12 Animals With Cooler Family Members You Probably Didn’t Know Existed
Here are some of the common species of animals that we're familiar with versus their cooler looking family members!
a) Common cow
b) Highland cow
a) Common dolphin
b) Ganges River dolphin AKA Susu
There are only about 1,200 - 1,800 Ganges river dolphins left in the world. So yes, they are an endangered species. WWF says this is mainly due to the loss of habitat from the creation of dams and irrigation projects.
These freshwater ugly cute guys are essentially blind, and can be found in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. They're important because their presence in a river system signals a healthy ecosystem.
a) Common deer
b) Musk deer
As the name suggests, this Dracula deer is responsible for the production of musk, which is commonly used in perfumes. According to WWF, this endangered species is hunted for its scent gland, which is used for "traditional East Asian medicine, and for some perfume manufacturers".
In 2014, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) confirmed the presence of the Kashmir musk deer - one of at least seven species of musk deer - 66 years after its last sighting in 1948.
a) Common turtle
b) Alligator snapping turtle
a) Common rabbit
In case you're wondering, it's the cuddle bunny on the left, not the lazy feline on the right.
b) Pygmy rabbit
a) Common hippopotamus
b) Pygmy hippopotamus
a) Common rodent
b) Patagonian mara
The Patagonian mara may look like a giant rabbit or a small deer, but it is in fact, a rodent. It's listed as near threatened by The IUNC Red List due to loss of habitat, competition with large introduced herbivores, and hunting.
Fun fact: The Patagonian mara is strictly monogamous (a rare trait in mammals). It forms a lifelong pairing with its mate. Aw....
a) Common armadillo
b) Pink fairy armadillo
a) Common fish
According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), blobfish "look like a big, blobby tadpole, just a mass of pale, jelly-like flesh with puffy, loose skin, a big nose, and beady, staring eyes".
Fun fact: The blobfish was declared the world's ugliest animal by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society in 2013.
a) Common land snail
b) Giant African land snail
According to AfricanLandSnails.com, these guys grow up to 12cm long and weigh up to 600g.
This is Gee Geronimo, a Guinness World Records holder. It's the largest recorded specimen measuring at 39.3cm from snout to tail when fully extended, with a shell length of 27.3 cm. It weighed exactly 900g.
a) Common monkey
b) Proboscis monkey
According to National Geographic, proboscis monkeys only live in the jungles of Borneo. Their numbers have declined over the last 40 years due to deforestation, making them an endangered species.
Fun fact: Only male proboscis monkeys develop the namesake pendulous nose, which they use to attract mates.
This is what a female proboscis monkey looks like.
a) Common bat
b) Honduran white bat
These mini marshmallows with wings are also known as tent-making bats. They're given this moniker because they make tents out of leaves. According to Animal Diversity Web, these bats cut the veins of large leaves and form them into an upside-down V shape. They then diurnally roost under the leaves. Each tent houses groups from as few as 1 - 2 to as many as 12.