There are a lot of weird and wonderful creatures out there. Here are our top 3:
The Maned Wolf
If a fox mated with Tyra Banks then you’d end up with this striking beast. No, it’s not a fox on stilts, it’s actually a South American maned wolf, which is also misleading because it isn’t a wolf either; although it is from South America). In fact, scientists aren’t really sure what it is, however, in 2009, genetic analysis showed that it’s closest relative was the Falkland Islands wolf (also not really a wolf), which became extinct towards the end of the 19th Century.
Fun fact: Maned wolves are the tallest wild canine with an impressive shoulder height of almost 90cm! What’s more, their urine smells like marijuana. This became apparent in 2006 after police were called to reports of visitors smoking pot at Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands. On closer investigation, however, it turned out to be one of the mane foxes marking its territory. It seems that this strange canid is high in more ways than one!
Yep, you read that correctly! The penis snake looks and sounds more like it belongs on Brazzers than National Geographic but it’s shockingly real and completely harmless. The penis snake is another critter with a misleading name. Contrary to what many may think, the penis snake is neither penis nor snake but instead a caecilian, which is a type of legless amphibian.
The penis snake was only recently discovered, in Brazil, whilst workmen were draining a part of the Madeira river. If it’s appearance isn’t odd enough it has also no lungs and breathes through its skin. It also has very poor eyesight. However, whilst it may be pretty useless in many regards it might just be the alpha male when it comes to size as this strange phallus worm can actually grow to around 30 inches long. Don’t worry just yet though guys, whilst it may be big, it’s reported to have no sense of humour and an inability to stiffen unless dead.
The name of this interesting little fella makes it sound like it just poked its head out of a Lewis Carroll poem and, by the looks of it, it probably ought to go back.
As can be seen in the photo, these upright African beasts have the abiltiy to gather food from the tops of trees and bushes. They also have rather small heads in comparison to the rest of their body, with large ears and eyes, giving them a peculiar if not odd charm. Males generally weigh around 100 pounds, whilst females come in at around 68 pounds.
One interesting fact about the gerenuk is that it can survive purely on water imbibed from its food source, allowing it to survive in the harsh arid landscapes of the African continent.