Learning - Science | 8-18 yrs

Extraordinary Animal Species Children Should Know About

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1. Tapir

Tapirs look something like pigs with trunks, but they are actually related to horses and rhinoceroses. This eclectic lineage is an ancient one—and so is the tapir itself. Scientists believe that these animals have changed little over tens of milli...

2. Slender Loris

The slender loris has extremely thin arms and legs. Its face is dominated by huge round eyes which give it excellent night vision and enable it to hunt for insects during the night. Populations of this small primate are declining because their for...

3. Walking Leaf Insect

Leaf insects, also called walking leaves are known for their striking leaf-like appearance. Leaf insects feed on plants and typically inhabit densely vegetated areas. Their natural range extends from islands in the Indian Ocean, across parts of ma...

4. Leafy Seadragon

Named seadragons after the dragons of Chinese legends, leafy seadragons definitely resemble the dragon of fairy tales. They are bony fish in the family Syngnathidae which includes seahorses and pipefishes. Although relatives, their appearance is q...

5. Rosy-Lipped Batfish

A walking fish from the Galapagos! This fish would make Darwin proud. In fact, the red-lipped batfish is named after him (Ogcocephalus darwini). This unusual fish has a lot of adaptations that make it look and act very un-fish-like. First, its pec...

6. Mantis Shrimp

The mantis shrimp is one of the most interesting crustaceans found in the ocean. Scientists study their strength, molecular structure and eyesight because it's all so unusual -- they are super-shrimp! Mantis shrimp are only about four inches long...

7. Okapi

The okapi is a beautiful and elusive animal, unknown to western scientists until 1900. Standing five feet (1.5 m) tall, its legs and hindquarters are covered in black and white stripes, similar to a zebra. Its closest living relative, however, is ...

8. Saiga Antelope

A distinctive bulbous nose makes the saiga an unlikely pin-up for the conservation movement. Habitat loss and illegal hunting have dramatically cut population numbers. The large humped nose hangs over the mouth of the saiga. The nose is flexible a...

9. Blue Parrotfish

Parrotfish owe their name to the shape of their mouth. Instead of teeth, they have two beak-like plates, like parrots. They have even rows of large, noticeable scales on their bodies. This species is one of the largest parrotfish, reaching a lengt...

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