Sunday, 7 September 2014

Strange Animals in London Zoo

The easiest and most inexpensive way to see some strange animals in person is to simply visit a zoo. About 2 months ago, I had the privilege to visit the London Zoo, that place is really great and has all kinds of weird creatures, including insects, mammals, birds, fish etc. There are even some fossils you can check out.

I spent 8 hours there and still hadn't saw all the exhibited animals by the time it close. Luckily, the ones I missed were what you expect from any zoo, like lions, tigers, elephants etc.  I also had a camera with me and recorded most of the animals I saw. I finished uploading all the videos a few days ago and now the time has come to share them with you.

So, let's first begin with some weird mammals:

1. Okapi

For those unfamiliar with it, the Okapi is a cryptid that proved to be real in the beggining of the
20th century. Click here to learn more about it.

2. Emperor Tamarin

The bearded emperor tamarin, named after the German emperor Wilhelm II. Click here to learn more about these bizarre primates.

3. Naked Mole Rat

Yay! London zoo had naked mole rats for exhibition, one of my favorite strange animals. Weird looks, immunity to cancer,  remarkable longevity and lack of pain sensation is just a few of their many  odd straits. Click here and here to learn more about the world's strangest rodent.

4. Aardvark

The aardvark (Orycteropus afer) is a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal and pig-like mammal from Africa

5. Potto

The potto is a nocturnal primate from Africa. I was lucky enough to capture it as it was slowly (really, really slowly) getting out of its nest!

6. Diana Monkeys

The Diana monkey is an Old World monkey, native in West Africa, from Sierra Leone to Côte d'Ivoire.

7. Blondie, the Albino Porcupine

Meet Blondie, the Albino porcupine! Click here for more strange animal deformities 

Let's move on to insects:

1. Glasswing Butterfly

Seeing a glasswing butterfly was the last thing I expected. Some butterflies are
 are popular for their bright colors and beautiful patterns.
The glasswing butterfly though is popularfor its transparent wings.
Click here to learn more about this unique creature.

2. Jewel Wasp

Also known as the emerald cockroach, the species (Ampulex compressa) is known for its
unusual reproductive behavior, which involves stinging a cockroach
and using it as a host for its larvae! (00:29 for zoom)

3. Leaf Insects

Nice to see leaf insects, I love these bugs! Sorry for the bad camera angle.

4. Bull's horn cockroach

The Bull's horn cockroach (Archimandrita tesselata) is a cave-dwelling cockroach found throughout Central and South America. Also known as Peppered roaches.

Next, some strange amphibians:

1. Axolotl

The axolotl is a medium-sized salamander from Mexico. The species is neotenic, meaning that it fails to undergo the metamorphosis process. As a result, adult axolotls never look like salamanders! Click here to learn more about these little critters.

2. Golden Mantella

The golden mantella is a very small and cute terrestrial frog from Madagascar.

3. Orange-Black Frog

This is another small and cute frog. I don't know the species though, feel free to comment
if you can shed some light.

Now, let's move to reptiles:

1. Philippine water monitor

Also known as the yellow-headed water monitor, it is is a
large species of monitor lizard from  the southern Philippines.

2. Spiny tailed lizard 

The Spiny tailed lizard (Uromastyx flavifasciata) is a lizard found in rocky, arid and desert habitats in North Africa. Its distribution includes parts of Algeria, Mali and Niger.

3. Utila spiny tailed iguana

Also known as Baker's spinytail iguana, this is a critically endagered Iguana from Utila, Honduras.

Now, let's see some weird fish and other aquatic lifeforms:

1. Lemon cichlid 

Small and cute, the bright yellow Lemon cichlid naturally occurs
in the Lake Tanganyika, Africa.

2. Moon jellyfish

Nothing weird with the species itself, which is actually quite common. However,
thanks to proper lighting, this exhibit was quite awesome. Click here if you want
to read about a really peculiar- looking jellyfish.

3. Amazing Jellyfish babies

Again, an amazing jellyfish exhibit, this time with babies of the Aurelia aurita species. More strange animal babies here!

4. Longhorn cowfish 

A funny looking, bright yellow fish, the longhorn cowfish is a close relative of the yellow boxfish.

5. Giant Gourami (and a turtle)

A magnificent creature I had never heard about, let alone see in person! 

6. Rosy Scales Fairy Wrasse

The rosy-scales fairy-wrasse, is a beautiful coral fish native to the western Indian Ocean islands of the Maldives and the Chagos Archipelago.

7. Banggai cardinal fish 

8. Spotfin lionfish

The spiky and venomous  spotfin lionfish!

9. White eye moray eel

A creepy creature found in the coral reefs of the Pacific and Indian Ocean.

10. False ClownFish

I found Nemo!

11. Feather duster worm

Hard to imagine that these things are considered animals!

12. Snakelocks anemone

This exhibit was actually way more spectacular than it appears on the video.

13. Up side down jellyfish

By far one of the weirdest aquatic exhibits. These jellyfish like to float upside down!

14. Long necked turtles (Chelodina mccordi)

Commonly known as Roti Island snake-necked turtle, this extremely threatened turtle species is endemic to the Rote Island of Indonesia.

15. Various Other Mixed Fish Species

And finally, some not-so-strange animals. You are probably familiar with the majority of them:

1. Giant Anteater

2. Catfish

3. Squirrel Monkeys

4. Scarlet Ibis

5. Seahorses

6. African Hunting Dogs

7. Zebras

8. Giraffes

9. Philippine crocodile

10. Pygmy Hippos

11. Chameleon

12. Black tailed prairie dogs

13. Brazilian Salmon Pink Bird eating Tarantula

14. Grasshopers Eating & Mating

15. Leaf cutter ants

16. Military Macaw

17. Penguin Babies

18. Adult Penguins

19. King Vultures

20. Ruppell's Griffon

21. Piranhas

22. Butterflies

21. Trilobites fossils

Overall, it was a great experience and I had the chance to see some really weird critters in person. I highly suggest you to visit it! Just make sure you go as early as possible, preferably right before it opens. A day is barely enough to have a good look on all animals. The place is massive!

- All the videos in this post are released under the Creative Commons (CC BY 3.0). Feel free to download and re-use them any way you want. Just make sure to provide proper credit, like a link to the original video.
- All videos were shot in July 30, 2014. Some of the exhibited animals may no longer exist or there may have been new additions since then!
- I may have missed a few videos. Here's a playlist with all of the videos!

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