|Naked Mole Rats are cute and you should love them.|
Molerats (and no, not every species is "naked") are the only eusocial vertebrates known to man. This means that these mammals live in colonies similar to those of ants and termites, with a single fertile queen giving birth to nonreproductive workers and soldiers. Molerats are also famous for their incredibly powerful jaws, the muscles of which constitute 25% of their body mass. Baby molerats are raised on a diet of their older sibling's fecal pellets, emitting a special cry when hungry to summon a worker.
|You can never show too many pictures of naked mole-rats.|
The vampire finch of Wolf Island (one of the Galapagos Islands) is the only known bird to feed on blood, which is obtains by pecking at the feet of other birds (particularly Masked Boobies and Red Footed Boobies). It also feeds on booby eggs and the fluids secreted during egg-laying. If it has difficulty cracking an egg, it may attempt to roll the egg off a hill or rock.
Spiney newts (such as Echinotriton andersoni) are armed with rows of wartlike poison glands down either side of their body. When threatened, these newts arch their bodies to force the tips of their needle-sharp ribs out through the glands, hopefully delivering poison to the soft flesh of a predator's mouth.
The tadpole of the aptly named Paradoxical Frog grows to a length of around ten inches - four times the size of a typical adult specimen.
Centurio Senex, the wrinkle-faced bat, is a fruit eating species named for the hairless folds of skin covering its face. Strangely, males of the species bear a membranous flap of skin around the neck which can be flipped up over the face with a pair of translucent patches for the eyes to see out of. The exact function of the wrinkles and the mask are not known..
|---Not quite slugs or snails---
"Shelled slugs", the order Testacella, have a tiny fingernail-sized shell near the very rear of their teardrop-shaped bodies. These tiny, subterranean creatures are predators of earthworms and other soil-dwelling invertebrates; when one encounters a worm, its mouth stretches open like an umbrella and the prey is sucked inside. While widely distributed and probably plentiful, Testacella are rarely encountered by humans and seldom researched.
Shrikes (or butcher birds) are known for their habit of impaling small prey on thorns, sharp twigs or even barbed wire, allowing them to carefully pick apart and strip their prey.
|The star-nosed mole's namesake is one of the most elaborate sensory systems in nature|
|---The horrors of tiny, fuzzy mammals---
When a Mole finds a worm and isn't particularly famished, the beast will paralyze the annelid with a well-placed bite to the middle, ball it up, and imprison it in a small cyst of dirt and mud. Often, many moles will store their worms in the same area, creating a public pantry of helpless prey. Shrews, similarly, may store away living but paralyzed prey (esspecially frogs) to be consumed later. Shrews are among the only mammals with a venomous bite.
It can't spew fire and secretes no poison, but the bite of a komodo dragon is as lethal as any venomous snake. Its thick, foul-smelling saliva is swarming with enough symbiotic bacteria to kill prey as infection spreads from a single bite with horrific speed. The giant lizards often rely on this tactic to bring down larger animals, trailing them from afar while their wounds fester, waiting until they are too weak to defend themselves.
|A surinam toad with a back full of young.|
After mating, the male Surinam Toad affixes the female's eggs to her back, where her spongy flesh will swell and envelope them. When the froglets hatch, they leave behind holes in their mother's flesh that they will remain sheltered in until large enough to fend for themselves.
A growth on the tongue of the Alligator Snapping Turtle resembles a small, pinkish earthworm and wriggles to attract fish. The rest of the turtle lies motionless, mouth agape and barely visible against the mud and debris of the river bottom.
Hippopotami were once believed to sweat blood, and do indeed secrete a thick, crimson fluid from all over their bodies. It is now known, however, that this fluid is both a natural sunscreen and an antiseptic to clean minor wounds and protect the largely hairless animal as it basks in the sun for hours on end. Also once believed to be a type of equine, Hippos are more closely related to swine. With their long tusks and short tempers, territorial males actually kill more humans than all other african animals combined.
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