Feb 4 2013
If a shy rabbit and a feisty kangaroo had a lovechild, it would be the Bilby of Australia – a nocturnal marsupial that digs extensive tunnels under the land down under. Above ground, it scratches the soil for insects, seeds, fruit, fungi and small animals. The Bilby has excellent hearing, rarely needs to drink water, and looks cute without really trying.
Nobunny can top this.
Unfortunately for the Bilby, its numbers have dwindled since the moment European settlers landed in Australia. Habitat destruction and introduction of invasive animals have not helped. While European rabbits have made their best efforts trying to make Australians forget about the Bilby, a national plan is underway to save the endangered creature – captive breeding, population monitoring and promoting the Bilby as an alternative to the Easter Bunny.
The Easter Bilby. Tastes like bunny.
Photos via NPR, Bilby Appreciation Society
Feb 14 2012
If Rihanna only knew about this.
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.
Wow. What a wattle.
Photos via Lost in Birding, Nat Geo
Aug 26 2010
Thinking about delicious crickets or contemplating suicide?
This creepy cutie is the Tarsier. Want to take one home and pet it? Too bad for you. It would rather kill itself. Tarsiers have never been successful in captivity: when caged, they often injure and even commit suicide due to stress. Head-bashing against a hard surface is the preferred method.
Other than that, these nocturnal mammals populate the islands of southeast asia and feast on insects after stunning em’ with their long middle fingers. The third finger is so long, it’s the same length and its forearm. Even creepier, their eyes are fixed in their skulls so they can only look straight ahead. Good thing they can turn their necks 180 degrees.
Eye sockets or eye pockets? Debatable.
Photo via Tribung Pinoy
Many thanks to dear reader Sarah, who brought this darling little creep to our attention.
May 7 2010
The Saga of the Saiga: creepy, but dwindling.
If animals were made of Lego-like pieces that you could wedge together, the Saiga is something an unscrupulous child would put together. Let’s see here: I’ll take the nose of an anteater, the legs of a paraplegic baby deer and let me mount these two carrots as a headpiece. Great, now let me run it over with my train set.
Sadly, this ungulate is critically endangered, all because some ancient culture’s mixed drink recipe included Saiga horns as an ingredient. As a result, these proudly-creepy creatures are running around the steppes of Mongolia with GPS units attached, hoping to attract mates while looking like cyborg-sheep-anteater-goat-vegetables. We wish them the best of luck in their reproductive endeavors.
[Photo via Spectacular Planet]
Mar 7 2010
Mnaw. Look at the cute little...uh, wait what is that?
Congratulations! It’s a new baby Tapir! This animal is neither Pig nor Rhinoceros nor Elephant – but it is most certainly creepy. Tapirs resemble pigs with four toes and a truncated elephant nose. Their prehensile proboscis serves them well – they’re able to reach foliage otherwise unattainable. These herbivores can be found in the jungles of South/Central America and Southeast Asia though you may encounter some difficulty – all 4 species are currently endangered.
They grow up so fast!
Many thanks to dear reader Ming for suggesting such a fine addition to this menagerie of creepy.