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Top 10 New Species

10. The Carnivorous Olinguito

If you think it’s hard to tell a chimpanzee from a bonobo, try distinguishing the new, carnivorous olinguito from all other olinguitos—tree-dwelling mammals of the Amazon cloud forest related to common raccoons. So closely does the reddish-brown animal with its deceptively cuddly appearance and its decidedly un-cuddly claws resemble its already identified cousins, that the preserved samples of the animal’s pelts which were long stored in U.S. museums were consistently mislabeled as common olinguitos.

The Smithsonian Institution even reports that some of the animals may have been kept in American zoos in the 1960s, raising suspicion only because they never seemed to mate—at least not successfully—with others of their ostensible kind. But in 2013, the Smithsonian’s curator of mammals announced both anatomical and genetic evidence that conclusively carved out a new species. Not only does this earn the animals an entry in the taxonomy books, it may at last get the captive ones a cage with the right kind of mate. Happy trails you nocturnal imps, you.

9. Giant Amazon Freshwater Arapaima

Giant Amazon Freshwater Arapaima

For every animal family that has hundreds of species, there are others that have only a few—or even just one. That was the case with the sleek, silvery, 7. ft. (2.1 m) Amazon fish known as the araipama, a favorite source of protein for local fishermen. In the middle of the 19th century, taxonomists thought they had identified four species, but by the 1860s, the differences among them were seen as trivial enough that they were collapsed back into a single one. Modern-day biologist Donald Stewart of the State University of New York looked more closely at specimens of the fish as well as at the old research and decided that nope, the first guess—four species—was correct. And in 2013, he identified a fifth one, physically distinguished from the others by only a few subtle features, including slightly different coloration and an elongated sinus cavity.

The formal designation of the new species is less important than the problems it potentially poses. Araipama are now being raised and farmed, and farmed fish have a tendency to escape and become wild fish, sometimes crowding out native species they wouldn’t normally encounter. Stewart recommends caution in any more farming of arapaima until their species and behaviors can be better understood.

8. The Cape Melville Shade Skink

Australia was generous with the exotic animals this year, offering up the wonderfully named Cape Melville Shade Skink, a gold-colored, insect-eating lizard, which represents one more skink species in a family that already includes 1,500 others. But the Cape Melville entry is special, not only for its fetching color, but for its exuberance. Mot skinks stay close to the ground, hunting their buggy prey among the leaf litter. The Cape Melville skink leaps about on rock-and-moss fields. That’s usually a good way to get yourself eaten, but this species must know what it’s doing: it’s been around for about half a billion years.

7. Leaf-Tailed Gecko

You probably wouldn’t want to be 8 inches long, have a tail shaped like a leaf and no eyelids to speak of, requiring you to lick your eyeballs clean every now and again. But if you were, you’d have been famous this year, because you’d be the Saltuarius eximius, the newest member of the leaf-tailed gecko family, discovered in northern Australia. Saltuarius is a hanger-on from an ancient era, dating back to the time 510 million years ago when Australia was part of a larger southern landmass known as Gondwana.

The proto-continent is long gone, but some of its earliest inhabitants apparently remain and the rock-toned exquisitely camouflaged Saltuarius is one of the nicest. Patrick Couper, curator of reptiles and frogs at Queensland Museum, called the new critter, “the strangest new species to come across my desk in 26 years working as a professional herpetologist.” High praise from a scientist who clearly knows.

6. The Carolina Hammerhead

The Carolina Hammerhead

To answer the question you may or may not have been asking but have every right to ask: No, there is no animal uglier than a hammerhead shark. Seriously, what’s that head all about? Well, make room for one more—the Sphyrna gilbert, a new species of hammerhead shark that measures 10 to 13 ft. (3 to 4 m) fully grown, and has the one advantage of not being terribly aggressive. The species, informally known as the Carolina hammerhead after the U.S. coastal waters in which it was found, took some study, since it looks so similar to its cousin, the Scalloped hammerhead. There are some genetics differences between the two, but the only real physical difference is that the new fish has ten fewer vertebrae—something impossible to detect simply by looking. The head—its far more salient feature—remains regrettably the same.

5. Glow-in-the-Dark Cockroach

Glow-in-the-Dark Cockroach

Sorry cockroaches, you don’t get to be any less disgusting just because you master a nifty new trick like glowing in the dark. OK, maybe you get to be a little less disgusting, but only because your shape and your glow spots make you look like a cute, bug-eyed egg. Still, the Luchihormetica luckae, which was identified this year, manages to undo any good will it earns. For starters, the creature it’s trying to mimic with its stay-away nocturnal shimmer is the toxic click beetle, which achieves the seemingly impossible task of being even lower than the roach on the ladder of appeal. And those cute, glowing eye spots? They are made by pits in the animal’s skin filled with fluorescent bacteria.

4. NASA’S New Microbe

NASA keeps looking for new species of microbes on Mars, but what it didn’t expect was to find one in a clean room at the Kennedy Space Center. As their name suggests, clean rooms are, you know, clean, which not only keeps dust out of spacecraft, but prevents terrestrial organisms from hitching a ride on them and contaminating other worlds. Scientists regularly sample the air and surfaces in the rooms to check for spotlessness, and at Kennedy, they found a bacterium they’d never seen before, the berry-shaped Teriscoccus phoenicis.

As it turns out, the only other place in the world the microbe has been identified is in a European Space Agency clean room in French Guiana. And no, no, no, that does not mean the bugs are extraterrestrial. What it means is that they require exceedingly little to eat and, unlike most other microbes, can thus get by in so nutrient-poor an environment. A related species has also been found in only two places: yet another clean room in Florida and a bore hole in a Colorado molybdenum mine, 1.3 mi. (2.1 km) underground.

3. New Turkish Scorpion

New Turkish Scorpion

You’ve surely heard the fable of the scorpion that asks the turtle to give it a lift across a river. The turtle demurs, saying that the scorpion would just sting him en route. The scorpion answers that he’d never do such a thing since they’d both sink. The turtle, finding that reasoning hard to argue with, agrees—whereupon, midway across the river, the scorpion does administer a fatal sting. “Why did you do that?” the turtle asks as it starts to sink. “It’s in my nature,” his passenger says with a scorpion shrug. That’s all by way of saying that the world has at least one more species of beast you shouldn’t trust, now that researchers working in southwest Turkey have announced the discovery of a new type of scorpion, known as the Euscorpius lycius.

It’s as creepy-looking as any scorpion, as poisonous as any scorpion and as foul-tempered as any scorpion. But there’s not much to be afraid of. Just an inch or so across, it administers a sting that would cause you little more distress than a mosquito bite. Good news for us—bad news for the much smaller critters that cross its fearsome path.

2. Panthera Blythae

Being extinct is no reason not to make news, which is something a newly discovered species of great predatory cat, which last prowled the Earth 4.4 million years ago, proved this year. The Panthera blythae, discovered in Tibet, easily predates the previous big-cat record holder, which lived in Tanzania 3.7 million years ago. The new beast had a broad forehead that investigators compare to that of a modern snow leopard, but at 50 lbs. (27 kg), it was comparatively small, about the size of a modern clouded leopard. Still, like all big cats, it was clearly built for the kill. One of its most noteworthy features was its large teeth, which the investigators noticed were extremely heavily worn. They didn’t get that way on salads.

1. T. Rex’s Great Uncle

Just what the other animals of the prehistoric world needed—ten million extra years of living with the Tyrannosaurus rex family. That, however, appears to be how things were, after paleontologists in southern Utah announced the discovery of what they described as sort of a “great uncle” of the T. rex, which lived 80 million years ago—pushing the line way back from the 70 million year starting point previously assumed. The new tyrant king was a bit smaller than its fabled grand nephew, but that would have been little comfort to Cretaceous-era prey. University of Maryland paleontologist Thomas Hotz, Jr. described the beast as “banana-tooth[ed]”—and he was talking about size, not sharpness. The animal’s name alone—Lythronax argestes—tells you the rest of what you need to know. The Lythronax part means “king of gore.”


Top 10 Surprising Facts About Sharks

Many people consider sharks as predators that may attack at any time, divers possess a different viewpoint. We find these animals that are diverse ancient and lovely entrancing, also it appears like there something new to find out about sharks.


1. Sharks normally have about 45 to 50 teeth but that’s just the front row teeth. Additionally they have, on the other side of the leading row typically, up to seven replacement rows of teeth ready to move into place if a tooth is damaged or falls out. With the activity a shark’s mouth sees throughout its life, an individual might go through as many as 30,000 teeth.

2. Even though we associate sharks with big, sharp chompers, some species barely need their teeth. Basking sharks and whale sharks, two of the largest species, are both filter have numerous, tiny teeth – a whale shark may have up to 300 lines of teeth and feeders.

3. While sharks don’t use sounds to communicate, they do rely on body language. If you’re snorkeling or diving, it’s good to be aware of the body language sharks use to communicate that they’re uneasy. Hunched backs, lowered pectoral fins, sharp movements (in zig-zag or back-and-forth patterns), and diving down to touch the bottom are all good indicators that a shark is feeling uncomfortable.

4. Some big sharks have dramatically longer life-spans than small sharks. For instance, whale sharks (which normally range from 18 to 32 feet/5.5 to 10 meters in length) can live up to 100 years, while the smooth dogfish (with a typical length between 2 and 4-feet/0.6 and 1.2 meters) might just live for 16 years.

5. Whale sharks claim the title of largest shark species, and are also the largest species of fish in the world. The basking shark, the second largest shark (and fish), averages between approximately 22 and 29 feet/ 7 and 9 meters. Pygmy Ribbontail Catsharks are perhaps the smallest, at about 6 to 7 inches/ 17 to 18 centimeters . Other small species include the Dwarf Lanternfish and the Spined Pygmy Shark , both of which are roughly the same average size as Pygmy Ribbontail Catsharks.

6. Sharks have of giving birth to their own young, complicated and diverse ways. Some lay egg cases, which have been nicknamed “mermaid’s purses” and sometimes wash up on beaches. However, live birth is given by a lot of sharks, along with a female might give birth to as several as 48 puppies in one litter.

7. There are some estimates that for each person people yearly kill 25 million sharks. There are 201 sharks on the “Red List” of endangered species, published by by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). While estimates vary as to how many sharks are killed, either for harvesting fins, hunting or in incidental “bycatch” in fishing equipment, the figures are all dramatic, ranging from 70 to 100 million. Sharks are an essential component in marine environments, and their fast dwindling numbers are a main source of concern among conservationists. Movements like Project AWARE are bringing attention to and fight the over exploitation of sharks.

8. Research has helped break the myth that sharks are attracted to the color yellowish – in fact, they probably can’t see colour at all. The old saying “yum yum yellow” was rooted in the idea that sharks could see and were more likely to approach divers wearing the color. Because sharks’ eyes were found to lack or have minimal color-sensing cells , it seems to make more sense that what actually draws attention is the contrast in colors, rather than the color itself.

9. Sharks live in all seven of the world oceans, but they’re maybe not limited exclusively to wide-open bodies of salt water. There are species that can survive in mixed salt- and freshwater environments like estuaries and watersheds that connect to an ocean, while other species can live in completely fresh water. Bull sharks can survive in both saltwater and freshwater, and have been known to frequent the river.

10. Sharks are a living link with the period of the dinosaurs. Scales and teeth dating from more than 400 thousand years past offer hints about how those early ancestors appeared to us. However, what we consider as “ sharks that were modern appeared around 100 million years ago. The frilled shark, which can be uncommon but still in being, has developed almost no over the millennia and is regarded as one of the finest examples of what sharks that were early appeared to be.

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Top 10 biggest snakes in the world

10. Diamondback Rattlesnake

Diamondback Rattlesnake

Average length of Diamondback Rattlesnake  3.9 feet (1.1 meter)
Maximum length of Diamondback Rattlesnake  6.99 feet (2.1 meter)

Adults commonly grow to 120 cm (3.9 ft) in length. The maximum reported length considered to be reputable is 213 cm (6.99 feet) (Klauber, 1972). Even though this variation in dimension will not happen until they’ve reached maturity, Males become much bigger than females.

9. Giant Brown Snake

Giant Brown Snake

Average length of Giant Brown Snake  4.9 feet (1.5 meter)
Maximum length of Giant Brown Snake  9.8 feet (3 meter)

Giant Brown snakes growing up to 2.5 to 3.0 m (8.2 to 9.8 feet) in length in the largest specimens, although 1.5 m (4.9 ft) is a more typical length for an average adult. The brown snake is known as Dangerous to man. Bites from this species of snake have caused death within minutes, rather than hours or days, with even  a juvenile (newborn) potentially delivering enough venom in one bite – to kill 20 adults.

8. Bushmaster


Average length of Bushmaster  6.5–8.25 feet (2–2.5 meter)
Maximum length of Bushmaster  12 feet (3.65 meter)

Adults Grown-ups vary in size from 2 to 2.5 m (6.5 to 8.25 ft), although some may grow to as much as 3 m (10 ft). The largest known specimen was just under 3.65 m (12 feet ), making it the longest venomous snake in the Western Hemisphere. This is also the longest viper, though not the heaviest (it is surpassed by the gaboon viper and the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake). The bushmaster’s tail ends with a horny spine which it occasionally vibrates when disturbed in a similar manner to rattlesnakes.

7. Diamond Python

 Diamond Python

Average length of Diamondback Rattlesnake  6.6 feet (2 meter)
Maximum length of Diamondback Rattlesnake  13 feet (4 meter)

It is a medium to large snake, found in coastal areas and adjacent ranges of south-eastern Australia. They can be the most southerly happening python in the world and are also found at higher altitudes than any other species of Australian python.

6. Boa Constrictor

Boa Constrictor

Average length of Boa Constrictor  3–10 feet (1–3 meter)
Maximum length of Boa Constrictor  14 feet (4.2 meter)

The Boa constrictor is a large snake, although only modestly sized compared to other large snakes like the Burmese and Reticulated python and can reach lengths of anywhere from 1–3 meters (3–10 feet) depending on the locality and the availability of suitable prey. There is clear sexual dimorphism seen in the species, with females generally being larger in both length and girth than males.

5. Black Mamba

Black Mamba

Average length of Black Mamba  8 feet (2.4 meter)
Maximum length of Black Mamba  14 feet (4.25 meter)

Black mambas have coffin-shaped heads and are lithe, athletic snakes. Based on National Geographic, they can grow to be 14 feet long (4.25 meters), although their average length is approximately 8 feet (2.4 m). These snake can live up to 1 1 years in the wild.

4. King Cobra

King Cobra

Average length of King Cobra  9.8–13 feet (3–4 meter)
Maximum length of King Cobra  18.8 feet (5.7 meter)

The king cobra is the world’s  longest venomous snake, having a length up to 18.5 to 18.8 ft (5.6 to 5.7 m). This snakes, which feeds primarily on other snakes, is found mostly in forests from India through South East Asia to the Philippines and also Indonesia.

The king cobra averages at 3 to 4 m (9.8 to 13 ft) in length and generally weighs about 6 kg (13 lb). The longest known specimen was kept captive at the London Zoo, and grew to around 18.5 to 18.8 ft (5.6 to 5.7 m).

3. Indian Python

Indian Python

Average length of Indian Python  7.9–9.8 feet (2.43 meter)
Maximum length of Indian Python  21 feet (6.4 meter)

The color pattern is whitish or yellowish with the blotched patterns varying from shades of tan to dark brown. This varies with habitat and terrain. Specimens in the hill forests of Assam and Western Ghats are darker, while these from the Deccan Plateau and East Coast are generally lighter.

In Pakistan, Indian Pythons commonly reach a length of 2.4–3 metres (7.9–9.8 feet). In Indian, the nominate subspecies grows to 3 metres (9.8 ft) on average. This value is supported with a 1990 study in Keoladeo National Park, where the largest 25% of the python people was 2.7–3.3 metres (8.9–11 foot) long. It can grow to a length of about 21 feet (6.4 m)

2. Green Anaconda

Green Anaconda

Average length of Green Anaconda  1517 feet (4.55.1 meter)
Maximum length of Green Anaconda  28 feet (8.5 meter)

The Green Anaconda is reputed to be the 2nd biggest snake in the world. It is a semi-aquatic boa that lives in the marshlands of South America. The common adult size to get a green anaconda is 15-17 feet; its weight can easily surpass 200 lbs, (the heftiest one found was 550 lbs). The largest to be confirmed is about 28 ft.

See also: Top 10 Most Amazing Colorful Snakes

1. Reticulated Python

Reticulated Python

Average length of Reticulated Python  1018 feet (3.6–5.4 meter)
Maximum length of Reticulated Python  32 feet (9.7 meter)

The reticulated python is found in South East Asia. Adults can grow to over 8.7 m (28 feet) in length but normally grow to an average of 3-6 m (10–20 feet). They’re the world snakes and longest reptile, but aren’t the most heavily built. Like all pythons, they’re nonvenomous constrictors and usually not considered harmful to individuals. The longest one was recorded to be 32 feet. The reticulated python is biggest snakes in the world.

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Top 10 Ugliest Animals in the World

Animals come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some are beautiful, majestic and endearing. Others are downright nasty and repugnant. Wouldn’t it be fun to try and narrow down the worst looking of the bunch? Here is my unofficial list of the top ten ugliest animals in the world.

10. Sphynx Cat

Sphynx Cat

This cat is hairless and hideous. Despite its horrible looks, it is known as quite loving towards its human owners. They are also said to have fantastic personalities.

9. Warthog


Found in Africa, the warthog looks like a pig with horns. Warts cover their large flat heads.   Even though these warts are for protection, they are not aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

8. Baird Tapir

Baird Tapir

The baird tapir is the largest mammal found in Mexico and South America. As if a nose and upper lip that stick straight into the air isn’t ugly enough, they also have four toes on the front feet and three toes on the back.

7. Proboscis Monkey

Proboscis Monkey

The proboscis monkey is on the endangered species list. Their long, protruding noses are used to honk in a form of communication with other monkeys.

6. Celestial Eyed Gold Fish

Celestial Eyed Gold Fish

Goldfish remind us of a small, cute pet fish. This is hardly the case with the celestial eyed gold fish. With eyes larger than their stomachs, they can be quite frightening.

5. Aye-Aye


Found in Madagascar, this is the largest nocturnal primate.   It taps on trees to find food, similar to the woodpecker. The aye-aye is on the endangered species list because it is thought to be bad luck and killed on sight.

4. Star Nosed Mole

Star Nosed Mole

The star nosed mole is located in parts of the United States and Canada. It has a star shaped nose with 22 fleshy tentacles reaching out. This absurd nose is so sensitive, it can even sense electricity.

3. Tarsier


As the smallest known primate, the tarsier is the size of a human hand. They like to jump from tree to tree to catch flying birds. If captured, this animal is known to kill itself due to the stress.

2. Naked Mole Rat

Naked Mole Rat

Also known as “sand puppy,” the naked mole rat is found in East Africa. They have large protruding teeth used for digging. The naked mole rats eyes are small and narrow, perfect for its life underground.

1. Blobfish


Found in the deep waters of Australia, the blob fish is the ugliest known animal in the world. It is rarely seen by humans because it lives in the deepest parts of the ocean. Due to its body make up, the blob fish can float above the sea floor without wasting any energy.

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