The Frill-necked Lizard, also known as the Frilled Dragon, is so called because of the large ruff of skin which usually lies folded back against its head and neck. Long spines of cartilage support the neck frill, and when the lizard is frightened, it opens its mouth showing a bright pink or yellow lining, and the frill flares out, displaying bright orange and red scales. They often walk on four legs when on the ground. When frightened they begin to run on all fours and then accelerate onto the hind-legs. The frill of the Australian frilled dragon is used to frighten off potential predators, as well as hissing and lunging.
9. Dumbo Octopus
The octopuses of the genus Grimpoteuthis are also known as “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. They can flush the transparent layer of their skin at will, and are open ocean animals, unlike most octopi.
8. Angora Rabbit
The Angora rabbit is a variety of domestic rabbit bred for its long, soft hair. The rabbits were popular pets with French royalty in the mid 1700s, and spread to other parts of
7. Tasmanian Tiger
orous marsupial of modern times. Native to
The Platypus is a semi-aquatic mammal endemic to eastern
The Narwhal is an Arctic species of cetacean. It is one of two species of white whale, the other being the Beluga whale. The most conspicuous characteristic of male narwhal is their single extraordinarily long tusk, an incisor that projects from the left side of the upper jaw and forms a left-handed helix. The tusk can be up to nearly 10 feet long and weigh up to 22 pounds. About one in 500 males has two tusks, which occurs when the right tooth, normally small, also grows out. The purpose of the tusk has been the subject of much debate. Early scientific theories suggested that the tusk was used to pierce the ice covering the narwhal’s
Anglerfish are named for their characteristic mode of perdition, wherein a fleshy growth from the fish’s head (the esca) acts as a lure. Anglerfish also have spines protruding from their head, movable in all directions. The esca can be wiggled so as to resemble a prey animal, and thus to act as bait to lure other predators. Deep-sea anglerfish live mainly in the oceans’ aphotic zones, where the water is to deep for the sun to penetrate; therefore their perdition relies on the “lure” being bioluminescent. Since individuals are presumably locally rare and encounters doubly so, finding a mate is problematic. When scientists first started capturing ceratioid anglerfish, they noticed that all of the specimens were females. These individuals were a few inches in size and almost all of them had what appeared to be parasites attached to them. It turned out that these “parasites” were the remains of male ceratioids
3. Leafy Sea-dragon
Named after the dragons of Chinese mythology, Leafy Sea-dragons resemble a piece of drifting seaweed as they float in the seaweed-filled water. The Leafy Sea-dragon, with green, orange and gold hues along its body, is covered with leaf-like appendages, making it remarkably camouflaged. Only the fluttering of tiny fins or the moving of an independently swiveling eye reveals its presence. Sea-dragons have no teeth or stomach and feed exclusively on mysidopsis shrimp. Known as “Australian seahorses” in
2. Yeti Crab
Kiwa hirsuta is a crustacean discovered in 2005 in the
Coelacanth is the common name for an order of fish that includes the oldest living lineage of jawed fish known to date. The coelacanths, which are related to lungfishes and tetrapods, were believed to have been extinct since the end of the Cretaceous period, until the first specimen was found off the east coast of