As children, many of us spent our time pouring through books about nature and the ocean. We loved finding the weird and wonderful animals and sea life that share the planet with us. Maybe we dreamed of becoming marine biologists or zoologists, spending our time in nature or the ocean, where we would interact with the creatures we loved.
That's how children are, aren't they... and many adults too. The love for nature, the oceans and all the creatures in them remain strong in many! And that's a good thing because the way we treat our planet means that our oceans and other natural habitats are under constant threat.
So today, we are going to ask you to go back to that time when you were a kid, discovering new animals and sea creatures for the first time. We have assembled a range of land animals and residents of the deep for you to identify. And these are not your run of the mill giraffe or whale. We are talking about strange beasts here, ones that you may have only seen a few times before.
Do you think you have what it takes to identify them?
Known as the scaly anteater, Pangolins are not related to anteaters in any way, or sloths for that matter. They are their own animal. This insect eater is covered in scales, and this is the only mammal in the world to have them. They eat mostly ants and termites.
Any idea as to the name of this fish? It lives at depths of up to 6 kilometers.
It is thought that grenadiers are one of the most populous fish found at great depths. In fact, scientists believe they make up around 15% of the population at these depths. They can live as deep as 6 kilometers!
It’s big. It’s red, and it’s made of jelly. Well, not quite; it’s not that red actually, it just has a faint tinge. This jellyfish does not have tentacles per se, as they are almost like mini arms. It uses these to catch its prey.
Can you name this sea creature that is thought to have inspired the legend of the Kraken?
We know they are there, we just don’t see them that often. Giant squids are creatures of legend, and it is thought the legendary sea monster, the Kraken, was a giant squid. These creatures only have one enemy… the sperm whale.
Name this creature blessed with extremely out of proportion rear legs.
If a mouse and a kangaroo mated, you might get a Jerboa. Actually, this strange looking animal is part of the rodent family. Well, they do look like mice but those long legs help the Jerboa jump really well.
A wingspan of up to 1.8-inches is impressive, right? But can you name this animal?
Hummingbird hawk moth
That’s a seriously impressive moth! Humminbird hawk moths are found in Europe and Africa amongst other places. This moth is big and can have a wingspan of up to 1.8 inches. They have a long proboscis that is used to extract honey from plants.
If this thing lived in the shallows, not many people would choose to go into the ocean! It’s scary looking. Luckily, these creatures are only found very deep, where they crawl the bottom of the ocean. They live in the Atlantic ocean mostly.
The undersea creature featured in this image is the ___________.
The Anglerfish has his own lure to attract prey. It is a flesh protrusion from the top of his head that attracts other fish, which the anglerfish then attacks. Other fish must be a little stupid! Why go near this fierce looking thing?
Would you be able to identify this interesting looking creature?
So what’s so special about the Maned wolf? Well, it's those long legs! And guess what? This isn’t a wolf, either. It is a from the genus Chrysocyon and the only species in that genus. Incidentally, Chrysocyon means “golden dog.”
Another strange looking creature, this species found in Asia also has a cousin in Africa. What is it?
Found in Asia, the Chevrotain is more commonly called the Mouse Deer. A similar species live in Africa. They are ungulates, a diverse family that includes deer, donkeys, and cattle, to name a few. Adults weigh around 8 kilograms.
That mouth is scary! It allows this sea creature to swallow large things. What is this creature called?
The Gulper eel gets its name from its huge mouth. This means it can swallow its prey, thanks to the loosely hinged jaw been able to open very wide. It is also named the Pelican eel because its jaw is similar in looks to the beak of a pelican.
The male of this species never eats and dies after mating. Sounds like a tough gig. Can you name the sea creature?
Pacific black dragon
The Pacific Black dragons live at great depths where they hunt their prey. Well, females that is. Males never eat and they die after mating. Males and females also look very different, with females growing far bigger. That’s probably because they get to eat!
Well, the Gerenuk would pass for any other type of antelope, until you see its long neck. In fact, the name of this animal means “giraffe-necked” in the Somali language. These antelopes are found in near the horn of Africa.
What animal is this? It is found in Southeast Asia.
Giant ground sloth
Sunda flying lemur
Look at those eyes! So cute! The Sunda flying lemur is found throughout Southeast Asia and is only one of two flying lemur species in the world. Technically, it doesn’t fly; it glides while making huge jumps from tree to tree.
Not much is known about these creatures, but it is thought they each prey whole. Do you have any idea what it is?
Frilled sharks are not often seen. Scientists have deemed them to be a living fossil. These incredible creatures live in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is thought that they eat their prey whole. Scary!
Electric shocks and a mouth on top of its head. Can you name this strange creature?
Electric shocks! Yes, and it hides from its enemies. The Stargazer is so called as it has eyes on the top of its head, as well as its mouth. This fish will embed itself in the sand waiting for its prey. Scary!
This animal has strange pointy teeth. Do you know what it is?
Probably the first thing you might notice about the tufted deer is those large incisors. Tufted deer receive their name from their tufts of hair on the top of their heads. Only the males have the canine-like teeth.