As children, many of us spent our time pouring through books about nature and the ocean. We loved finding the weird and wonderful animals and sea life that share the planet with us. Maybe we dreamed of becoming marine biologists or zoologists, spending our time in nature or the ocean, where we would interact with the creatures we loved.
That's how children are, aren't they... and many adults too. The love for nature, the oceans and all the creatures in them remain strong in many! And that's a good thing because the way we treat our planet means that our oceans and other natural habitats are under constant threat.
So today, we are going to ask you to go back to that time when you were a kid, discovering new animals and sea creatures for the first time. We have assembled a range of land animals and residents of the deep for you to identify. And these are not your run of the mill giraffe or whale. We are talking about strange beasts here, ones that you may have only seen a few times before.
Do you think you have what it takes to identify them?
It looks pretty scary and has a scary name, but luckily it lives at great depths. Identify this creature, please.
Wiki Commons by Carl Chun
No, it doesn’t suck blood, but it does look terrifying! The Vampire squid lives at great depths where it hunts its prey. They are also known to have big eyes in proportion to the rest of their body.
Found in the waters of Australia and New Zealand, this fish lives up to its name. What is it?
YouTube by EVNautilus
A cool name, isn’t it? But wow, that’s one ugly fish. Blobfish are found off the coast of both New Zealand and Australia and live at depths of around 1,200 meters.
Name this colorful bird found in Africa, please.
Andrew Sproule/Moment/Getty Images
Certainly one of the most colorful birds of the world, the Lilac-breasted roller is found mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. It is also sometimes called the fork-tailed roller.
Ugly, that's for sure! Can you name this amphibian, please?
Wiki Commons by Karthickbala
Not quite sure how the Indian purple frog moves around. That’s a big frog right there! And that face? The Indian purple has a pointed snout that immediately makes it look different from other frogs.
With extremely powerful venom, this sea creature may look pretty but it is deadly. Can you name it?
Wiki Commons by Sylke Rohrlach
The Blue-ringed octopus is a fairly standard looking octopus except they have blue rings! Don’t be fooled, however. This octopus has a very strong venom which can be lethal.
Which scaly mammal is shown in this image?
Wiki Commons by A. J. T. Johnsingh, WWF-India and NCF
Known as the scaly anteater, Pangolins are not related to anteaters in any way, or sloths for that matter. They are their own animal. This insect eater is covered in scales, and this is the only mammal in the world to have them. They eat mostly ants and termites.
The smallest of its kind, can you name this strange looking creature?
Wiki Commons by Daderot
Armadilloes are pretty awesome, and the most awesome amongst them is clearly the Pink fairy armadillo. Found in Argentina, this is the smallest of the armadillo species. It was discovered in 1825.
Any idea as to the name of this fish? It lives at depths of up to 6 kilometers.
Wiki Commons by NOAA/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
It is thought that grenadiers are one of the most populous fish found at great depths. In fact, scientists believe they make up around 15% of the population at these depths. They can live as deep as 6 kilometers!
Another denizen of the deep! What is it?
Wiki Commons by NOAA/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
It’s big. It’s red, and it’s made of jelly. Well, not quite; it’s not that red actually, it just has a faint tinge. This jellyfish does not have tentacles per se, as they are almost like mini arms. It uses these to catch its prey.
It's part of the cat family, right? It's not, actually. What is it?
Wiki Commons by Littlenelle
You would think the Fossa was related to the cat family. It isn’t. Found in Madagascar, the Fossa is more related to the mongoose family. This carnivore eats small animals, reptiles and birds.
It may be pretty, but steer clear from this one. Any idea as to what it is?
Wiki Commons by Bree Mc/soulsurvivor08
A stunning looking reptile, the Prickly Bush Viper has scales that turn upwards. These actually look like feathers from a distance. Don’t be fooled, however. And stay clear!
Now that's a strange fish. It actually has a transparent part on its head. Do you know what it is called?
Wiki Commons by Brauer, A.
The Barreleye is a strange looking fish. Not only does it have two upward looking eyes, but they are also encased in a transparent dome. Weird, isn’t it?
Can you name this sea creature that is thought to have inspired the legend of the Kraken?
We know they are there, we just don’t see them that often. Giant squids are creatures of legend, and it is thought the legendary sea monster, the Kraken, was a giant squid. These creatures only have one enemy… the sperm whale.
Name this creature blessed with extremely out of proportion rear legs.
Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images
If a mouse and a kangaroo mated, you might get a Jerboa. Actually, this strange looking animal is part of the rodent family. Well, they do look like mice but those long legs help the Jerboa jump really well.
A wingspan of up to 1.8-inches is impressive, right? But can you name this animal?
Wiki Commons by Spacebirdy
That’s a seriously impressive moth! Humminbird hawk moths are found in Europe and Africa amongst other places. This moth is big and can have a wingspan of up to 1.8 inches. They have a long proboscis that is used to extract honey from plants.
Can you name the sea creature featured here?
Wiki Commons by Edd48
Why is it called a Hatchetfish? Well, it looks a little like a hatchet, doesn’t it? These fish are noted for their eyes, which actually point upwards, allowing them to see food above them easier.
Name this scary looking sea dweller, please.
Wiki Commons by Eric Kilby
If this thing lived in the shallows, not many people would choose to go into the ocean! It’s scary looking. Luckily, these creatures are only found very deep, where they crawl the bottom of the ocean. They live in the Atlantic ocean mostly.
What primate is this? They are only found in Borneo.
Ger Bosma/Moment/Getty Images
Found on the island of Borneo, the proboscis monkey is easily identified through its large nose. Why is it there? Well, to attract females. Sadly, they are an endangered species.
Luckily, this creature is harmless to humans! It is scary looking, though. Can you name it?
Wiki Commons by Christopher Watson
Found in Australia, the Thorny Devil lizard has hard spines. This is a protection against predators. Who would want to swallow that? They are harmless to humans, preferring to eat ants or plants.
The undersea creature featured in this image is the ___________.
Wiki Commons by NOAA/NMFS/SEFSC Pascagoula Laboratory
The Anglerfish has his own lure to attract prey. It is a flesh protrusion from the top of his head that attracts other fish, which the anglerfish then attacks. Other fish must be a little stupid! Why go near this fierce looking thing?
Would you be able to identify this interesting looking creature?
Wiki Commons by Jonathan Wilkins
So what’s so special about the Maned wolf? Well, it's those long legs! And guess what? This isn’t a wolf, either. It is a from the genus Chrysocyon and the only species in that genus. Incidentally, Chrysocyon means “golden dog.”
Another strange looking creature, this species found in Asia also has a cousin in Africa. What is it?
Wiki Commons by PJeganathan
Found in Asia, the Chevrotain is more commonly called the Mouse Deer. A similar species live in Africa. They are ungulates, a diverse family that includes deer, donkeys, and cattle, to name a few. Adults weigh around 8 kilograms.
That mouth is scary! It allows this sea creature to swallow large things. What is this creature called?
Wiki Commons by Gdr
The Gulper eel gets its name from its huge mouth. This means it can swallow its prey, thanks to the loosely hinged jaw been able to open very wide. It is also named the Pelican eel because its jaw is similar in looks to the beak of a pelican.
This fish produces its own light to lure prey. Name it, please.
Wiki Commons by NOAA Photo Library
Now that’s ugly! The Snaggletooth has an impressive jaw with sharp teeth. These fish live at depths of up to 2,500 meters. Here, they produce their own light that attracts their prey to their demise.
The creature in this image is a ___________.
YouTube by Dean Boshoff
Blink, and you will miss it. The desert rain frog is tiny, which helps it evade predators. Growing only to around 6 centimeters, this frog is only found in a small section of Namibia and South Africa.
This strange beast is sometimes named the Zebra giraffe. What is it?
Tier Und Naturfotografie J und C Sohns/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images
The Okapi is a strange looking beast. Often called the zebra giraffe, the Okapi is indeed related to the giraffe. They are found in central Africa and can grow up to 1.5 meters in height.
Shame, that's a cutie! Name this creature that can live at depths of 4,000 meters.
Wiki Commons by NOAA Okeanos Explorer
Actually, that’s pretty cute! Named after the Disney character, Dumbo the octopus lives at great depths, around 3,000 to 4,000 meters. They feed on crustaceans, worms, and bivalves.
The male of this species never eats and dies after mating. Sounds like a tough gig. Can you name the sea creature?
Wiki Commons by GM. Woodward via Citron
The Pacific Black dragons live at great depths where they hunt their prey. Well, females that is. Males never eat and they die after mating. Males and females also look very different, with females growing far bigger. That’s probably because they get to eat!
Identify this member of the rodent family, please.
Wiki Commons by John5199
Part of the rodent family, the Patagonian mara is only found in Argentina. It is noted for its long legs and almost resembles a jackrabbit in that regard. Adults can weigh up to 16 kilograms.
The animal in this image is a _______.
Wiki Commons by Fabrice Stoger
Well, the Gerenuk would pass for any other type of antelope, until you see its long neck. In fact, the name of this animal means “giraffe-necked” in the Somali language. These antelopes are found in near the horn of Africa.
What animal is this? It is found in Southeast Asia.
Copyright by David Yeo/Moment Open/Getty Images
Look at those eyes! So cute! The Sunda flying lemur is found throughout Southeast Asia and is only one of two flying lemur species in the world. Technically, it doesn’t fly; it glides while making huge jumps from tree to tree.
Another deep-sea dweller that has its own light source, name this fish that lives at depths of up to 2 kilometers.
Wiki Commons by GM. Woodward via Citron
Although they start life near the surface of the ocean as eggs, Dragonfish lives at depths of up to 2 kilometers deep. These fish produce their own light that is used for hunting.
Not much is known about these creatures, but it is thought they each prey whole. Do you have any idea what it is?
Wiki Commons by Citron
Frilled sharks are not often seen. Scientists have deemed them to be a living fossil. These incredible creatures live in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is thought that they eat their prey whole. Scary!
The sea-dwelling creature in this image is a ________.
YouTube by GeoBeats News
The Coffinfish has the ability to inflate itself when in danger, just like a puffer fish. They use protrusion on their body to lure their prey in and then they attack.
Electric shocks and a mouth on top of its head. Can you name this strange creature?
Wiki Commons by Canvasman21
Electric shocks! Yes, and it hides from its enemies. The Stargazer is so called as it has eyes on the top of its head, as well as its mouth. This fish will embed itself in the sand waiting for its prey. Scary!
This animal has strange pointy teeth. Do you know what it is?
Wiki Commons by Shell Kinney
Probably the first thing you might notice about the tufted deer is those large incisors. Tufted deer receive their name from their tufts of hair on the top of their heads. Only the males have the canine-like teeth.
Identify this sea dweller, also called a ghost shark.
Wiki Commons by NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, INDEX-SATAL 2010, NOAA/OER
Also known as ghost sharks, these strange creatures are close relatives with sharks. They only live in deep water, over 2,000 meters and are not often seen. Chimaera grow up to 5 foot in length.
Sadly, this animal is highly endangered. What is it?
Wiki Commons by Andrey Giljov
Sadly, the Saiga antelope is highly endangered. They are noted for their strange snouts. Many have died in their masses from various diseases over the past years.
Can you tell us the name of this bird?
Wiki Commons by Olaf Oliviero Riemer
Although it looks scary, a Shoebill, found in Africa, is fairly harmless. And the name? Well, it comes from that impressive bill, doesn’t it? Shoebills are sometimes called Whaleheads.
The sea dweller in this image is a ________.
Wiki Commons by Uwe kils
Amphipods are crustaceans found throughout the oceans of the world. In the deep, however, they can grow fairly big, with some reaching a foot in length. Let’s hope they stay down there!
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