an air-filled sac in its body that allows it to detect vibrations from animals in the water. Those razorsharp spikes in its mouth may also help the cause.

Many thanks to dear reader John C. for shoring up this goliath creepy animal.

Aug 1 2011

Honeypot Ant

Honeypot Ant filled with liquid food.



Two Honeypot Ants in habitat.



Honeypot Ant in underground colony.


The Honeypot Ant is the perfect metaphor for how to survive in the post-consumer world: save and spend when needed. Just two easy steps.


When food is abundant, the honeypot ant gets it’s nom on courtesy of other worker ants that feed it till it’s nearly bursting at the seams. The ant converts the food into a sweet liquid-y substance which is stored within the swollen abdomen. In this state the ant can balloon to the size of a grape, unable to move much within the colony walls.


When food is scarce, the honeypot ants regurgitate their stored nectar to feed their nest mates. According to Wikipedia, ‘in certain places, they are eaten by people as sweets and are considered a delicacy.’ Who’s hungry now?

Special thanks to dear reader Marcie for sending us this little treat. “Sloth” photo by Greg Hume.

Apr 26 2011

Immortal Jellyfish

Immortal jellyfish.

I don't think you're ready for this Jelly.

Immortal jellyfish in larval state.

Game over, jellyfish. Play again. And again. And again. And again...

Turritopsis dohrnii just won’t quit. The aptly named Immortal Jellyfish is the only creature in the world that can revert back to its juvenile form after reaching sexual maturity. How, you ask?

The process is called transdifferentiation, whereby one type of cell is transformed into another type of cell. The Immortal Jellyfish can do this with its entire body.

The adult Immortal Jellyfish looks and floats like…a jellyfish. But when conditions aren’t ideal, it turns into a “blob-like cyst”, anchors to a surface and undergoes reverse metamorphosis back to its juvenile form as a mere polyp. It’s like a full-grown frog turning back into a lowly tadpole.

Scientists believe it can repeat its life cycle indefinitely. Since they’re constantly cheating death, the Immortal Jellyfish are now spreading from their native Caribbean to waters all over the world.

Photos via Peter Schuchert and Nat Geo

Apr 21 2011

Texas Blind Salamander vs. the Olm

Olm swimming in a cave.

Defense: the Olm.

–  and  –

Texas Blind Salamander underwater.

Offense: the Texas Blind Salamander.

Rivalries in the animal kingdom are nothing new: Giant Squid vs. Sperm Whale, Baby Elephant vs. Crocodile. Now, a juxtaposition that will creep you out: the Texas Blind Salamander vs. the Olm. Both salamanders are pale, sightless, live in caves underground and remain in the gill-breathing larval stage its entire life. Let’s rack and stack:

The Texas Blind Salamander is found in just one location – the San Marcos Pool of the Edwards Aquifer in Hays, Texas.

Score: +1

The Olm is evolutionarily distinct: it is part of an ancient lineage of amphibians evolving independently for 190 million years! It lives for 50-100 years! It’s able to survive without food for up to 10 years!

Score: +3

Winner: Umm, the Olm.

Olm with elongated head.

This is what a winner looks like. Olm my god.

Photos via Discover Magazine and Arkive

Apr 17 2011

Asian Sheepshead Wrasse

Asian Sheepshead Wrasse with big head.

Caution: Wide Load.

We all know the sea is thick with fish. With so many different species, some are bound to be a little unsightly. It’s basically a numbers game, and the Asian Sheepshead Wrasse happens to be a victim of the odds. This fish swims the shallow waters around China, Japan and the Koreas while resembling a very old man. With bulging protrusions on its head and jaw, this is a face only a mother could love.

Asian Sheepshead Wrasse swimming.

Waitaminute. Is that my grandpa swimming in the ocean?

Photo via Arkive

Watch it swim:

Mar 29 2011

Animal Anomaly: Hexapus

six-legged octopus

This 'pus ain't no octo.

We love it when cephalopods get creepy. This six-legged octopus — a so-called Hexapus — lives at the Blackpool Sea Life Centre in England. It’s the only Hexapus known to man!

Though it’s technically a mutant and isn’t heavily armed, it gets by just as well as the eight-legged variety. Suckers.

Mar 1 2011

Celebes Crested Macaque

Celebes Crested Macaque monkey in heat.

Bottoms up!

Celebes Crested Macaques are real swingers. We mean that in both the literal and figurative sense. This monkey lives only in the forests of the northeast portion of Sulawesi plus other tiny neighboring islands in Indonesia where we’re pretty sure they all know each other. Despite the population density, they’re very promiscuous: males and females mate various times with various partners. When the female is in heat, her buttocks turn red and swell to an anatomically disproportionate volume. This makes for an exemplary creepy animal.

Celebes Crested Macaque monkey bottom.

More cushion for the pushin'.

Photos via Flickr and Northrup Photography