Creepy Animals

…they're really interesting.

Feb 11 2011

Yoda Bat

Yube-nosed bat looks like Yoda.

"Do or do not... there is no try." Uh, try creepy as hell, Yoda.

Some say the wiseness of Yoda is unparalleled in the universe. Others say bats are just mice with wings and have the intelligence level of a rock. Now there’s a creepy animal that proves everyone wrong: meet the Yoda Bat. This tube-nosed bat was discovered in 2009 during an expedition to a remote mountain range in Papua New Guinea. The bat uses its creepy facial protuberance to locate delicious fruit. It also does an excellent job resembling a certain sage Jedi:

Tube-nosed bat versus Yoda.Creepy animal vs. animal-y creep.

Photo via Piotr Nasrecki/Conservation International and Flickr

Feb 4 2011

Pinocchio Frog

frog with long nose

"I love to lie! It's the truth."

The Pinocchio Frog was discovered in the remote Foja Mountains when herpetologist Paul Oliver saw an unusual amphibian perched on a bag of rice at the campsite. Oliver was unable to locate another Pinocchio Frog and suspects they dwell amongst the treetops. Let us celebrate this remarkable find with an excerpt from the original story:

Pinocchio: Oh, look! My nose! What’s happened?
The Blue Fairy: Perhaps you haven’t been telling the truth, Pinocchio.
Jiminy Cricket: Perhaps?

Way to lay it down, Jiminy. Turns out the male frog’s long, protruding nose points upward when it ribbits and hangs down low when it’s not. Nobody knows why. Creepy!

Photo via Nat Geo

Jan 25 2011

Binturong

Binturong on tree.

This is just rong.

You know something’s up when you’re smelling a fresh bag of piping hot microwave popcorn in the middle of a steamy rainforest in Southeast Asia. Chances are you’re near a Binturong, a civet-like animal that dwells in the forest canopy eating fruit and small animals.

The Binturong has scent glands near its tail that produce a musk often compared to ‘warm buttered popcorn,’ corn chips and cornbread. Who’s hungry now?

Jan 20 2011

Underwater Curiosities: Blanket Octopus

Blanket octopus swimming in the ocean.

Under a veil of creepiness, an octopus swims.

The allure of the unique Blanket Octopus is its poetic defense mechanism. When the Blanket Octopus is threatened, a gorgeous scarf-like webbing unfurls from a set of arms tucked within its body, making the animal appear large, intimidating and creepy to potential predators.

Snooze. We’d rather see a blast of jet-black ink in the face. Who’s with us?

Blanket octopus underwater and upside down.

This would totally go with that new blazer I just bought.

Watch the blanket in action, accompanied by proper English voiceover work:

Jan 11 2011

Tibetan Fox

Tibetan fox sitting on tibetan plateau.

Why so serious? Oh. Nevermind.

The Tibetan Fox roams the remote, parched earth of the tibetan plateau. This highly capable carnivore does a fantastic job of snatching small mammals with sharp teeth while appearing unapologetically smug. It also enjoys ample rest and relaxation in its burrow and no, it’s not impressed with this blog.

Photo via Milo Burcham

Oct 18 2010

Creature of the Deep: Japanese Spider Crab

Man holding largest Spider Crab in the world.

It would look even better next to a bowl of melted butter.

Crabs are some of the most delectable creatures the ocean has to offer. And just in time to ruin your day, we bring you the Japanese Spider Crab - the creepiest and largest of edible crustacean treats.

These behemoth crabs feed on shellfish and animal carcasses on the sea floor in deep waters near Japan. They are considered a culinary delicacy. Mmm…detritus never tasted so good.

Also to note is that Japanese Spider Crabs can grow to over 12 feet and may live up to 100 years. The terrifyingly tasty morsel in the photo above isn’t even all that big. This crab below was featured in Popular Science in 1920 and measures 12 feet claw to claw:

Biggest spider crab in museum.

Holy crab! Look at those meaty legs!

Oct 3 2010

Animal Anomaly: Turtles with Constricted Shells

Turtle shell constricted by plastic milk jug ring.

Milk jug ring: the real no-diet diet.

These two turtles experienced a different kind of plastic surgery. When they were wee turtlettes, they crawled through plastic waste that stuck to their small shells, holding them captive to the ring’s circumference and inhibiting proper growth. As they got older, their exoskeletons amazingly grew around the plastic rings! Man messes with Nature. Nature messes with Man.

Obligatory PSA: Cut plastic rings before discarding. Prevent yet another turtle from turning into a creepy animal:

Turtle shell constricted by plastic soda can rings.

Another method of controlling one's waistline.

Sep 17 2010

Unapologetically Creepy: Cyclocosmia Spider

Cyclocosmia trapdoor spider.

The trap door spider = abomination of mother Earth and scourge of the insect world.

Cyclocosmia trapdoor spider bottom.

Wow. Seriously, Nature? You've really outdone yourself with this spider.

Love strange creatures? Hungry for more? Try this recipe for the creepalicious Cyclocosmia Spider:

Ingredients:
- 1 small size spider
- 1/2 fresh coconut, flesh removed
- 1 large ancient Andean coin
- secrets

Directions: Select a location in the Florida Panhandle. In a large hole, combine ingredients and let sit for awhile. Carefully remove top soil. The Cyclocosmia Spider should be firm to touch and ready to scare the bejesus out of you. Serves 1.

Enjoy!

Sep 1 2010

Narwhal

Narwhals swimming.

A horn grows through the upper lip of this whale. This calls for a haiku.

narwhals are special,

unicorns of the arctic,

one tusk, sometimes two

Narwhal with two tusks.

Double tusk all the way. It's so beautiful.

Photo via National Geographic and jangeisler

Aug 30 2010

Rare: Bush Dog

Bush dog.

Neither a bush, nor a dog.

You know that feeling you get when something you’ve never seen before seems really, oddly familiar? Meet the Bush Dog. Could be a bear, badger, or fox depending on the angle. Either way, it’s creepy. These little Dogs of the Bush populate forests all over Central/South America eating small mammals and such. Despite an extensive range, only 15,000 remain.

Photo via Nicola Williscroft

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