I dedicate this book to Mrs. Jones, Ms. Mancusco, my parents,and all the wacky animals that made this book come to life.
10 wacky animals that explain why they look the way they do
The Komondor Dog has the most amount of hair in the canine world. Their coat is unique and begins to resemble a mop when they are 2 years old. Some people think it looks like dreadlocks. The topcoat is coarse, but the undercoat is soft. You would think they would shed, but it is very rare. Born white, when they get all dirty they start to look off-white or brown. Yuck!
Did you know that no one really knows how many animals there are in the world? With over 15,000 mammals, 20,000 species of fish, 6,000 reptiles, 9,000 birds, and 1,000 amphibians, scientists don’t really know the total population. Plus, some animals are extinct and more than 10,000 haven’t even been found yet!
In Wacky Wildlife you will learn about 10 animals that you have probably never heard of before. All of the animals in Wacky Wildlife have unique features that make them wacky to some people, and special to others. You decide! We interviewed these animals and asked them about their main feature.
So Komondor Dog, what do you have to say about your hair?
You don’t have to brush my hair, but please give me a good shampoo because when my hair gets dirty, you wouldn’t even know I am white. And have fun playing with my hair, it needs to be separated so I don’t carry dirt all around.
Dear komondor dog: Is that your real hair?
Dear tufted deer: Why do you have such scary fangs?
Don’t be scared of my fangs. They only look scary because they are long and make me look like a vampire. Don’t worry, I don’t bite. Well, that is kind of a lie. It is true that I don’t bite humans, but I do bite my food. The fangs help me stand out so others know that I’m a male. I use my fangs for fighting during the mating season.
You can find me in China, Northern India and Burma. You would see me in the jungles and moutain forests. Like any other vegetarian animal, I eat fruits, bamboo, herbs and grass. My name comes from the brown hair sticking out from my forehead. Talk about messy hair don’t care!
Dear fossa: How do you move so fast through the trees?
I will let you in on my little secret. My long tail gives me AMAZING balance, letting me go branch to branch quickly like a ninja. Also, my claws and flexible ankles help me stick on a tree, allowing me to go down head first. I am kind of an all day gymnast. I move so quickly, researchers have a hard time trying to observe me. Take that science!
I may look like a cat but I’m actually related to the mongoose. I’m the largest carnivore in Madagascar and I can reach up to 6 ft. I’m an endangered species. I usually only live 15 years.
My canine teeth are not just big, they are huge. They grow upwards from my jaw and never stop growing. I actually have 2 sets of long canine teeth, an upper and a lower set. My upper canines grow through my nose and outwards. If I don’t break them, or they don’t get worn down, they can curl back and actually grow into my skull and really hurt me. Yikes!.
Dear babirusa: What makes your teeth so unique?
There are only four of my species. I’m also know as a “deer-pig” and in the pig family. My appetite is . . . EVERYTHING!! Almost. I live in swamps and rainforests in the Indonesian Islands. The female and the young move in groups of up to 84 and the males usually travel by themselves.
I didn’t get the name Royal Flycatcher for nothing! I have a crown to prove it. My crown of feathers is made up of beautiful colors like red, yellow, white, blue and black. I only fan it out during mating season or when I’m in competition with other animals, otherwise it lays flat.
I live in a nest high above water, so no predators can reach me. Pretty smart, right? Our nests are only built by the female. I can be found in forests in Central and South America. I am 16-16.5 cm. I’m very important in the Amazon Rainforest because I help control the insect population.
Dear amazonian royal flycatcher: Why is your crest so colorful?
I live in tropical forests in Central and South America. I don’t have a lot of friends and I’m alone most of the time. Don’t feel bad for me, if I really want company I will sleep in a tree with another sloth. There are 2 categories of sloths: The two-toed sloth and the three-toed sloth. My light skin helps me blend into things.
I’m not just slow, I’m extremely slow. I’m slow because what I eat gives me little energy. I also have half the bones mammals should have in their body, which doesn’t help! I can’t even walk upright.
Dear sloth: Why are you so slow?
It is not just fuzzy, it is also warm. It is stronger and even warmer than wool. It grows 3-6 inches a year. I have a lot of colors from dark and light blacks to nice whites. My fiber is flame and water resistant.
I was founded over 5,000 years ago. I’m related to the llama, don’t we look alike? There are 2 breeds of Alpaca: the Huacaya and the Suri. Humming is the most common sound that we make. We spit at each other when we are competing.
Dear alpaca: Why is your fiber so special?
Dear giraffe: Why is you tongue purple and soooo long?
Everything thinks my tongue is purple, but actually it can be black, pink, and blue. The colors help my tongue not get sunburnt. I use my tongue to get my food leaves from a tree. My tongue is 45-50 cm and 18-20 inches.
I am actually the tallest land animal in the world and it’s a big world. I’m 5m tall. WOW!!! I am also very fast, if you can believe it, I can run up to 35 mph but not for very long. I live in Africa and I pretty much eat the whole day. All the males are taller and heavier than the females.
No one knows why I’m black and white, I don't even know. Some people say that it is so
that we could stand out in mating, or we could blend into the bamboo. Every panda has
one thing unique about them that no other pandas have. Also it’s very rare, but some
pandas could be brown and white. WHAT?!?
I only live up to 20 years. I used to be endangered, then all of a sudden in 1990 I WASN'T ANYMORE… YAAAYYYYY!!! In fact, I am known as a symbol of conservation since my numbers have slowly increased. We are very good swimmers and excellent tree climbers.
Are you impressed?
Dear giant panda: Why are you black and white?
It’s not a tusk, it’s actually a tooth and it’s the only tooth I have. Another surprise is that it’s not in the middle, it’s more on the left side. It lets people know I’m a male. It’s in the shape of a spiral.
I live in Greenland, Canada and Russia in the Arctic oceans. I am the deepest diver of all the whales. I eat halibut, squid and other sea animals. I can live up to 90 years old - that is long for animals. My nickname is the “ Unicorn of the Sea” (no surprise there, right?).
Dear narwal: Why do you have a tusk?
I really earned my nickname of “long nose monkey”. My long nose impresses the females and hangs down over my mouth. My nose can be up to 7 inches long. It makes my sound louder like an echo, echo, echo.
You can find me in rainforests of Borneo. I’m one of the largest monkeys in Asia. WOW!! The males are much larger than the females. My nose is not my only unique feature, I also have a large swollen stomach.
Dear probosics monkey: Why is your nose so long?
Mehmet Ozyurek has the largest nose of 8.8 cm long
Francisco Domingo Jauquim mouth is 16.99 cm wide and can fit a coca cola can in his mouth
Chandra Bahadur Dangi is 21 1/2 inches tall
Worlds largest fingernails
Lee Redmond hasm the largest fingernails in tyhe world she has been growing them since 1979 and grew up to 8.65 meters long.
Dear smily: Why does your hair look like Albert Einstein?
My hair looks like Albert Einstein . . .