The daintily named sea pig is actually a kind of locally abundant sea cucumber that inhabits the world’s abyssal plains up to 3.7 miles beneath the surface. It gets its name from a characteristic pink, eggplant-shaped body and bloated legs that give it a porcine appearance. Like their shallower cucumber cousins, sea pigs play an important role in marine ecosystems. They feed on detritus that falls to the seafloor from the rich waters above, whether plankton or a whale carcass. They walk along on a few large tube feet, using a combination of muscle contractions and body fluids. Modified pairs of legs can act as antennae to detect food.
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Something like a nocturnal koala-tarsier combo, the aye-aye has to be the strangest primate you thought up, Evolution. Not sure why you gave it sparse, wirey hairs when you had a great opportunity to make it cute, but we’ll just assume that every part of the aye-aye plays a role in its adaptation to its environment. Now, off to find more weird animal photos! Check out these 6 other nocturnal animals that are rarely seen by humans next.
Most of us don’t grasp the variety of animals species that inhabit the Earth today, and some even get surprised as they find out there’s an animal they haven’t heard of before. But seriously now – out of 1,367,555 identified non-insect animal species that live on Earth today, how do you expect to know every single one of them? To put it into perspective, take into account that this number represents only 1% of all animal species that ever lived!
The Mutillidae are a family of more than 3,000 species of wasps (despite the names) whose wingless females resemble large, hairy ants. Found in Chile, they are known for their extremely painful stings, hence the common name cow killer or cow ant. Black and white specimens are sometimes known as panda ants due to their hair coloration resembling that of the Chinese giant panda. (Image credits: Chris Lukhaup)