Rare species is a group of living organisms, either plants or animals that occur in small numbers, in a small region or small number of locations. Such species may be lost forever if we do not take quick action to stop their decline. If we cherish these species, like we do other rare and beautiful objects, these living organisms could become treasures of the highest magnitude.
15 rare species of animals, that are endangered, are discussed below:
1. Chinchilla Tree Rat
The chinchilla tree rat is a species of rodents that was discovered in the Vilcabamba mountain range in Peru, nearby world famous ruins of Macchu Picchu. The discovery was certainly very unique as it’s quite unusual to discover a species of rodents which are of the size of a domestic cat. This thick-sized creature is pale grey in color, has large claws, and is characterized by a white stripe along its head. It is thought to be related to the chinchilla rats which are were buried alongside the Incan people in their tombs.
2. Aye Aye
The Aye-aye is one of the Lemur species primate native to Madagascar. It is considered bad luck by local people and is often killed on sight. It has rodent-like teeth and a special, thin middle finger to fill the same ecological niche as a woodpecker. It is the world’s largest nocturnal primate. The Aye-aye has big bug eyes with a body length of 36 to 44cm and a tail length of 50 to 60cm and weighs about 2kg. it feeds on fruits and leaves.
3. The Emperor Tamarin
Emperor tamarins are found in the southwest Amazon Basin, southeast Peru, northwest Bolivia, and northwest Brazil. These are small animals growing between 23 and 25 cms in length and have a tail longer than them. They are very light mammals weighing only about 10-14 ounces at mature age. These creatures usually have a black or dark grey coat with yellow coats on their back and a brownish-red chest and tail. Emperor tamarins have claws on all of their fingers and toes. Their most distinguishing factor is their large white mustache on their face.
4. Goliath Bird Eating Spider
The Goliath Bird-eating Spider, is one of the world’s largest species of spider. This hairy spider has a leg span of 12 inches across and they can weigh 2.5 ounces. It feeds on invertebrates like crickets, grasshoppers, larvae, and sometimes on lizards and mice. It is a defensive, aggressive spider and makes a hissing noise when disturbed. Also the most dangerous aspect of this spider is its ability to shoot barb like urticating hairs at its perceived threat.
5. The Philippine Tarsier
Philippines Tarsiers, though have a small body of around six inches in length, but have the largest eyes of any living creatures. To compensate, tarsiers can swivel their necks 180 degrees in either direction. They are found mostly in south-eastern Sumatra, in the west of Philippines. The tarsier likes meat and has the vision, speed and reflexes to catch small prey in pitch darkness. The head and body range from 10 to 15 cm in length with twice the length of hind limbs. Their fingers are also elongated, with the third finger being about the same length as the upper arm. Only the second and third toes of the hind feet bear claws instead, which are used for grooming. Tarsiers have very soft, velvety fur, which is generally buff, beige, or ochre in color.
6. Strumigenys tigris
Strumigenys tigris also called the tigress ant (though measures only 2 mm) is ferocious and dangerous to small invertebrates in the leaf litter of a rainforest. It walks around with its mandibles held wide open so that it can capture small invertebrates with a lightning fast snap. Because of its striking color, it blends into the rotting stick in which it lives.
7. Sea Pig
The sea pig is the common name for a species of sea cucumber that lives in the deepest abyssal depths of the world’s oceans and feed on the mud of the sea floor, benefiting from the organic materials that settle to the ocean bottom. Their body wall skeleton is clearly visible. They come in a variety of shapes measuring 2-4 inches in length. They have tentacles and large tube feet.
8. The RAP katydid
This newly discovered invertebrate species is like a sit-and-wait predator that hides on the underside of leaves attacking small insects that mistakenly land on the leaf. It was named after the RAP program because it lives in the most threatened habitats of West Africa. The male and female communicates via ultrasonic sounds.
9. Sun Bear
Sun bears are the smallest members in bear family and are generally found in tropical to subtropical regions of Southeast Asia – Borneo, Sumatra, Malay Peninsula and Burma. These animals grow to approximately four feet in length and have a tiny tail. Their average weight is less than 145 pounds. The short-haired, deep black or brown-black fur is interrupted on the chest by a pale orange-yellow horseshoe-shaped marking. Being omnivorous, they eat a range of fruit, eggs, honey, grubs, small mammals and birds. Their unique feature is their long tongue that can protrude up to 25 cm.
10. Yeti crab
The yeti crab also called Kiwa hirsuta was discovered on the floor of the South Pacific Ocean. It is about 6-inch long. The hairy pincers contain filamentous bacteria, which helps the animal to detoxify the poisons that are in the water where it lives. Being a recent discovery, nothing is known about its diet.
The hatchet fish gets its name from the hatchet like body structure. They can grow up to 6-inch in length. They have light-producing organs in rows along their bellies to hide them from predators below. A hatchet fish’s eyes can focus close up or far away. Though much is not known about these ghostly looking creature, but it is believed that they migrate to shallower waters at night to feed mainly on plankton and tiny fish.
The sloth is a slow-moving mammal that lives on trees. They are generally found in Central and South American rain forest. They live their lives hanging upside-down from tree branches, where they eat, sleep, mate and give birth. They are nocturnal and herbivorous and feed on tree leaves. They are about 1.5-2 feet in length with a stumpy tail. They have huge hooked claws and long arms. They have a thick brown and slightly-greenish fur coat.
13. Naked Mole Rat
These tiny rodents are hairless and tubular with a wrinkled body, appearing a bit like a tiny walrus. They are 3- to 13-inch long with a tail, up to 3-inch. They are found in tropical grasslands of Africa and also parts of Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Naked mole-rats eat roots and tubers and their own droppings. The queen rat is dominant and her job is to give birth to pups and take care of them as in the case of honey bees. The rest of population are the workers.
14. The proboscis monkey
The proboscis monkey is found only on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. These are characterized by the long noses in the males, which are thought to be related to mating in order to attract females. The male proboscis monkey is much larger around 2 to 2.5 feet longer, and weighs 35-51 lbs, than the female proboscis monkey. Another specific feature is their large pot bellies with seeds, leaves, and green fruits as their main food supply. They avoid sweet fruits, which could cause deadly bloating from rapid fermentation.
15. Emperor Scorpion
The Emperor Scorpion is a very large, impressive, and hardy scorpion that is found in tropical Africa. It is generally blue or black in color and is 4.5 to 6 inch long. It feeds on crickets, mealworms and other large insects. This species is especially sensitive to UV light. Though venomous, these scorpions are not harmful to humans. Their venom can be a medicine for heart arrhythmia as suspected by researchers.