Sparklemuffin In 2015, an Australian peacock spider was spotted in the Wondul National Park woodlands near Brisbane. Sparklemuffin got its nickname from University of California researcher Madeline Girard, who identified the species and gave it the scientific name maratus jactatus. These brightly coloured spiders are only five millimetres long and have a distinctive mating ritual.
Harpy Eagle The harpy eagle is one of the most distinctive birds on the globe, with an appearance that resembles a mix between a cockatoo and a bird of prey. Their wingspan may exceed seven feet, transporting these 20-pound birds into the Central and South American rainforests, where they hunt big animals like sloths and monkeys. Habitat loss is a danger to harpy eagles, but this bir
Coatimundi The coatimundi, a widespread species in Central and South America that can occasionally be spotted in the American Southwest, is a strange sight in much of the United States. It then takes on the role of a raccoon in the food chain, scavenging for fruits, lizards, rodents, and eggs, as well as raiding the garbage can on occasion. Coatimundis may be found from Uruguay to Texas, but be aware that they are poisonous.
Jabiru Stork The glaring, dark stare of a five-foot-tall stork can be a frightening thing for the weary traveller. These fascinating birds can have territorial inclinations, as seen by a well-known incident at the Belize Zoo. After a jabiru stork tried to attack unsuspecting clients with its 14-inch-long bicorne, the exhibit now has a canopy over the tourist viewing platform.
Naked Mole Rat Naked mole rats are a common sight in East Africa, where they burrow into the dry grasslands of Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. The naked mole rat has baffled scientists for decades thanks to a series of unusual biological traits. Naked mole rats are unusually long-lived for rodents; some have been documented at 32 years of age. They are also resistant to cancer and are capable of living in an environment with just a tiny amount of oxygen for hours on end. They are a common sight in zoos across America. Naked mole rats may be seen all throughout East Africa, burrowing into the arid grasslands of Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya. Scientists have been perplexed by the naked mole rat for decades due to a variety of unique biological characteristics. Naked mole rats enjoy exceptionally long lives for rodents, with some living to reach 32 years old. They’re also cancer-resistant and may live for a long time.
Southern Cassowary The cassowary is Australia’s only flightless bird, standing over six feet tall and weighing almost 190 pounds. Cassowaries can be seen in their natural habitat in Australia’s Daintree National Park. Though cassowary dine exclusively on fruit, caution should be exercised around them. They’ve earned a reputation as “the most dangerous bird in the world,” thanks to raz
Kinkajou The kinkajou is the only non-primate tree-dwelling animal known. These tiny animals, which grow to be approximately two feet long and weigh about ten pounds, may be found in jungles from the Yucatan to the Amazon. Kinkajous utilise their prehensile tails to reach and eat fruit that is high in the forest canopy. They are particularly active at night and can be seen descending on occasion.
The shoebill stork has, well … a bill shaped like a shoe. What else is noteworthy about this incredible creature? Shoebills are unusually tall, reaching heights of over 4 feet in rare cases. Shobills are also very effective predators, unlike many other birds that live in comparable marsh habitats. Their large legs make it easy for them to navigate shallow waters, where they hunt reptiles. Finding a stick insect takes close inspection; as the name implies, it looks like a stick. This, along with the stick insect’s ability to remain absolutely motionless for long periods of time, gives it “one of the most effective natural camouflages on Earth,” as “National Geographic” puts it. Stick insects come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The huge prickly pear is one of the coolest.