Animal Name


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Proteles Cristata
South and East Africa

The aardwolf is myrmecophagous (termite eating) hyena. The Aardwolf's most notable adaptation is its long sticky tongue, which it uses to eat termites. The Aardwolf'd diet consists almost exclusively of the harvester termite. The Aardwolf can eat up to 200,000 of these in one day.


Daubentonia madagascariensis

The Aye-aye is a lemur, though this classification is controversial. Orginially, the aye-aye's similarity to rodents in dental structure in combination with its bushy tail lead researchers to believe it was a giant Madagascar squirrel. Genetic analysis, however, places it most closely to lemurs.
The aye-aye's most notable feature is its long thing middle finger, which it uses to hunt insects by tapping on wood and listening for the reverberations.


Galeopterus variegatus
Southeast Asia

The Colugo is known as the flying lemur, but is actually a living fossil (an animal with no living relatives)categorized in its own taxonomic order. The colugo has a flap of skin connecting all of its limbs, which allows it to make gliding leaps of over 200 ft at a time. When the colugo is not in flight, the skin bunches between its limbs making its movement awkward and clumsy. It will usually hang upside down, but sometimes hop along the trunk of a tree vertically. The colugo's lower incisors are unique in that they resemble combs or sieves. These are thought to be for feeding and grooming purposes.


Gavialis Gangeticus
North India

The gharial is a crocodile that lives along river banks in North India; it is notable because of its exclusive fish diet and long thin snout which ends in a bulb. The snout and teeth are especially adapted to only eat fish, while the bulb on the end signifies whether the animal is male or female. The gharial is the only crocodilian to exhibit sexual dimorphism that is not size difference.


Opisthocomus hoazin
The Amazon

The Hoatzin is an avian living fossil. Its relation to living bird species is a subject of controversy, but it is widely agreed upon that it is a primitive bird. The hoatzin is so primitive that the juveniles retain a reptilian claw that grows on the wing joint and then falls off when maturity is reached. It is unlike any other bird in its digestive process. It is a folivore, eating only leaves of the arum plant which are toxic to other animals. The leaves then ferment in the hoatzin's crop, in a process that is similar to a ruminant digestive system.


Procavia Capensis

he hyrax is a mammal that is grouped within its own taxonomic order. It is most closely related to the elephant, while most closely resembling a ground hog. This surprising relationship is evident through several of the hyrax's physical features such as flat hoof-like toenails and small tusks. The hyrax is an ancient animal and has a primitive internal temperature management system for which it has to compensate by sunning or huddling with others.


Manis Gigantea
West Africa

The Pangolin is also known as a scaly anteater. They are myrmecophagous ant and termite eaters, with powerful claws for ripping apart termite nests and protective armor as a defense. The pangolin ensures its defensive security by curling into a ball when threatened, as it does not have any good means of escape. Pangolins have strong prehensile tails, which can grasp things. Th giant pangolin can also use its tail as a counterweight in order to walk on two legs.


Saiga Tatarica
Kazakhstan and Mongolia

he saiga is an antelope found in Kazakhstan and Mongolia, and is classified in its own genus. It has one very visible adaptation to its arid and steppe environments which is its proboscis like nose. The saiga's nose serves as a filtration system for dry and dusty air. Additionally, it has adapted to live in grasslands by developing protuberant eyes which increase its field of vision. The saiga is a nomadic animal, traveling in herds made up of one male and multiple females, with notable habitat range that includes a seasonal migration. The male siaga has ridged semi-translucent horns. The saiga population struggles against habitat loss and hunting for its horns which are believed to have medicinal value. Saigas live and travel in herds consisting of one male and multiple females.


Solenodon Paradoxus

The Solenodon is a living fossil that lives on the carribean island of hispaniola. The Solenodon is a shrew-like mammal with no living relatives. It is venomous, generating venom in glands at the base of its incisors which then deliver venom through grooves in the teeth.

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Harvester Termite

The Aardwolf feeds almost exclusively on the Trinervitermes species of termite, commonly known as the harvester termite.

Aardwolf Classification

The Aardwolf was originally classified in its own group, Protelidae, but was later moved to the hyena family due to genetic evidence.

Long long fingers

The aye-aye searches for bugs to eat by rapidly tapping on wood with its long thin middle finger, in a manner similar to a woodpecker's bill.

An Evil Omen

Aye-aye populations suffer because of a Malagasy superstition that the aye-aye can kill people by pointing at them. The superstitious kill the aye-aye on sight.

Lower Incisors

The low incisors of the colugo are made up of short comb-like structures that are thought to be used for feeding and grooming.

Sexual Dimorphism

The gharial is the only crocodilian that exhibits sexual dimorphism, which manifests as a bulb on the end of the male's snout.

Gharial Phylogeny

Above are two phylogenetic trees showing the relationships between crocodilians. The one on top is morphological (appearance-based), while the lower is gene-based. There is a notable discrepancy between the two.

Upper Incisors

The hyrax's upper incisors grow into very small tusks, which are a visual link to its closest living relative, the elephant.

Temperature Management

The thermoregulatory system of the hyrax is not typical for a warm-blooded creature. Their body temperature is variable, such that they must resort to sunning and huddling together to maintain regular body temperature.

Curling into a ball

As a defense mechanism, the pangolin can curl into a ball.

Bipedal Walk

The giant pangolin can use the weight of its tail to balance and walk on two legs.

Desirable Commodity

The Male Saiga grows ridged semi-translucent horns. Saiga populations suffer from some cultures' belief that these horns have medicinal properties.

Habitat Range

The Saiga is a nomadic species that migrates seasonally and can travel over 70 miles in a day.

Venomous Mammal

The solenodon is one of only a few venemous mammals. The solenodon's upper incisors are grooved, allowing venom to flow to the tip from a mandibular gland at the base. It is the only mammal to deliver venom this way.

Os Proboscis

The Solenodon's nose is attached to its face by means of a bone, known as os proboscis, which creates a socket joint. This allows the nose to bend like any other joint.


The hoatzin's unusually large crop causes it to be clumsy and unbalanced because it is heavy in the front half of its body.

Stink Bird

The fermentation of leaves in the hoatzin's crop is a similar process to a cow's digestive fermentation. For this reason, the hoatzin smells like manure and is sometimes known as the stinkbird. Its unpleasant smell keeps the bird as an undesirable target for hunting or eating.