June 30, 2011

Worlds Weirdest Animals - Part 4

Tarsier

Tarsiers are prosimian primates of the genus Tarsius, a monotypic genus in the family Tarsiidae, which is itself the lone extant family within the infraorder Tarsiiformes. The phylogenetic position of extant tarsiers within the order Primates has been debated for much of the past century, and tarsiers have alternately been classified with strepsirrhine primates in the suborder Prosimii, or as the sister group to the simians (Anthropoidea) in the infraorder Haplorrhini. Analysis of SINE insertions, a type of macromutation to the DNA, is argued to offer very persuasive evidence for the monophyly of Haplorrhini, where other lines of evidence, such as DNA sequence data, had remained ambiguous. Thus, some systematists argue that the debate is conclusively settled in favor of a monophyletic Haplorrhini. 
Tarsiers have enormous eyes and long feet. Their feet have extremely elongated tarsus bones, which is how they got their name. They are primarily insectivorous, and catch insects by jumping at them. They are also known to prey on birds and snakes. As they jump from tree to tree, tarsiers can catch even birds in motion. Gestation takes about six months, and tarsiers give birth to single offspring. All tarsier species are nocturnal in their habits, but like many nocturnal organisms some individuals may show more or less activity during the daytime. Unlike many nocturnal animals, however, tarsiers lack a light-reflecting area (tapetum lucidum) of the eye.


 
Dumbo Octopus

The octopuses of the genus Grimpoteuthis are sometimes nicknamed "Dumbo octopuses" from the ear-like fins protruding from the top of their "heads" (actually bodies), resembling the ears of Walt Disney's flying elephant. They are benthic creatures, living at extreme depths, and are some of the rarest of the Octopoda species.


 
Frill-necked Lizard

The Frill-necked Lizard, or Frilled Lizard also known as the Frilled Dragon, (Chlamydosaurus kingii) is so called because of the large ruff of skin which usually lies folded back against its head and neck. The neck frill is supported by long spines of cartilage, and when the lizard is frightened, it gapes its mouth showing a bright pink or yellow lining, and the frill flares out, displaying bright orange and red scales. The frill may also aid in thermoregulation. 
They may grow up to one metre in total length. They often walk quadrupedally when on the ground. When frightened they begin to run on all-fours and then accelerate onto the hind-legs. In Australia , the frill-necked lizard is also known as the "bicycle lizard" because of this behaviour.. Males are significantly larger than females both as juveniles and when mature. The frill of the Australian frilled dragon is used to frighten off potential predators â₆as well as hissing and lunging. If this fails to ward off the threat, the lizard flees bipedally to a nearby tree where it climbs to the top and relies on camouflage to keep it hidden.


 
Narwhal

The Narwhal (Monodon monoceros) is an Arctic species of cetacean. It is a creature rarely found south of latitude 70°N. It is one of two species of white whale in the Monodontidae family (the other is the beluga whale). It is possibly also related to the Irrawaddy dolphin.

The English name narwhal is derived from the Dutch name narwal which in turn comes from the Danish narhval which is based on the Old Norse word nar, meaning "corpse." This is a reference to the animal's colour. The narwhal is also commonly known as the Moon Whale. 
In some parts of the world, the Narwhal is colloquially referred to as a "reamfish."


 
Sucker-footed Bat

The Madagascar Sucker-footed Bat, Old World Sucker-footed Bat, or Sucker-footed Bat (Myzopoda aurita and Myzopoda schliemanni) is a species of bat in the Myzopodidae family.


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