The most odd animals on the planet.

By Gavin Thomas

 

 

 

 

Strange Animals

The wierd wonders of the world

Strange Animals 

Pg 4: Intro

Pg 6: Moray Eel

 

Pg 8:Giraffe Weevil

Pg 10: Japanese Spider Crab

Pg 12: Giant Isopod

Pg 14: Oarfish

Pg 16: Gulper Eel

Pg 18: Snipe Eel

Pg 20: Atlantic Hagfish

Pg 22: Lungfish

Pg 24: Spiny Leaf Insect

 Pg 26: Conclusion.

 

 

 

Did you know there is a fish that can actually breath oxygen from the air? Or that there is an eel with its anus in its throat? This book is full of animals that either look weird do strange things or have both traits. Some have disgusting habits and one of these animals can be kept as a pet. Many of the animals in this book may seem like they don't exist but none of them are made up.

 

 

Who knows you might have even seen or heard of some of them or maybe even all of them. You may not believe in a Gulper Eel or an Oarfish or that this does that but every animal in this book is a real living thing and they just do what they do. Maybe this book will help you understand what they do and why they do it.

Introduction

The Moray Eel is a very unique animal for many reasons. Just like most other fish the Moray Eel has a set of jaws in its mouth but what makes it unique is their 2nd set of jaws in their throat. The eels have extremely sharp teeth for both sets of jaws that are used hold and tear prey. The first set of jaws are used only for holding prey the 2nd set of jaws do the dirty work with the prey. What goes on when the Moray Eel eats is once they bite their prey they hold it with the front set of jaws and then the 2nd set of jaws come out of the back of the throat and tears the prey to pieces.

Sometimes divers will enjoy diving down to feed Moray Eels they but they have to be careful because they can also accidentally get their fingers bitten off in the process when the eels can mistake their fingers for sausages. The Moray Eel naturally eats small crustaceans fish. Sadly sometimes its front jaws can get stuck on the prey if it bites too hard and if they can't get them off the eel will die. Other than the 2 sets of jaws the Moray Eel has another cool trait that is commonly seen in some other animals a strange but interesting trait. The colors of male and female Moray Eels  are very different,while the male is a dull boring green brown color the female is a fluorescent blue color with some blueish purple spots.

In most other species with big color differences the males are the bright ones so they can stand out to attract a mate and the females are a boring and dull color so they can camouflage and protect their baby but in Moray Eels it seems to be the opposite. Almost all of the 200 different types of Moray Eels have these traits and can live 10-30 years which is pretty long for an eel. Moray Eels can grow up to 2 meters long and are hunted by Humans,Sharks and Barracuda. They like to live mostly in between rocks underwater. They normally will not come out of their homes so what they do to eat is when they see something they want they will jump out and tear it apart.

What goes on when the Moray Eel eats is once it bites its prey it will hold it then the back set of jaws comes out of its throat and eats the animal. The Moray eats little fish and crustaceans. They may look big and mean but they are not that much of a threat.



 

Moray Eel

 

Giraffe Weevil.

 

The Giraffe Weevil is one of the most bizarre looking insects on the planet. Someone would probably wonder can it fly and the answer is yes it can. Its delicate wings are just below its red elytra which will protect them. They kind of look like they are built to fight but they will only fight for a mate. If 2 male Giraffe Weevils see a female that want they will start to fight each other by using their long necks to try to push one and other over.

It is extremely rare that a weevil will die during a fight because the fight isn't very rough. Male Giraffe Weevils have necks that are 2-3 times longer than females and have the longest neck of any known weevil. The average Giraffe Weevil can grow up to 2-5 cm long which is pretty small even for a bug. These bugs are not common they are extremely rare. They will reproduce by laying eggs the female will lay a single egg and use her neck to roll a protective leaf tube around it.

Giraffe Weevils live in trees and only eat leaves so it does not eat other insects like most other bug do. If a person needs a visual the body of the average Giraffe Weevil is only about from their index finger to their middle finger so their pretty small. If a person goes on a vacation and happens to see this rare insect it won’t be very hard to find because it stands out on leaves with its red elytra and its black neck. The Giraffe Weevil is very closley related to beatles.  It may look strange or funny but the Giraffe Weevil is just like most other weevils.

Japanese Spider Crab



The Japanese Spider Crab is one of largest crustaceans in the world stretching almost 12 feet long. It is the largest crab in the world. The Japanese Spider Crab can live up to 100 years that's almost 20 years longer than the average human. Here's some stuff someone may not know. As big and heavy as it looks it averages 40 lbs, it is illegal to fish these crabs during their mating season which is when they move to more shallow water to lay their eggs.

To add to that in 1976 the japanese fished 24.7 tonnes of Japanese Spider Crab causing the population of the crabs to drop massively. The crabs also have long arms but relatively small and pretty weak claws but they can still hurt a person. The Japanese Spider Crabs translated japanese name is Long Legs Crab, due to its massive leg span. One of the main reasons the Japanese Spider Crab is in this book is its way of camouflaging itself. The Japanese Spider Crabs way of hiding is beyond weird it blends itself in with the sea floor but it will also cover itself with sponges and passing by fish to blend in with the scenery they are almost invisible to other animals.

One last thing unlike most other crabs the Japanese Spider Crabs arms don't go forwarward and curve a little they go up forward a little and down they are the only crabs in the world with arms like this. Its massive leg span makes it look dangerous but it doesn't pose much of a threat. It is is not naturally aggressive but it will not like it if someone does something to bother it. If someone gets close to the Japanese Spider Crab it will most likely try to run away or blend in. If the crab is mad it may try to pinch someone so it's best for someone to keep their distance if they see one. The Japanese Spider Crab is unlike any other crab on the planet.





Giant Isopod



The Giant Isopod is the largest isopod in the world because it can grow up to 16 inches long which is 8 times bigger than the average isopod. They are usually white with black eyes. They can eat things almost 30 time its size which is a lot for almost any animal. They are also food to just about anything bigger than them so as fierce as they look they must watch out to.

They have very complex mandibles that are very strong and can rip open prey. They are scavengers so  if a dead whale sinks to the ocean floor and a group of Giant Isopods come along they will stuff themselves until they can barely move. The reason Giant Isopods eat so much because they live on the ocean floor where food can be scarce for a long this allows them to go a year with only 2-3 meals. They have huge compound eyes that make them extremely sensitive to fast motions. They also have a huge field of view so they can see almost everything around them.

They live where there is almost no light so they get around by using their long antennae. They reproduce by laying eggs and their eggs are the largest of any marine invertebrate the eggs are 33mm. To keep the eggs safe the female has a pouch where she carries them until they fully developed mini adults. They live and usually 7,020 feet underwater. Just like their cousin the pillbug if the Giant Isopod does not feel safe it will curl itself into a protective ball to keep its soft underside safe. The Giant Isopod is actually a big help to the environment because they help get rid of waste on the ocean floor.   




Oarfish

 

The Oarfish is a very rare creature of the deep and someone may be able to tell there’s a lot more to know. Oarfish are huge,the average Oarfish will grow up to 15-20 feet long making them by far the largest member of the fish family. They can live 200-1,000 feet underwater which is deep down in the bathypelagic zone but sometimes they will come up to about 10 feet and someone could see it from their boat. Scientists believe that Oarfish are the origin of old sailor stories told about sea serpents. The Oarfish is a very very boney fish and they have no teeth so they swallow prey whole.

If a person ever makes the mistake of eating an Oarfish they will know because the Oarfish tastes like nothing and feels like a floppy and gooey mush. Unlike most fish Oarfish have no scales so they are very delicate and can be hurt easily. They will only eat types of plankton their diet is meat free. They are normally silver with blue or purple spots. The Japanese believe that if many Oarfish wash up on shore at the same time then there will be a massive earthquake this could be just religion or maybe there is some science behind it.

There are many different types of Oarfish and the Giant Oarfish can grow up to 36 feet long. They floppy horn like fin at the end their heads. It was found way back in 1772 which is over a century ago. They are sometimes called King of Herrings because they look like Herrings. They are called Oarfish because their pectoral fins look like oars. The Oarfish really does look and like a Sea Serpent but they're just fish.

Gulper Eel

 

Whats obvious is this is an eel with one heck of a mouth what's not as obvious is its mouth can open to be as long as its body, this animal is the Gulper Eel. It looks like most other eels except for it’s giant head and giant mouth. Its body can grow up to 6 feet long and its mouth can open 6 feet so it’s mouth can open to be as long as it’s body. Its body is not built for chasing prey  so it will eat like an Anglerfish by fishing for fish.It will eat by using a little light on the end of its tail that glows red and sometimes pink and it uses that light to attract food into its mouth.

As big as its mouth is the Gulper Eel only eats tiny crustaceans and fish it’s mouth is probably so big because it must catch a lot at once. It has very sharp teeth that it will only need to use if it is dealing with large prey. Most of what is known about the Gulper Eel is from the eels being brought up in fishing nets. The eels die shortly after reproducing so baby Gulper Eels almost never get to see their parents.

No one is sure where the Gulper Eels habitat is but it may live in between rocks like the Moray. They can live 500-6,000 feet underwater in the bathypelagic zone. They are a yellow brown color with a red tail. Unlike most deep sea animals the Gulper Eel has very poor eyesight because they only need to detect a small amount of light rather than an actual image. It will spend most of its time just sitting there with its tail in its mouth waiting for prey most eels do something like this.

The Gulper Eel is an incredibly weird creature of the deep.

Snipe Eel

 

This is the third and last eel in the book and it has many interesting traits. A person can see that the Snipe Eels mouth is shaped like a bird beak.They can grow up to 5 feet long. They only weigh a few oz. It has its anus in its throat and it has huge eyes so they can see very well.

It has a long thread like body and it lives 300-6,00 feet underwater in the bathypelagic zone. They will eat small fish and crustaceans. It swims with its mouth open and its teeth point backwards to snag the antennae of small crustaceans. They will die right after they mate so they die depending on when they mate. Its easy to look at a Snipe Eel and say its a worm because of its thread body.

Just like Gulper Eels no one knows the habitat of the Snipe Eel but just like Gulper Eels it could be between 2 rocks. As male Snipe Eels get older they will lose their teeth and their jaws will get shorter this does not happen to females so scientists once believed that male and female Snipe Eels were different species. They look like a bird with a long string body. Snipe Eels reproduce by laying buoyant eggs so deep sea predators can’t get to them They can live up to 10 years. Because the Snipe Eel lives so deep underwater scientists do not know that much about them but maybe some day they will.



Atlantic Hagfish



This is not a fish and not an eel so what is it? This is an Atlantic Hagfish and it’s more closely related to lampreys than eel or other fish. All down its body are small glands that release a sticky goo that traps and suffocates prey. Sometimes they can get caught in a cocoon of their own goo so to get out they twist themselves into a knot and pass that knot down their body to wipe off the goo it’s an interesting evolutionary advantage. They have no jaws and no bones.

Thier eyes are under a very thin layer of skin but this still gives them bad eyesight such bad eyesight that it is almost completely blind. They can grow to be about a half a meter long/3 feet long. Their skeleton is made out of 100% cartilage. The most gruesome thing about the Atlantic Hagfish is its eating habits it will attach itself to a passing by fish and then to eat in safety it will travel inside its victim and eat it from the inside out and then it will eat it from the inside out. They live in pretty deep water where there is mud to make a den out of so they can live in peace and safety.

It was discovered in the 1700’s. It used to be considered a worm but really it’s not a worm at all. It is food to anything bigger than it. They have changed very little in 320,000,000 years. It may have gruesome eating habits but that is what they had to do to survive this long.

 

Lungfish



People have heard stories of air breathing fish but this fish actually does breath air. When the rivers they live in drain they will result to burrowing under ground eating their own muscles and breathing air this is an evolutionary advantage most other fishes would die. They live in in rivers beetween rocks or in plants. Fossils have been found in North America and Europe so they used to live elsewhere. They normally eat snails, plants,Frogs,Fishes,Tadpoles and even other Lungfish but that’s just how the animal kingdom works.

They can grow up to 4 feet long. They are most closely related to 4 footed animals. They can walk on all 4 fins. It will eat by sucking in its prey. Lived 416,000,000 years ago.

They are almost scaleless so just like the Oarfish they must be aware. They are mostly brown. There are many different types of lungfish. They do not have a stomach. It can breath oxygen from the water as well as oxygen from the air with their gills.

All these traits make the Lungfish a unique animal. The Lungfish will risk dying in order to survive.

 

 

Spiny Leaf Insect

 

These are very odd looking bugs but there is more to know about their personality and life. As odd as they look they can be kept as pets. The males can release a super stinky gas that only bugs can smell Spiny Leaf Insects defend themselves with their sharp spines and the males can release the stinky gas. Males have wings and can fly Females cannot. They dont live in the U.S.

Females are green and yellow and Males are brown. They are a type of stick insect. Females will live18 montes in captivity and males will live 6-8 months in captivity that’s pretty long for a caged bug. They can grow up to 30 cm long. They are very easy to take care of as pets.

To camouflage they will swing in the breeze to imitate a dead leaf or they will stay still and pretend to be a stick. They eat Eucalyptus leaves from the Eucalyptus trees where they spend most of their time. They reproduce by laying eggs that look like acorns females lay about 5 at a time. Females have huge abdomens. Animals that eat bug eggs think that the Spiny Leaf Insect eggs are just seeds. The Spiny Spiny Leaf Insect is truly a very big and tricky bug.

 


Conclusion

 

Do you feel that you know more about the animals in this book now? If you do do you know why? Maybe you can do your own research on some animals you think are weird.




 

 

 

Where do they live?

 The websites I used

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.seasky.org/deep-sea/deep-sea-menu.html

 

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