Creepy Animals

…they're really interesting.

Apr 14 2013

Marabou Stork

Marabou Stork with hairlike feathers on head

When are you due?

OB-GYNs in Africa now unanimously agree that delivering babies would be extremely creepy if they came bundled in rags carried by a Marabou Stork. This bird won’t be carrying newborns anytime soon, but it will happily devour your baby’s diapers. The Marabou Stork is a scavenger – eating everything from carrion to small animals, and more commonly human trash around dumps in its native Africa.

The Marabou Stork is absolutely huge – reaching heights of up to 5 feet, weight of up to 20 lbs. and a wingspan of up to 10 feet across - the largest span of any bird. This stork is also uncannily known as the Undertaker Bird – it wears a black cloak of feathers, the hair-like head feathers “become clotted with blood and other substances when the bird’s head was inside a large corpse.” To keep cool, it defecates on its legs and feet. That is some undertaking.

Marabou Stork head

Just a little crusted blood. No big deal.

Marabou Stork with large pouch

The pouch. Filled with secrets.

Marabou Stork flying in the sky with wide wingspan

Dumpster diving reaches new heights.

Photos via SkyscraperCity, EarthandScienceFlickr, Wildlife-photo.org

Feb 14 2012

Long-Wattled Umbrella Bird

Umbrella bird in the forest.

If Rihanna only knew about this.

 

Long-wattled umbrella bird feathers.

If a mop and a feather duster had a baby....

The Long-Wattled Umbrella Bird is no stranger to falling drops of water. It lives in the Choco rainforests in Ecuador and western Colombia. While the hanging feather wattle at its neck doesn’t expand upwards and shade the bird, it is inflatable and amplifies its powerful calls.

Long-wattled Umbrella Bird on a branch.

Wow. What a wattle.

Photos via Lost in Birding, Nat Geo

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

Mar 2 2010

Cassowary

Cassowary bird.

Like Big Bird. From Creepy Street.

Take heed, dear readers and be very wary of the Cassowary. The flightless big bird can’t spell or count, but it will fight you for hardly any reason. It will charge approaching passers-by and if cornered, it will kick and blade you with a dagger-like talon on its inner toe.

When not picking fights, the Cassowary is a shy, omnivorous creature that lives in the tropical forests of northeastern Australia and in New Guinea. Powerful legs take it to speeds of up to 30 mph and the helmet (called a casque) helps it batter through underbrush while chasing after your sorry arse.

Nov 2 2009

Extremes: Featherless Chicken

Featherless chicken.

This photo could turn you vegetarian.

This is just wrong, creepy, and somehow hilarious all at the same time. Through selective breeding, the featherless chicken was created as a prototype for a new chicken breed that could be faster-growing and ‘environmentally friendly,’ meaning the energy that would otherwise be lost to the feather-plucking process could be conserved. We think there just might be better ways to go greener. Featherless chicken nuggets anyone?

Oct 12 2009

Rare: Recurve-billed Bushbird

Smiling bird with upside down bill.

Smile for the camera!

This rare, gorgeous bird hadn’t been seen for 40 years until a conservationist photographed it in the Colombian wild in 2005. The unusual beak looks as if it’s upside down, giving us the illusion of happiness. In truth, the Recurve-billed Bushbird has nothing to be happy about as deforestation for agriculture has reduced its habitat.

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