Once upon a time, the animal world on Earth was represented by completely different animals. In the course of evolution, their appearance changed, some species disappeared, some appeared. At the current stage, changes are also taking place, and there are species, representatives of which can be counted on one hand. Scientists show great interest in them and, as far as possible, investigate. We present the description and photos of some rare animals, which will be interesting for everyone to know.
Rare animals listed in the Red Book
Animals, of which there are very few left, are under protection and information about them is included in the International Red Book. Mention about them is not so common, and the offered information about the rarest animals will interest many.
Angonoka – Madagascar beak-breasted turtle
The only habitat of the land turtle is the north-western territory of the island of Madagascar, therefore, “Madagascar” is added to its name, which reflects the endemicity of the species. It is called Angonoka by the indigenous population of the island.
The turtle has chosen a dry deciduous and bamboo forest, dense shrub with bald patches overgrown with tall grass, grassy savannahs. The territory with a semi-humid tropical climate, in which the species lives, covers an area of 1250 km² and is located on the lands around the Bay of Bali.
It is easy to recognize the beak-breasted turtle – the shell is high, its length reaches 0.45-0.50 m, the light brown surface is covered with a smoky yellow star-shaped pattern. It weighs an average of 10 to 15 kg.
Information! The species owes its name to a beak-like outgrowth on the lower part of the shell in sexually mature males. With his help, they move through thickets of grass and bushes, conduct tournament battles during the mating season.
In the dry months (May-October), the turtles are not very active and spend most of their time in the thickets, hiding from prying eyes. They feed on young grass and leaves.
After the end of the drought, the mating season begins for them (October-February), when the male shows his strength and power in a ritual battle. He must overturn the opponent on his back in any way, and a shell, a “beak”, is used, which can be used to hook on the protrusion of the opponent’s shell and turn him over on his back. The defeated man kicks his legs, turns over with difficulty and retreats.
The winner then becomes the full owner of the female. They do not arrange a nest, but use recesses dug in the ground for masonry. Eggs (2-6) from 4 to 5 cm in diameter and weighing up to 50 g, the female buries in a hole and presses the ground from above.
It is difficult to observe turtles, therefore it is impossible to determine their exact number, and there are not so many photographs of a rare animal. Presumably, there are about 300 individuals for every 100 km². The beak-chested turtle is on the verge of extinction for several reasons:
- land development in habitats for pastures and fields;
- most clutches are destroyed by wild pigs;
- fragmentation of populations and a small number of individuals in them;
- locals catch turtles for keeping together with chickens – it is believed that their presence has a positive effect on layers;
- collection and smuggling for collections.
Peters proboscis dog (Peters proboscis dog with red shoulders)
The name of the rare animal suggests that its peculiarity is the proboscis. Indeed, a small animal (22-30 cm), weighing up to 0.5 kg, is endowed with an elongated nose, similar to a shortened trunk. He was not given in vain – with his help the dog searches for termites, spiders, insects, but will not give up small rodents either. He has acute hearing, despite the small size of the auricle.
The color of the body is not uniform – the head, shoulders, part of the abdomen are red, and the rest of the body is black. The species belongs to the jumping family – the hind legs are longer than the front ones, so the animal moves easily by jumping. The tail, in comparison with the length of the body, seems long – 20-25 cm.
Habitat – forests and shrubs on the coast of Tanzania and Kenya. Interestingly, animals do not like to change territory and prefer a permanent place of residence, carefully guarding it. They live in pairs, but the male participates only in procreation, and the female does everything else without him – arranges a nest, gets food, takes care of the offspring. During the day they usually search for food, and at night for rest they dig a hole and cover it with grass.
During the year, the female gives birth 4 to 5 times, 1-2 cubs, which quickly master and after about two weeks leave the nest.
Reference! Life expectancy is about 5 years. It is difficult to take root in captivity, so they are very rare in zoos.
The puma, found only in Florida, is a rare endangered species. According to 2017, their number was 230 individuals. You can meet her in forest and swampy areas. The decline in the number of a rare animal listed in the Red Book is explained by the draining of swamps, capture during sport hunting, poor ecology and scarce genetic material.
Representatives of the species have a flexible body, strong muscular legs, the head is small, the tip of the long tail is slightly bent – this was due to intraspecific crossing. They can be distinguished by the auburn color of their coarse fur. The weight of adults ranges from 27 to 50 kg. The flexible body and strong legs allow the cougar to easily climb a tree or slope, make long (6 m) and high (2.5 m) jumps, run at a speed of 50 km / h.
He prefers to live alone, admitting a partner only during the mating season. During estrus, the male finds the female, and the pair exists together for about a week. Then the male leaves and never returns. Only the mother is engaged in offspring. The gestation period lasts about 3 months.
Kittens (2-3) are born blind and weak, but grow quickly on the fat and nutritious milk of the mother. A month later, they begin to leave the nest under the supervision of the parent, at three months she stops feeding them. Having lived for a year in the parent’s nest, the grown up and stronger kittens leave and begin an independent life.
Deer, small animals, rodents serve as food for the cougar. Can get more food than is required, and hide in reserve in the “pantry”. Cases of attacks on a person are rare, but, nevertheless, there are.
Visayan warty pig
Rare animals – warty pigs, classified as an endangered species, now live only on two islands of the Philippines – Panay and Negro, inhabiting dense forests. A sharp decrease in the population was due to uncontrolled hunting, environmental degradation, development of the territories of their residence, intraspecific crossing.
Reference! The name is given to the species because of the three pairs of warts on the face of an adult. It is believed that the outgrowths are needed for protection during mating battles and during clashes with enemies.
The shape of the dense, stocky body of the Visayan pig is typical and similar to other species. The legs are short, on an elongated muzzle, like all pigs, a piglet, the body length reaches 1 m, the weight ranges from 20 to 40 kg. The skin is dark gray or black, the bristles are sparse, black in color.
Males are characterized by white bristles in the shoulder region and on the sides of the abdomen, the presence of a hairy tuft with dark bristles on the head. In males, the crest passes into a mane that reaches the sacrum. The mane grows and sometimes even interferes with the view. In females, it is less pronounced.
A distinctive feature of the species, along with warts and a mane, is the presence of three pairs of nipples, which males also have. The hybrids and relatives of the Visay pig have four pairs. Also in warty pigs, a white stripe runs across the snout, just above the nose.
The female bears cubs for 118 days, a new pregnancy occurs after 8-12 months. Usually, in January-March, 3-6 piglets are born with yellow-brown stripes on the body. The stripes disappear after about 9-12 months. All this time they are needed for protection – this color is less noticeable. The mother has been raising her for six months.
The diet of a wild pig consists of various plants, fruits, earthworms, crops, for which they enter the fields. The result of their campaigns is the dislike of local residents and extermination, therefore, the Visay warty pigs are one of the rarest animals on Earth. If you do not take action, the species can disappear, leaving behind only an entry in the Red Book.
Spotted marsupial marten (Tiger cat)
Marsupial martens are the largest marsupial predators in Australia (northern and eastern regions). In an adult, the body reaches a length of 60-75 cm, and the tail, which is interesting, is not much shorter – about 50 cm, weight – 7 kg.
Reference! A distinctive feature of the species is dark brown fur with white spots on the body and tail.
The rare animal lives mainly in forests and coastal thickets on the coast. Leads a nocturnal lifestyle, prefers to sleep during the day, having chosen a place on the branches of trees or among stones. Interestingly, during sleep, so that the noise does not interfere with her, the marten bends its ears down.
At night, the predator nimbly climbs trees, among the bushes and hunts for snakes, mice, lizards, fish, birds, small rabbits and even kangaroo cubs. Do not mind eating carrion, eggs and birds from the farm.
Pregnancy lasts three weeks and usually between 4 and 6 babies are born, but there are more. Newborns, being in the bag, are forced to fight for existence if there are more than six of them, since the mother has only six nipples. The strongest and healthiest babies survive.
They are in the bag for about 10 weeks, then the mother begins to leave them in the shelter during the hunt. When they grow up, they move from place to place no longer in a bag, but clinging to the wool on the mother’s back. At the age of 4-5 months, they leave the family and arrange life on their own.
Northern longhaired wombat
The homeland of the ancient and one of the rarest animals is Australia and Tasmania. Once upon a time, the wombat and the panda were relatives and an elusive similarity can be seen if you compare their photos. Wombats look like clumsy little bears and pigs at the same time.
The size of an adult individual reaches 0.7-1.2 m in length, it weighs from 20 to 40 kg. Covered with gray, sometimes ashy, wool, the body is small, the head is flattened on the sides, large, the tail is undeveloped. A strong head sometimes serves as protection from enemy blows or wombats “butt” with it when they attack.
Each toe (five of them) on short, muscular legs is equipped with strong claws necessary for digging holes, for protection and climbing trees. When running, it develops a speed of up to 40 km / h.
Interesting! The back of the body has a special structure – cartilage, bones, hard skin, which play the role of a shield. When trying to penetrate the hole, the wombat turns to the “guest” with its back, as if closing the entrance and trying to crush the attacker against the walls.
The wombat family settles in holes dug by them, the length of the passages in which reaches 20 m and the width – 3 m. Under the ground, this is a whole system of passages and forks, interconnected. Since wombats live in groups, they occupy a large area – sometimes up to 25 hectares. The borders of their territory are marked with excrement. Interestingly, the shape of the solid excrement is cubic.
Animals usually sleep during the day in the cool and quiet of their burrows, and at night they go out to forage for food. Their menu consists of juicy shoots of plants, roots, moss, berries and mushrooms. Digestion occurs within 14 days due to slow digestion. The peculiarity of rare animals is the ability to do without water for a long time. They drink little water – they only need 22 ml per kilogram of weight.
There is usually one cub in a litter and the female carries it for three weeks. For about 8 months he lives in a bag located on the mother’s body so that she does not interfere with the digging of holes and the earth does not fall into her.
In the wild, rare animals – long-haired wombats, live for about 15 years, from 20 to 25 years – in captivity. They are friendly and get along well next to a person.