You might think you’ve seen the world over,
under, around and through, but there will still be wonders that will make your eyes
pop. Even if you’re a dedicated animal enthusiast,
you can’t honestly expect to know all of the 1,367,555 non-insect animal species, that
are identified on the face of Earth today. In this video, we are going to look at the
10 cute land animals you never knew existed. Number 10.
Galagos also known as bush babies, or nagapies are small nocturnal primates native to continental
Africa. Galagos have large eyes that give them good
night vision in addition to other characteristics, like strong hind limbs, acute hearing, and
long tails that help them balance. Their ears are bat-like and allow them to
track insects in the dark. They are fast, agile creatures, catching insects
on the ground or snatch them out of the air. A unique feature typical for galago is presence
of a double tongue. Underneath the regular tongue, galago has
additional tongue made of cartilage which plays an important role in grooming.
Galago vocalizes by producing child-like cries, and this is the reason why galago is also
known as bush-baby. Number 9.
The binturong, also known as bearcat, is a viverrid native to South and Southeast Asia.
Although called ‘bearcat’, this omnivorous mammal is not closely related to either bears
or cats but to the palm civets of Asia. The body of the binturong is long and heavy,
with short, stout legs, with a thick fur of strong black hair.
The bushy and prehensile tail is thick at the root, gradually diminishing in size to
the extremity, where it curls inwards. The muzzle is short and pointed, somewhat
turned up at the nose, and is covered with bristly hairs, brown at the points, which
lengthen as they diverge, and form a peculiar radiated circle round the face.
This animal is omnivorous, feeding on small mammals, birds, fish, earthworms, insects
and fruits. Major threats to the binturong are habitat
loss and degradation of forests through logging and conversion of forests to non-forest land-uses
throughout the binturong’s range. Because of this, binturong is uncommon in
much of its range, and has been assessed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because of
a declining population trend that is estimated at more than 30% over the last three decades. NUmber 8.
Curious and cute, pangolins are among the strangest of mammals.
This cute mammal has no teeth, and feeds off a diet of mostly insects using their long,
thin tongues to probe ant and termite colonies. The word Pangolin comes from “penggulung,”
the Malay word for roller, the action a pangolin takes in self-defense.
Because of this, pangolins have very few if any natural predators since their scales protect
them by withstanding attacks from teeth and claws.
Unfortunately, the pangolins have been pushed to the brink of extinction by illegal businesses
that market the meat and scales as “magical and medicinal”,
and their rarity and cost has made them into a culinary status symbol in East Asian restaurants.
This high market value has created a black market where pangolins have been cruelly poached
from their natural environments of Africa and Asia
to the point that all eight varieties of the pangolin are currently listed as critically
endangered. Number 7.
The red panda is a mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China.
It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List because the wild population is estimated
at fewer than 10,000 mature individuals and continues to decline due to habitat loss and
fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding depression. Also called lesser panda or red bear-cat,
the red panda has reddish-brown fur, a long, shaggy tail, and a waddling gait due to its
shorter front legs. The light face has white badges similar to
those of a raccoon, but each individual can have distinctive markings.
Their long, bushy tails with six alternating transverse ochre rings provide balance and
excellent camouflage against their habitat of moss- and lichen-covered trees.
It is roughly the size of a domestic cat, though with a longer body and somewhat heavier.
The red panda is arboreal, feeds mainly on bamboo, but also eats eggs, birds, and insects. Number 6.
Numbat is an insectivorous marsupial native to Western Australia and recently re-introduced
to South Australia. Once widespread across southern Australia,
its range is now restricted to several small colonies and it is listed as an endangered
species. The numbat is a small, colourful creature
between 35 and 45 centimetres (14 and 18 in) long, including the tail, with a finely pointed
muzzle and a prominent, bushy tail about the same length as its body.
Colour varies considerably, from soft grey to reddish-brown,
often with an area of brick red on the upper back, and always with a conspicuous black
stripe running from the tip of the muzzle through the eyes to the bases of the small,
round-tipped ears. Its diet consists almost exclusively of termites.
An adult numbat requires up to 20,000 termites each day. The only marsupial fully active
by day, the numbat spends most of its time searching for termites.
It digs them up from loose earth with its front claws and captures them with its long,
sticky tongue. Despite its banded anteater name, it apparently
does not intentionally eat ants. Number 5.
The Ili pika is a species of mammal endemic to northwest China.
After its discovery in 1983, it was not documented again until 2014.
The Ili pika inhabits talus slopes at high elevations, usually from about 2,800 to 4,100
meters. This species constructs haypiles and is a
generalized herbivore as it primarily feeds on grasses and herbs.
The Ili pika somewhat resembles a short-eared rabbit.
It is large for a pika, with a length of 20.3-20.4 cm and a weight of up to 250 g, with brightly
colored hair and displays large rusty-red spots on forehead, crown, and the sides of
the neck. Almost nothing is known about the ecology
or behavior of this endangered species. Its population is declining, likely due to
the effects of climate change, with approximately less than 1,000 left. Number 4.
The Japanese dwarf flying squirrel is an extremely small and fluffy squirrel.
It’s a native Japanese species and one of the two Old World flying squirrels.
This rodent is one of the cutest and most lovable creatures ever known.
Despite the common name, this unique squirrel doesn’t fly.
Instead, it glides with a membrane, stretching from its forelimbs to hind limbs and covered
with fur. The Japanese dwarf flying squirrel is known
to glide long distances of up to 100 meters at a time, using this ability to move between
trees or escape predators. The life expectancy of this animal is unknown,
although other flying squirrels typically live 4 – 5 years in the wild and as long as
10 – 15 years in captivity. Number 3.
The golden-mantled tree-kangaroo is endemic to the Northern New Guinea montane rain forests
ecoregion of northern New Guinea island. This marsupial has a chestnut brown short
coat with a pale belly, and yellowish neck, cheeks and feet.
A double golden stripe runs down its back, with the tail being long and has pale rings.
Its appearance is similar to the closely related Goodfellow’s tree-kangaroo but differs from
the latter by having a pinkish or lighter coloured face, golden shoulders, white ears
and smaller size. Like in many places around the world, deforestation
impacts wildlife habitat. It’s the same where tree kangaroos live. In
fact, the golden-mantled tree-kangaroo is considered to be one of the most endangered
of all tree-kangaroos. It has been extirpated from most of its original
range and has been listed as an IUCN Red List Critically endangered species since 2015. Number 2.
This golden brushtail possum is actually a common a brushtail possum, but has a genetic
mutation that resulted in low levels of melanin, causing the fur to be golden in color.
Not many golden possums are seen in the wild, as those born with the mutation do not always
live long because their unusual coloring makes them stand out more to predators.
Like most possums, this possum is nocturnal. It is mainly a folivore, but has been known
to eat small mammals such as rats. Despite of its cute appearance, this animal
is one of the major agricultural problems in Australia and New Zealand.
It most often seen by city dwellers, as it is one of few that thrive in cities and a
wide range of natural and human-modified environments. Around human habitations, common brushtails
are inventive and determined foragers with a liking for fruit trees, vegetable gardens,
and kitchen raids. The common brushtail possum was introduced
to New Zealand in the 1850s to establish a fur industry, but in the mild subtropical
climate of New Zealand, and with few to no natural predators, it thrived
to the extent that it became a major agricultural and conservation pest. Number 1.
At first glance, the malabar giant squirrel may look too big to be a squirrel, more like
a primate. But of course, the Malabar giant squirrel
is indeed a squirrel, although it looks very different from the squirrels we’re used to
seeing. For one, Malabar giant squirrel is huge, it
is two times the size of an eastern grey squirrel, with bodies that span 36 inches from head
to tail. Secondly, the color of his fur is also unique.
It can be black, brown and orange, as well as maroon and purple.
Even among its relatives, the Indian giant squirrel stands out with its vibrant colors,
which makes one wonder why evolution would select for pelage that would call so much
attention to itself. No one knows for sure, but the squirrel’s
purple patterns likely play some sort of role as camouflage.
This is because the broadleaf forests these squirrels inhabit create a “mosaic of sun
flecks and dark, shaded areas.”