July 01, 2011

Worlds Weirdest Animals - Part 5

Pygmy Marmoset

The Pygmy Marmoset (Callithrix (Cebuella) pygmaea) is a monkey native to the rainforest canopies of western Brazil , southeastern Colombia , eastern Ecuador , and eastern Peru . It is one of the smallest primates, with its body length ranging from 14-16 cm (excluding the 15-20 cm tail) and the smallest monkey. Males weigh around 140 g (5 ounces), and females only 120 g ( 4.2 ounces). 

TDespite its name, the Pygmy Marmoset is somewhat different from the typical marmosets classified in genus Callithrix. As such, it is accorded its own subgenus, which was formerly recognized as its own genus, Cebuella. 


TThe Pygmy Marmoset has a tawny coat, and a ringed tail that can be as long as its body. Their claws are specially adapted for climbing trees, a trait unique to the species. They are omnivorous, feeding on fruit, leaves, insects, and sometimes even small reptiles. Much of their diet, however, comes from tapping trees for sap. Up to two-thirds of their time is spent gouging tree bark to reach the gummy sap. The Pygmy Marmoset has specialized incisors for gouging holes in bark. Unfortunately, because of its small size, and its swift movements, it is very hard to observe in the wild.
In captivity, the Pygmy Marmoset can live up to 11 years.


 
Blobfish

The blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) is a fish that inhabits the deep waters off the coasts of Australia and Tasmania . Due to the inaccessibility of its habitat, it is rarely seen by humans. 


Blobfish are found at depths where the pressure is several dozens of times higher than at sea level, which would likely make gas bladders inefficient. To remain buoyant, the flesh of the blobfish is primarily a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water; this allows the fish to float above the sea floor without expending energy on swimming. The relative lack of muscle is not a disadvantage as it primarily swallows edible matter that floats by in front it.


 
Platypus

The Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is a semi-aquatic mammal endemic to eastern Australia , including Tasmania . Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five extant species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. It is the sole living representative of its family (Ornithorhynchidae) and genus (Ornithorhynchus) , though a number of related species have been found in the fossil record. 

The bizarre appearance of this egg-laying, duck-billed mammal baffled naturalists when it was first discovered, with some considering it an elaborate fraud. It is one of the few venomous mammals; the male Platypus has a spur on the hind foot which delivers a poison capable of causing severe pain to humans. The unique features of the Platypus make it an important subject in the study of evolutionary biology and a recognizable and iconic symbol of Australia ; it has appeared as a mascot at national events and is featured on the reverse of the Australian 20 cent coin. 

Until the early 20th century it was hunted for its fur, but it is now protected throughout its range. Although captive breeding programs have had only limited success and the Platypus is vulnerable to the effects of pollution, it is no.


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