The animal kingdom is filled with beautiful and strange creatures. While many of us expect animals to share similar organs and behaviors with humans, scientists are learning every day that there is more than what meets the eye with many of our co-inhabitants. There are some animals who lack essential organs like the brain, as seen in a sea sponge, while creatures like squids and octopuses have multiple, three hearts to be exact. The point is that while we all share the similar properties, we’re all unique, some more than others. Let’s take a look at animals with some of the strangest body parts.
1. Eyes of a Mantis Shrimp
Mantis shrimps are known for their bright beautiful colors which they use for everything from mating signals to defense, but they’re also known for their complex visual system. The mantis shrimp’s bulging eyes may not be good at distinguishing color, but they are able to detect polarization, something that we humans are unable to do. Additionally, these animals have sixteen color receptors where humans only have three. Their ability to see so many colors allows them to communicate by changing the colors of their body.
2. Proboscis of the Proboscis Monkey
Named after its prominent proboscis, the proboscis monkey can only be found in the jungles of Borneo. The male monkeys’ noses grow long and wide, often hanging down over their mouths. For years, scientists tried to understand the reason for the animal’s enlarged nose, and it turns out that the proboscis is used to attract mates. Scientists believe that their noses create an echo chamber that amplifies the animals’ call, making them more attractive to potential mates. Additionally, it was found that females often prefer a larger nose.
3. Feet of a Platypus
Many would argue that there is nothing special about a platypus, but some would beg to differ. Apart from it’s strange-looking nose, a platypus has some killer feet, literally. Male platypuses have a spur on the back of their hind feet that were discovered to be connected to a venom-secreting gland called the crural gland. The venom is mostly made during mating season and while it is not lethal to humans, a scratch from the spur is extremely painful and it can cause death in smaller animals.
4. Bill of a Shoebill Stork
The shoebill stork, also called the whale-headed stork is a large stork that is named after its large shoe-shaped bill. The five-foot long bill is often used for bill-clattering, a sound made to greet other shoebills. The bird is also a ruthless hunter; it will stand motionless for hours waiting for an unsuspecting fish or baby crocodile to swim by before pouncing on it. The bird will then clamp down on its prey, swinging it back and forth. The stork’s sharp bill can also be used to decapitate prey while still alive.
5. Tentacled of a Tentacled Snake
The tentacled snake is an aquatic snake found throughout Southeast Asia and is the only species of snakes that possesses tentacles on the front of their heads. The sinister-looking twin appendages are believed to be mechanosensory as they allow the snakes to detect nearby prey. Researchers explained that without their tentacles, the snakes would not be able to discern the presence of food in its murky habitat. The snakes are venomous, but they do not pose a threat to humans.
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