Creepy Animals

…they're really interesting.

Aug 26 2010


Tarsier looking backwards.

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.

Tarsier skull.

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.

Jun 27 2010


Jerboa with large ears.

Creepiness is just a hop, skip and jump away.

This creepy-cum-cuddly creature’s oversized ears, snub nose and innocent beady eyes instantly recall memories of cute-overload cartoon characters. Then you realize that the Jerboa is actually a relative of the rat that can hop faster than you can run and easily top a full-grown man in one jump with its ‘roo-like legs. Adding to the shiver factor is the fact that it walks upright and uses its tail as a prop…a third leg, if you will. Inhabiting desert-like regions of Asia and Africa, it does not drink water but survives on moisture from its diet of insects and seeds…or produced by its own metabolism.

Not surprisingly, the shy, solitary and nocturnal Jerboa was filmed in the wild for the first time only a few years ago and was identified by the London Zoo as one of the 100 most evolutionarily distinct and endangered mammals in the world. Not just another rat is it?

Jun 14 2010

Chinese Water Deer

Chinese Water Deer with fangs.

Deer Xing? proudly presents the Chinese Water Deer. Cue images of an asian Bambi, prancing around tall reeds, munching on sweet grasses, swimming in rivers and kissing toadstools. Closeup on those doe eyes…wait! What are those fangs doing there? Nobody said this was vampire horror!

It isn’t, but close. In times of defense, the weapon of choice for the Chinese Water Deer is not antlers (it has none), rather it’s two downward pointing canines. While its name suggests a presence in China, an introduced population in Britain puts those suckers to good use.

Many thanks to Lauren, who emailed us with this exemplary specimen of creepy.

May 26 2010

Animal Anomaly: One-eyed Kitten

Kitten with one eye on blanket.

Another example of the creepy-cute paradox? The evidence is before your eyes.

It was 2005 in Redmond, Oregon. Late one cold December night, a small kitten was born with just one eye, no nose and no eyelid. He was christened Cy (short for Cyclops) and passed away just one day later. Cy’s unique appearance was caused by a form of holoprosencephaly, a brain development disorder that can cause cyclopia — the failure of eyes to properly separate.

May 7 2010


Saiga antelope nose.

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


Baby Tapir.

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.

Feb 12 2010


Pangolin in desert.

Shuffling gait, no teeth, poor eyesight - and he's not even 20.

This here is the Pangolin. It mildly resembles an anteater. Pangolins walk waddle on two hind legs, using its tail for counterbalance – T-Rex style. It’s slow and hilarious. Lest you come across one, it’s only defense is to curl up into an armored ball and wait.

Though Pangolins are aggressively hunted for illegal trade in Asia, in the wild it is the hunter. It ploughs through ant and termite nests with massive claws then slurps up the goods. How? With a sticky, long tongue – the longest of any animal, relative to body size. It is so absurdly long that the tongue itself is attached near the pelvis and last pair of ribs. That’s damn creepy.

Pangolin tongue.

Mmm. Yummy.

Photos via Nigel Dennis and Biodiversity Explorer

Feb 9 2010


White Cuscus on tree.

Mnaw. Now isn't that precious?

Have the urge to hug this soft, fuzzy creature? Fight it. The Cuscus is more than an Australasian, nocturnal marsupial. It is downright creepy for the following reasons:

1. Possesses hands with sets of opposable fingers, similar to a chameleon’s. Heinous fingernails top it off.

2. Facial features reminiscent of accounts of extra-terrestrial sightings – large eyes, triangular face, barely visible ears, etc.

3. Has a name that sounds like a Moroccan dish.

Cuscus eating.

Starfruit and Spotted Cuscus. Excellent combination.

Photo via Ozanimals.

Watch the Creepycreepy Cuscus:

Jan 1 2010

Rare: Almiqui

Rare Almiqui captured.

WANTED. Creepy and dangerous. Last seen: 2003

The Almiqui isn’t pretty but it is most definitely special. Only 37 of these nocturnal Cuban creatures have been captured and the species was thought to be extinct for many years. They resemble shrews or rodents but are not at all related – Almiqui also have venomous saliva. This particular specimen was captured alive in 2003 and released after 2 days of scientific prodding and a quick photo shoot.

Dec 15 2009

Unapologetically Creepy: Star-nosed Mole

Star-nosed Mole.

Smells like creepy.

Imagine: Wolverine-style claws implanted on your XXL paddle-shaped hands, beady eyes buried deep in your matted fur, and…22 fleshy pink tentacles surrounding your nostrils. Sounds creepy? Very. Just a day in the life of the Star-nosed Mole.