Okapi. To see it it would seem a cross between a zebra and a giraffe, and one might think of having caught a blunder. But the okapi (Okapia johnstoni), a ruminant characteristic of the northeastern forests of the Congo, really exists and is not a combination of two distinct species, but a species of its own. The white and black stripes on the legs guarantee a perfect mimicry with the surrounding habitat. While the long neck allows the animal, which can reach 2.5 m in height, to access leaves, buds and shoots of at least a hundred varieties of plants.
Superb Paradisea. This bird of New Guinea (Lophorina superba) turns into a "fairy tale" creature to impress the demanding, potential partners. Instead of the magic wand, he uses a livery of iridescent pectoral feathers that he shows off after perching on a branch, cleaning it from the leaves and attracting the female's attention with loud calls. In front of the partner, she unfolds the feathers turning a colored "mask", and launches herself into a excited dance around the courted woman.
More crazy animals in love
Striped plain tenrec. This small mammal vaguely resembling a hedgehog (Hemicentetes semispinosus), endemic to Madagascar, 25-40 cm long and covered with several layers of bright yellow spikes may have emerged directly from a cartoon. Moreover it is also the only mammal to communicate by stridulation, ie by rubbing some parts of the body to produce sounds (in its case, a second layer of spines located on the back is rubbed).
Other fascinating inhabitants of Madagascar
Saiga antelope. With its funny swollen muzzle the antelope from the steppes of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Saiga tatarica) seems to have just emerged from an episode of Star Wars. In fact, it has lived on our planet since the Ice Age, but in the latter part of the 20th century, following the fall of the Soviet Union, it experienced a dangerous decline due to the destruction of the habitat and the intensification of poaching. Today there are about 50 thousand specimens left, especially in Kazakhstan. The bulbous nose is used by this animal to heat the icy air inhaled in winter.
Narwhal. If unicorns really existed, they might have the appearance of narwhals (Monodon monoceros), the unicorns of the sea. The males of this cetacean display a long tusk about 2.4 m long which probably serves as a display of virility. Although not as rare as unicorns, even the narwhals are threatened with extinction. It is estimated that only 45-50 thousand specimens remain in the world. The incredible aerial shots of the narwhal migration
Red bald Uakari. The more red and "peeled", the more attractive it is. It seems impossible to see it in the picture, but the scarlet and bald face of this monkey is an effective weapon of conquest for the females. A pale face is equivalent to poor health, its opposite is a sign of virility. This monkey (Cacajao calvus rubicundus) characteristic of the rainforests of the Amazon River is threatened with extinction, due to poaching and deforestation. Mammals, the world map of the massacre
Australian Moloch. This nicknamed shingled reptile, "desert devil" (but the scientific name is Moloch orridus) may have played a part in Jurassic Park. The sharp, absolutely harmless spines serve this peaceful animal (no longer than 20 cm) to defend itself from predators. But they are also very useful for hydrating yourself in the hot Australian deserts.
Glaucus atlanticus. Its name evokes the legendary lost civilization of Atlantis, but also the behavior of this mollusc of the nudibranch family is mysterious and peculiar. The creature characteristic of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean floats on its belly supported by a small air bubble and pushed by the currents. It feeds on jellyfish (also from the poisonous Portuguese caravel) of which it then stores the poison, for defensive purposes. More beautiful photos of nudibranchs, the sea rainbows
Mosque of Kashmir. The tusks that distinguish the males of this species (Moschus cupreus) used mostly in fighting between rivals, earned this mammal the nickname "vampire deer". In reality the species has nothing supernatural, if not perhaps the fact that, believed to be definitively extinct, it has returned to be seen recently, as a sort of Lazarus of the animal world.