“The shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) is one of the most sought after bird in Africa. A most amazing bird with prehistoric looks – its height of up to 150 centimeters (5 feet) and weighs up to 14 pounds – a most amazing bird found in the pearl of Africa – Uganda. The Arabs used to call the Shoebill Stork – “Abu Maruk” meaning father of the shoe – one could call the Shoebill Stork a flying shoe because of his unique bill. Amazingly this prehistoric looking bird can live for 50 some years. The population of the shoebills is estimated at between 5,000 and 8,000 individuals, the majority of which live in swamps in Sudan, Uganda, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia. BirdLife International has classified it as Vulnerable with the main threats being habitat destruction, disturbance and hunting.” – Manuela Kulpa
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The dugong is a herbivorous marine mammal, often called the “sea cow” for its habit of grazing on seagrass meadows. Dugongs are related to manatees and are similar in appearance and behavior— though the dugong’s tail is fluked like a whale’s. These mammals can stay underwater for six minutes before surfacing. They sometimes breathe by “standing” on their tail with their heads above water.
Evolution, I just have a few questions. And they all have to do with why this fish looks oddly like my Grandpa Tom. Also, who was so lazy that they decided on ‘blobfish’? Honestly, I could write an entire book of questions, but for now, I’ll just admire the laziness of the blobfish, who doesn’t work for food and rather just inhales whatever floats by that looks generally edible (yes––that’s true).
These creatures possess one of the most bizarre noses in the entire animal kingdom. The snouts are lined with more than 25,000 minute sensory receptors that help the mole feel its way through its underground lair. These 11 pairs of pink fleshy appendages ringing its snout is used as a touch organ and are perfectly poised to detect seismic wave vibrations.
Chrysomallon squamiferum is found around inhospitable Indian Ocean hydrothermal vents, extreme ecosystems in 8,000 feet of water. Water temps can reach over 700°F, and biological communities sprout up where the salt water and extreme heat interact. Here, armored snails use iron sulfide to build their shells — the only animals on Earth to use iron in this way. Black metallic scales also cover the foot.
There are 18 different species of octopus within the genus Grimpoteuthis which are commonly referred to as a “Dumbo octopuses” due to their characteristic ear-like fins that make them resemble Disney’s Dumbo. These enigmatic cephalopods are a pretty rare sight since they usually dwell in deep waters ranging from 400 meters to 4,800 meters, but the few times they have been spotted has revealed that they usually eat crustaceans and worms. They’ve also been observed around deep sea hydrothermal vents, which are areas on the sea floor where hot and mineral rich fluids spew out due to volcanic activity.
When Anastassia was flipping through an old family album, she stumbled across a photo of herself playing with her pet birds when she was four years old. In the background was another girl holding what looks to be a stuffed animal. But the crazy part is, Anastassia says there was no other little girl there when the picture was taken—well, not living at least. Her parents also confirmed that they had never seen that child before. And as if this story wasn't creepy enough already, Anastassia allegedly was later told by a psychic, without being prompted, that the "spirit" of a young girl was following her.