Most BIZARRE Animals That Shouldn’t Exist!

Some of Earth’s most fascinating creatures
come in the most unexpected forms. From cats that love water to meat-eating parrots,
here are 8 animals that shouldn’t exist, but do! 8. POISONOUS BIRDS Native to the rainforests of New Zealand,
the pitohui is the only known genus of poisonous bird in the entire world. The feathers and skin of at least three species
of the bird contain a strong poison. Of those species, Hooded and the Variable
Pitohuis are considered the deadliest. The vibrant colors of the pitohui, which we
tend to think of as exotic and beautiful, are believed to actually be a warning sign
to other animals of the bird’s toxicity. The bird’s poisonous properties were unknown
until 1989, when Jack Dumbacher, a researcher from the California Academy of Sciences, who
was studying New Guinea’s birds of paradise, was scratched by a pitohui he’d caught in
a net. He began to feel a burning and tingling pain
in his hands. He put the cut to his mouth to put some saliva
on it, and shortly after, his lips and tongue developed the same burning sensation, which
lasted for hours. Later on, Dumbacher placed a pitohui feather
in his mouth and was overcome, yet again, by a feeling similar to that of licking a
9-volt battery. Yikes! Dumbacher remained curious about the source
of the bird’s poison and set out to find answers. He brought back some feathers and gave them
to Chemist John Daly, who had isolated the toxin of the poison dart frog in the 1960’s. It was eventually determined that the poison,
which contains neurotoxic alkaloids of the batra-cho-toxin family – the same group of
toxins as the lethal substance emitted by poison dart frogs – may not be produced by
the birds themselves. Instead, it’s thought to come from beetles
of the Choresine family, which are an abundant source of the pitohui’s diet. While ingesting a toxic substance is typically
damaging to an animal, this poison benefits the pitohui by permeating its body without
causing any harm and serving as a defense mechanism against predators such as snakes,
raptors, and humans, as well as ectoparasites. Dumbacher is lucky he only barely sampled
the pitohui’s poison – in higher doses, it can cause cardiac arrest, paralysis, and
death. A word to the wise: when it comes to the pitohui,
it’s best to adhere to a “look, but don’t touch” policy! And don’t go around sticking feathers in
your mouth if you are not a biologist!! 7. CARNIVOROUS PARROTS The cartoonish kea, native to New Zealand,
is the only alpine species of parrot in the world, making it uncharacteristically capable
of handling heavy winds, cold temperatures, and even snow. It possesses thick, insulating feathers and
soars like a raptor as it flies. While the kea’s olive green hue may seem
boring or drab at first glance, it becomes much more colorful in flight, displaying its
bright red underwing feathers. This endangered species is also unique due
to its eating habits. Using its sharp, hooked beak, the kea swoops
in like a hawk or a vulture to scavenge mammal carcasses or to attack and consume live prey
such as its favorite snack, shearwater chicks. It’s even gained a reputation among farmers
for having an alleged tendency to attack sheep. The kea is particularly attracted to humans,
but they clearly have more to fear from us than we do them. Some of the biggest threats to the species,
which is estimated to number between just 3,000 and 7,000, are caused by human activities. Included among those threats are accidents
involving manmade objects; risks associated with pest control; and the attractive, sweet
taste of lead, which often leads to poisoning. Some people consider the kea’s behavior
to be pesky due to occasional property damage caused by the sometimes mischievous bird. Although it’s illegal to shoot the kea,
it happens anyway, courtesy of annoyed humans. 6. FRESHWATER SEALS Meet the Baikal seal, a species of seal endemic
to Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia. The Baikal seal, known locally as the Nerpa,
is related to the Caspian seal and the Arctic ringed seal. One major difference sets the Baikal seal
apart from others, however: it’s the only true freshwater species of seal in the entire
world. The Baikal seal species is thought to be up
to half a million years old and is exclusive to Lake Baikal, the deepest, oldest, and largest
freshwater lake on the planet. The origin of the species is somewhat of a
mystery to scientists, who have yet to figure out what led the seals to the lake and to
become an established endemic species. Most of the 3,600 plant animal species that
call Lake Baikal home are endemic to the lake. In recent years, scientists have become increasingly
concerned about threats to the lake’s unique biodiversity. The omul fish, a type of salmon that has lived
in the lake for several centuries, is rapidly disappearing, resulting in a commercial fishing
ban. Harmful algae is growing at an unprecedented
rate, and endemic species of sponge are dying out. Experts haven’t agreed on one sole cause
of the lake’s alarming decline, but they have cited several plausible theories, including
climate change and pollution. It’s most likely a combination of both. One thing remains certain: if urgent efforts
aren’t made to preserve Lake Baikal, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage
Site, it could ultimately lose all of its amazing wildlife – including the Baikal Seal. 5. FISHING CATS Even if you’re a cat person, it’s probably
very unlikely that you’ve ever had to bathe a cat because for the most part, they are
famous for hating water. But there is always an exception to the rule
and there is a species of cat that not only tolerates water, but prefers it! The appropriately-named Fishing Cat is native
to Southeast Asia and lives in a number of watery environments, including wetlands, the
edges of rivers and streams, and mangrove swamps. They hunt for aquatic prey, such as fish,
by diving in the water and snatching up their victims with their sharp teeth and claws. Not only is the fishing cat unafraid of the
water, it’s evolved to be one of most skilled swimmers among predatory mammals, with powerful
muscles, short tails and exceptional paddling and diving abilities, along with the capability
of walking through mud without sinking. The fishing cat is insulated from the cold,
wet waters it hunts in by a thick, short base layer of fur. Fish make up most of the fishing cat’s diet,
but they’re also known for diving under the water and attacking waterfowl by grabbing
them by the feet, which ranks as one of the creepiest known ways for a mammal to hunt. The next time your fussy feline needs a flea
bath, you could try telling them to toughen up and be more like the fishing cat – or you
could put on a ski mask, your thickest jacket, and some heavy-duty gloves, and hope for the
best. 4. PLANT-EATING VULTURES It’s common knowledge that a vulture’s
diet typically consists of scavenged animal carcasses, but there is one exception: the
palm-nut vulture, which lives and breeds in the forests and savannas of sub-Saharan Africa
and feeds primarily on the seeds, nuts, and fruits of various trees, including the akacia,
date palm, and kosi palm. Although 60 percent of an adult bird’s diet,
and 90 percent of a juvenile’s consist of plants, the palm-nut vulture isn’t strictly
an herbivore. It also eats freshwater and marine crabs,
reptile eggs and hatchlings, frogs, fish, small mammals, and even domestic poultry. It’s not picky. One thing remains conspicuously absent from
its diet, however: dead animals. With a wingspan of under five feet, the black-and-white
palm-nut vulture is the smallest of the existing Old World vulture species and is known for
its agility and its ability to hang upside-down on tree branches. 3. HYBRID BIG CATS LIGERS AND TIGONS AND LITIGONS, OH MY! – wait,
what? I’ll explain. If you’ve seen the movie Napoleon Dynamite,
or other random videos here on youtube, then you’ve at least heard of the liger – a hybrid
between a lion and a tiger. But did you know that it’s a real thing? More specifically, a liger is the offspring
of a male lion and a female tiger – parents of the same genus, but different species. The liger grows to be larger than both of
its parents’ species and is the largest known cat in existence. It’s even bigger than its relative, the
tigon, which is a cross between a female lion and a male tiger. There’s also such a thing as a litigon,
an extremely rare hybrid between a male lion and a female tigon. Litigons grow nearly as large as ligers. One litigon, a male named Cubanacan who was
born in March 1979 at the Alipore Zoo in India, reached an astounding 800 pounds! Cubanacan was the only surviving cub out of
the litter of three. In the following years, his mother, a tigon
named Rudrani, produced four more litigons. Hybrid animals are often born sterile due
to the genetic complications associated with crossbreeding between species. The crossbreeding of big cats has been a topic
of controversy throughout the years. It was banned in India, where Cubanacan was
purposely bred, in 1985. In the United States, efforts are currently
being made to ban the practice, which many animal rights advocates believe is unavoidably
cruel. They are often bred for their cuteness and
taken away from their mothers at an early age. The ethical debates and fertility issues that
come along with big cat hybrids means not many more will probably come into existence
in the future. 2. NOCTURNAL GULLS Hailing from Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands,
and Malpelo Island, Colombia, the swallow-tailed gull is a little-known equatorial marine bird
that also happens to be nocturnal. During the day, this bird rests and tends
to its young – a responsibility shared between both parents. At night, it forages for food, using its relatively
good night vision to hunt fish and squid by moonlight. Its dark, large eyes are covered in a layer
of reflective tissue, which aids it at night by bouncing light back through the retina
to the photoreceptor cells. The swallow-tailed gull has evolved in other
ways to accommodate its preference for a third-shift hunting schedule, including biochemical adaptations
such as reduced levels of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. The bizarre-looking bird, which has ghostly
white spots on its plumage and a dark head, is the only genuinely nocturnal seabird in
the entire world. 1. MARINE IGUANAS Described by Charles Darwin as “hideous-looking”
and “most disgusting, clumsy lizards,” the marine iguana got a really bad rap. But is a very unique animal. Unlike most lizards, who stick to desert-like
and tropical environments, the marine iguana is what it sounds like – a water animal that
forages under the surf and hangs out along the waves, feasting mostly on the algae and
seaweed of submerged rocks. So, how did this dinosaur-like creature become
the only ocean-going lizard on the planet? Scientists believe that millions of years
ago, land-dwelling lizards from South America drifted out to sea on logs and debris, eventually
ending up on the Galapagos Islands, where they reside today. There are marine iguanas of various sizes,
shapes, and colors present throughout the entire archipelago, and they tend to be unique
to different islands. Some grow up to three feet long (0.91 m) and
weigh up to 22 pounds! (10 kg) Despite its homely and often intimidating
appearance, the marine iguana is a harmless, gentle herbivore that has evolved specifically
for a life in and around the saltwater. Its razor-sharp teeth are used for nothing
more than scraping food off of rocks. and its long, dagger-like claws enable it to cling
to rocks or remain underwater against strong currents. After taking a dip in the frigid waters surrounding
the Galapagos, the marine iguana’s dark grey skin easily absorbs sunlight. Special glands clean its blood of extra salt,
that it consumes while eating, giving it that characteristic crusty appearance. That’s all for today, but there’s plenty
more where that came from!! Thanks for watching and be sure to subscribe
and give this video a thumbs up to let me know to make more like these! See you next time!! Byeeeee!!!

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