Nature

Life in the Animal World Can Get Weird

By Robin Mei - November 23, 2016
Credits: It's like a flying fox with arms that are too skinny for its body.

A Giant Salamander Out of Water

Credits: Normally, the giant salamander steers clear of daytime activities and people.

The Japanese giant salamander is the second largest salamander in the world. Their preferred habitat is in rivers, where they can move a little more gracefully underwater. They are an impressive two meters (6.5 feet) in length.

This salamander was found enjoying the sun during a slow-paced stroll. However, he scared some folks and required a police escort back to his home in the Kamogawa River.

Sources: Giant Salamander Gets Police Escort For A Leisurely Stroll Along Japanese River, Japanese Giant Salamander in Kyoto

A Hermit Crab With a Creepy Doll Head Shell

Credits: This is exactly what nightmares are made of.

Crabs have soft abdomens which make them vulnerable to predators. So, in order to protect themselves, they search for a surrogate shell if they lose their own.

This hermit crab was spotted on a remote Pacific island hiding in a severed doll’s head. The crab was just in the process of hanging up its ‘Home Sweet Home’ sign.

Even though it is expected to see a crab following its natural survival instinct, it’s a little unsettling to see the claw/head combo on display here.

Sources: Creepy hermit crab uses discarded doll’s head as shell, Why Do Hermit Crabs Live In Borrowed Shells?

The Maternal Centipede

Credits: It looks like a fortress from above, but it's just an icky bug looking after its offspring.

Every mama will do anything to protect her babies, and we usually consider them extremely cute. However, how do you feel about this mama centipede protecting her babies? Not so sweet in the traditional sense, but its still maternal instinct in action.

The female centipede lays about 35 eggs over a period of several days during the summer, and this photo shows a mother centipede curled up like a ball to protect her babies.

Source: Centipedes

Goat-Faced

Credits: It's a sad face with a sad ending.

We’ve all seen a goats. They are usually small-to-medium sized, with short tails and horns.

There are almost 300 breeds of goats. In spite of that, have you ever seen a human-like looking goat like this?

This goat was born in Argentina, and was christened the ‘demon goat.’ Of course this newborn was not an actual demon, but suffering from swelled out eyes and combined with a flat face.

Unfortunately, shortly after its birth it passed away from complications of its developmental issues.

Sources: The Birth Of This ‘Demon Goat’ Scared People So Much They Called The Police Goat

The Fruit Bat With the All-Natural Freak Face

Credits: It's like a flying fox with arms that are too skinny for its body.

The Buettikofer’s epauletted fruit bat is a species of megabat that looks like a bat cross-bred with fox and then added some freaky facial contortions into the mix.

They’re native to Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, where they’ll be found hanging out in tropical forests and savannas.

They love eating fruits and plants and feeding on the nectar of flowers. Cheeky little bat-fox-dogs with wings that hang on the trees and eat fruit. That’s not so weird at all!

Source: Buettikofer’s epauletted fruit bat

An Elk Eats its Own Antlers

Credits: As antlers grow, they shed something called 'velvet.' Is it normal for it to be eaten by the elk? No, it is not.

Most elk shed their antlers when their testosterone level is low, usually in March or April. They’ll also shed their antlers due to stress or nutrition factors. Even the length of day can have an impact.

Because of the low testosterone, the bone that is attached to the foundation of the antlers causes the antlers to fall off. Here you see an elk eating its own shed ‘velvet,’ which is the skin covering the antlers.

Sources: 6 Reasons Bucks Shed Their Antlers,Elk: Facts

The Jungle Food Chain on Display

Credits: For those that need a crude visual representation of the law of the jungle, here you go.

This photo showcases a yacaré caiman crocodile catching a tigerfish catching another fish in the Rio Negrinho.

Yacaré caiman crocodiles are smaller species that grow a maximum of 3 meters (9 feet) long, and usually live in swamps and rivers. Sometimes called piranha caiman, it’s no surprise this tigerfish was targeted.

You know how that old saying goes: big fish eat small fish. This photo is something that probably happens more than you might think — this time there just happened to be a camera there.

Sources: Yacaré Caiman, Goliath Tigerfish

The Bird-Brain Buffet

Credits: Pardon the pun, but this hummingbird didn't have a prayer in this contest.

This eating machine with big eyes and legs fast as lightning is an incredible hunter!

Praying mantises attack their prey by surprise as they wait still and hidden, and then easily snatch up victims. They feast on insects, spiders, mice and the occasional frog. They are also bird-brain eaters.

This photograph shows a praying mantis eating a hummingbird’s brain. Even though it sounds like a scene from ‘The Walking Dead’ this is something that is normal. Bird-eating mantises are a thing!

Sources: Praying Mantises Are Devouring Bird Brains All Over the World, Praying Mantis

The Lizard Parade

Credits: It's unknown exactly how this lizard died, but these ants have the transportation covered.

Don’t let an ant’s small size fool you; even though they are small, they are super strong insects that can carry 50 times more than their own weight.

The ants pictured here are doing the teamwork thing, carrying a lizard back to their nest for a little dinner. Some ants are omnivores, so killing another animal is no big deal. And when you’re physically tiny, you definitely need strength in numbers.

Sources: What Do Ants Eat?, Ant Facts

Spider Feasts on a Snake

Credits: A snake and spider in the same picture involved in a disturbing-looking act — nature can be cruel sometimes.

Many people are afraid of spiders, and we really can’t blame them. Spiders are an essential part of the ecosystem as they eat insects that are harmful, they recycle dead animals and pollinate plants. So you’re just going to have to set that phobia you have aside.

While smaller spiders usually stick with eating insects, this big spider (presumably a tarantula) enjoys an entire snake as a meal. This is a very uncommon situation, and only a few events like this have been reported.

Sources: Can a tarantula eat a snake? Scientists impressed by spider, 84 Amazing Facts about Spiders