Top 10 Animals Last of Their Kind (Video)
• Our planet is home to many animals, with the authors of the Census of Marine Life project estimating 6,5 million species live on land, and another 2,2 million species live in the ocean.
• However, among this biological diversity there are animals that are the last representatives of their evolutionary branch.
10. Honey badger
• Despite its small size, the beast from the monotypic genus of honey badgers (Mellivora) is ready to fight with anyone and at any time. For its fearlessness, this mammal even got into the Guinness Book of Records.
• Nature has endowed the honey badger with incredibly powerful jaws, very thick and durable skin, and many other features that allow it to survive in conditions where any other creature will “drop its hooves”. For example, the honey badger has some immunity to snake venom, as snakes make up about 25% of its diet. If a honey badger is stung by a snake, then the beast will simply pass out for a couple of hours before waking up to continue eating.
• The scientific name for this small marsupial is Phascolarctos cinereus, and it is closely related to kangaroos and wombats. Scientists suspect that koalas evolved by feeding almost exclusively on eucalyptus leaves.
• Koalas are also the only animals other than primates to have fingerprints like humans. According to scientists, the evolutionary function of fingerprints was to help animals better cling to trees.
• The future of koalas in the wild is unclear. In February 2023, the Australian government announced that koalas are endangered due to wildfires, drought and habitat loss. Researchers suspect that their populations in New Queensland and New South Wales have declined by about 50% over the past two decades and that Australia has lost about 30% of its entire koala population between 2018 and 2022.
• Does this mammal look like a virgin? But its name is translated from Malay as "sea maiden", she is also a mermaid.
• Well, the dugong is a very lonely mermaid, because he is the only representative of the dugong family. And the species itself is endangered due to interaction with humans. In some Asian countries, dugong body parts are used as a medicinal component, and their meat tastes like veal. Now dugongs are listed in the Red Book, and hunting for them is allowed only to aboriginal peoples, as a traditional trade.
7. Maned wolf
• This bizarre creature, resembling both a fox and a wolf on very long legs, is neither a fox nor a wolf. The maned wolf is from the canine family, and the only representative of the Chrysocyon genus. And the especially long legs of this animal are probably an adaptation that allows it to see over the tall grass in which the maned wolf often hunts.
• Maned wolves form monogamous pairs, while the male and female together protect an area of an average of 27 square kilometers. Despite coordinated guarding, male and female maned wolves usually only interact closely during the mating season.
• Maned wolves are protected by law in many parts of their range and are classified as endangered. Hunting them is prohibited in Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. And in Uruguay, this species may already have become extinct.
6. Gangetic gharial
• This crocodile has a distinctive appearance – it has long, thin jaws, which it uses to catch fish, and males have a large, bulbous growth at the tip of their muzzle. With it, the gharial can hum like a huge bee. Also, blow bubbles during mating games.
• Gharials are the only crocodiles with such an obvious difference between males and females. These large crocodiles were once widespread across the Indian subcontinent but are now limited to only five severely depleted populations in India and Nepal.
5. Madagascar arm
• The only modern representative of the genus "rukonozhki" from the family of rukonozhkovye (Daubentoniidae) has a funny name "ah-ah". It lives only in Madagascar and is listed in the Red Book. The animal is small – only 3 kilograms in weight, and about 44 cm long.
• In the ecosystem, it occupies the same "position" as the woodpecker – it prevents an excessive increase in the pest population. With his long and thin middle finger, the aye-aye extracts insects and their larvae from the tree bark, and eats them.
There is only one representative in the Platypus family, but it is very strange. He has a beak and cloaca like a bird, mammary glands like a mammal, poisonous spurs on his hind limbs (with which males beat each other during the mating season), and he lays eggs like a reptile. As a result, together with the echidna, the platypus fell into the order of monotremes – these are mammals, but in a number of ways they are close to reptiles and cynodonts. Yes, there are many in Australia. strange and scary animals.
3. Raccoon dog
• She is a Ussuri fox, she is a raccoon, she is also a dog-like raccoon (just kidding). And the only one of its kind. In appearance, the animal is very similar to a raccoon, but there are raccoon dogs with a red and even white color.
• Although these animals belong to the canine family, they have one unique feature. In winter, they hibernate, having previously overweight from 4-6 "normal" kilograms to 8-10 kilograms. In warm winters, the raccoon dog may not sleep, sitting in a hole during blizzards and snowfall.
• The raccoon dog is also a popular character in Japanese folklore. There she is known as "tanuki" – a werebeast, the second most popular after the werefox.
2. Hatteria (tuatara)
• This small reptile belongs to the ancient wedge-tooth family and is endemic to New Zealand. In addition to their similarity to the iguana in appearance and habits, tuatara are also famous for their longevity – they can live up to 100, and according to some estimates, up to 200 years – and with a hoarse voice. So at night, these screamers are able to arrange another concert for those around them.
• And also tuatara – the owners of the "third" eye, located on the crown. Why it is needed – scientists have not yet figured out. Supposedly, it helps regulate body temperature. This organ is visible only in young tuatara, in adults it overgrows.
1. Tasmanian devil
• And again, in the list of the last animals of its kind, the representative of Australia. The only species of the genus Sarcophilus is small and bold – in terms of bite force, correlated with body weight, the Tasmanian devil has no equal among mammals. With one bite, this animal is able to bite through the victim's skull or spine.
• He was nicknamed the devil for his vicious disposition, black color and the habit of screaming ominously at night, frightening the settlers.
• For people, the Tasmanian devil turned out to be less dangerous than they are for him. Currently, this species is found only on the island of Tasmania, where it can safely go about its business – hunting and eating carrion (daily food intake – up to 15% of body weight), skirmish with local foxes and, of course, mating. Moreover, even the latter is not complete without aggression, but such is the harsh share of the Tasmanian devils.