toggle menu

In photos:

In photos: 10 weird and wonderful animals

04 Oct 2018


  • biodiversity

It’s World Animal Day - which is about how we can make the world a safer and fairer place for all animals across the globe.


To celebrate, we’re showcasing ten of the world’s most unique, rare and downright strange species.


Shoebill or whale-headed stork © / Edwin Giesbers / WWF

Big foot

Shoebill storks have exceptionally large feet to help them stand on aquatic vegetation. They live in marshes, swamps and wetlands throughout Africa.

Scientific name: Balaeniceps rex

Lacy scorpionfish, Papua New Guinea © Cat Holloway / WWF

Camouflage champ

Found in the waters of the Asian Pacific region, the rare lacy scorpionfish is incredibly difficult to spot. They often hide underneath plate corals and expertly camouflage themselves to blend with its background.

Scientific name: Rhinopias frondosa.

Pygmy chameleon, Madagascar © Martin Harvey / WWF

Smaller than the size of your finger!
The eeney weeney, teeny tiny, pygmy chameleon is one of the world's smallest reptiles. They can be found on Nosy Be, an island located off the northwest coast of Madagascar.
Scientific name: Brookesia minima

Luna moth © Charles Santiapillai / WWF

Life's short for these moths. Real short.
Adult luna moths only live for about a week – just long enough to reproduce. Imagine having to find a mate and lay 400-600 eggs within a week!
Scientific name: Actias luna

Fennec fox in a burrow, Niger © John E. Newby / WWF

If Yoda was a fox? Adorable, he would be.
The fennec fox is found in the deserts of North Africa. Their huge ears are not only great for hearing prey move underground, but also to help radiate body heat and keep them cool in the hot sandy landscape.
Scientific name: Vulpes zerda

Okapi, Democratic Republic of Congo © / Jabruson / WWF

What's half gazelle, half zebra?
You'd be lucky to spot on okapi in the wild as they're very hard to find. They're native to the tropical forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo. With a keen sense of smell and acute hearing, they're easily alerted of possible predators in the distance.
Scientific name: Okapia johnstoni

Peacock mantis shrimp, Indonesia © Jürgen Freund / WWF

This shrimp is no wimp!
The peacock mantis shrimp is an active hunter that repeatedly smashes its prey so it can consume their soft tissue. They're reported to have a punch of over 80km/h.
Scientific name: Odontodactylus scyllarus

Capybara in the Llanos region of Colombia © Days Edge Productions / WWF-US

Is it a beaver? A pig? Maybe a... hippo? Nope!
Found in Central and South America, capybaras are the world's largest living rodents. Not only do they like to scamper around land (they can run as fast as a horse), but they also like to go for a swim and can submerge themselves for up to five minutes.
Scientific name: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

Boxer or pom-pom crab, Papua New Guinea © Jürgen Freund / WWF

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, punch like a crab.
This small pom-pom crab is small but fierce. Also known as 'the boxer', it grasps stinging anemones in its claws and when threatened, will jab at its enemy.
Scientific name: Lybia tessellata

Hairy long-nosed armadillo, Peru © André Bärtschi / WWF


No one nose much about these armadillos.
The hairy long-nosed armadillo is a very rare species that have only been spotted in subtropical Peruvian forests. They're listed as 'data deficient' on the IUCN red list as there is so little known about these armadillos. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Scientific name: Dasypus pilosus


Each and every one of us can help make the world a fairer place for animals. Click here to see how you can make a difference.


Recommended reading

A star fish in the great barrier reef © WWF / James Morgan


Great Barrier Reef

WWF-Australia works on the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef, one of the largest coral reef ecosystems.

Read more