By Sydney S., Lily S., Sanah A.
TAMPA- Check out these five exotic animals that will make your eyes tear-up over the cuteness. If you’re looking for a something a little “out of ordinary” to research–you’ve come to the right place! These five exotic animals are not only interesting, they are completely adorable.
Imagine walking through tall grass as the sun sets. You don’t notice the small wild cat hiding in the distance, sitting very still, watching everything around it, including you. Suddenly, it jumps straight into the air and pounces on something close to where it was waiting. You’ve just watched a serval catch its dinner!
Servals are small wild cats that have thin bodies, short tails, big ears, long necks and long legs. Compared to the size of its body, the serval has the longest legs of any kind of cat. Because of its long legs and neck, it is sometimes called the ‘giraffe cat’.
The biggest servals weigh about 40 pounds, which is around the same as a small bulldog. Their fur is usually light tan with black spots and white tummies, and sometimes a few stripes on their back, though servals with all black fur are common, too.
When you look at a serval’s small head, the first thing you’ll probably notice is its gigantic ears. If your ears were as big as the serval’s compared to the size of your head, they would be a little bit bigger than basketballs!
2. Fennec Fox
(Fennecus zerda),desert-dwelling fox, family candida found in north Africa and the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas. The fennec is characterized by its small size (head and body length 36–41 cm [14–16 inches], weight about 1.5 kg [3.3 pounds]) and large ears (15 cm or more in length). It has long, thick, whitish to sand-colored fur and a black-tipped tail 18–31 cm long. Mainly nocturnal, the fennec spends the heat of the day underground in its burrow. It feeds on insects, small animals, and fruit. Its litters of two to five young are born after a gestation period of about 51 days.
Monogamous animals, fennec foxes can live in family groups of up to ten individuals. There have been some instances of multiple family groups sharing a complex den.
Wallabies are part of the kangaroo family, normally found in Australia. They are grouped by habitats: shrub wallabies, brush wallabies, and rock wallabies. Hare wallabies are named for their size and their hare-like behavior. Most are endangered.
All wallabies are marsupials or pouched mammals. Wallaby young are born tiny, helpless, and undeveloped.Wallabies are typically small to medium-sized mammals, but the largest can reach 6 feet from head to tail. They have powerful hind legs they use to bound along at high speeds and jump great distances. When wallabies are threatened by predators, or when males battle each other, they may also use these legs to deliver powerful kicks.
Wallabies are herbivores, and the bulk of their diet is grasses and plants. Their elongated faces leave plenty of jaw room for the large, flat teeth necessary to chew their vegetarian meals.
Hedgehogs have a coat of stiff, sharp spines. If attacked they will curl into a prickly and unappetizing ball that deters most predators. They usually sleep in this position during the day and awaken to search for food at night.
Hedgehogs hibernate in cold climates. In deserts, they sleep through heat and drought in a similar process called aestivation. They remain active all year in more temperate locations.
Some people consider hedgehogs useful pets because they prey on many common garden pests. While on the hunt, they rely upon their senses of hearing and smell because their eyesight is weak.
5. Dumbo Octopus/Grimpoteuthis
A dumbo octopus has two large fins—one on either side of the mantle—that protrude like ears. Octopus’s small size (generally around eight inches), relatively short arms, bell-shaped body, pale coloring, and tendency to hover over the seafloor. The dumbo octopus (Grimpoteuthis) is a deep sea animal that lives on the ocean floor at extreme depths of 9,800 to 13,000 feet. They are small animals, around 8 inches tall.