Hot off the Press
From 7,000 meters below sea level to high in the Andes Mountains, the world is home to incredible (and sometimes just plain adorable) animals that many of us have never seen. The following are some of the coolest, cutest and most majestic animals that call Earth’s many different habitats home.
Where they’re found: South and Southeast Asia, the Ayeyarwady River, the Mahakam River and the Mekong River.
The populations of Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mekong River between Cambodia and Laos are critically endangered, and less than 85 are expected to exist in that area today.
Where they’re found: Southern Africa, Eastern Africa, West/Central Africa
Although the hyrax resembles a rodent, it’s actually believed to be the closest living relative of the elephant.
Where they’re found: Southeast Asia (mostly Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines)
The sunda colugo is also referred to as a sunda flying lemur, but it is not actually a lemur, and it can’t actually fly. Although, it is a skilled climber and can glide over 100 meters.
Where they’re found: Southeastern and Eastern Australia
People often refer to these adorable, eucalyptus-tree-dwelling animals as koala bears, but they’re actually marsupials and are more similar to kangaroos and wallabees than bears.
Where they’re found: The high Andes Mountains, South America
Chinchillas roll around in the dust to bathe. Their fur is so dense that it’s difficult for them to completely dry out when wet.
Where they’re found: Southwestern China, Southeast Asia, Western Indonesia
The slow loris may look like an animal you want to keep as a pet, but it’s actually one of few mammals in the world with a toxic bite.
Where they’re found: North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans
When mating season comes around, male harp seals will dance to impress potential mates. And once a baby is born, a mother can distinguish it from hundreds of other “pups” by its smell alone.
Where they’re found: Northern Africa
The fennec fox is the smallest of all of the foxes in the world at roughly 15-centimeters in length. Their tall, bat-like ears keep them cool by radiating heat.
Where they’re found: Central and South America
The three-toed sloth is known to be the slowest mammal in the world. They spend 15-20 hours every day sleeping up in a tree, which is also where they eat and mate.
Where they’re found: Western North America (from Central Canada to Northern Mexico)
The grasshopper mouse is often called the “wolf of the mouse world,” because it prefers to eat insects, lizards and other rodents before it will resort to the typical mouse meal of seeds.
Where they’re found: Eastern Canada and Eastern/Central United States
Despite their unique yellow or orange spots and long length (up to 23 centimeters), spotted salamanders are often tough to find. They spend most of their lives — aside from their feeding and mating times — hiding under rocks and logs.
Where they’re found: Western Africa
The royal antelope is the world’s smallest antelope, measuring about the same size as a hare (roughly 25 centimeters tall). These adorable little antelopes tend to hang out in tall vegetation and are not often seen by humans.
Where they’re found: New Zealand and Australia (inshore waters and coasts)
After the female little blue penguin lays one or two eggs, she and her male partner take turns sitting on them for roughly 36 days until the eggs hatch.
Where they’re found: Originally bred in Turkey, but now a domestic pet in many parts of the world.
Angora rabbits are known (and often bred) for their extremely fluffy fur that is finer and softer than cashmere. They’re so furry that the face is often the only part of the body able to be seen.
Where they’re found: North and Central South American rainforests (Venezuela, the Guianas and Brazil)
Male and female white-faced saki monkeys look vastly different from each other. Male saki monkeys are primarily black with a white face and female saki monkeys are a brownish color with lighter strips around their nose and mouth.
Where they’re found: Lowland rainforests of Peru, Brazil and Bolivia
The emperor tamarin is named for its long, curled, white mustache that resembles that of an imperial emperor — even the babies and females sport this stylish facial feature.
Where it is found: Seafloors off the coast of New Zealand, Australia, Western United States, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea
The dumbo octopus is said to hover just slightly above the seafloor at depths ranging from 400 meters to 7,000 meters below sea level. Large ear-like fins on top of the body cause the dumbo octopus to resemble the Disney elephant after which it is named.