I want to hear about your favorite “weird” animal species.
I’m really interested in hearing about unique attributes, and cool pictures are a huge plus. Let me lay down some rules: no “ordinary” animals, unless you can explain what unique characteristic makes them so special to you; no wide-ranging animal groups, so you chordata cheerleaders can just take a seat; no plants, unless the plant has a non-plantlike feature that just rocks. Give as many factoids as you can!
Mine is the mola mola, or ocean sunfish. It’s freaking 'uge. Typical adult specimens reach 2-3 meters tall, and weigh in at several tons. They have no tail, either - just a vague merging of the dorsal and anal fins. Their skin is reputably thick enough to stop a rifle bullet, and is rough enough to scrape the paint from a boat’s hull…even though it’s covered in a layer of mucous and parasites. :eek:
They’re related to the pufferfish, and have spines as juveniles. They are so large, and have such a pronounced disc shape, that at the surface they swim on their sides and bask in the sun. They are observed basking lazily more often than they are observed actually exerting themselves, but yet they can swim fast enough to propel their bodies meters above the water. As is typical of one of the largest ocean animals, it feeds on smaller critters, mostly jellyfish. Unlike most other large ocean animals, they have a relatively puny brain.
It’s the only fish species I’ve ever seen with a webpage featuring a poetic description of its pooping.
The National Geographic Society wants to know if you happen to see one while jetting around in your submersible. (No I don’t work for the NGS. Yes, I want a jet-powered submersible.)
The Dun King