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10 Odd Animal Adaptations


10 Odd Animal Adaptations From masterful camouflage to some of the best developed senses ever recorded, here are 10 odd animal adaptations: Number 10 Cuttlefish Cuttlefish are often referred to as the ‘chameleons of the sea’ because of their incredible camouflaging techniques. Within a second, they can change the color and pattern of their skin to blend with their surroundings. They detect how light is absorbed in their environment and use that information to mimic it with their own pigments. This is achieved thanks to specialized pigment-containing and light-reflecting cells. Cuttlefish can display as much as twelve to fourteen patterns and, aside from camouflage, use their abilities to communicate or as a means of warning off predators. Number 9 Kangaroo Rats Kangaroo rats own a number of odd adaptations that make them a necessary addition to our list. Their cheeks have fur-lined pouches which are used for storing food. Kangaroo rats can live without any water as they get all the moisture they require from the seeds they consume.Some species live in dry and hot climates so they need to conserve water and energy so they lower their metabolic rate. Despite their small size, these creatures are capable of some pretty astonishing physical feats. They can jump up to nine feet and leap over a distance of six feet, at a speed of 10 feet per second. Number 8 Wood Frogs To survive the harsh Alaskan winters, wood frogs have developed an adaptation that enables them to survive while close to 65 per cent of their bodies are frozen, including blood and other tissues. In order to prepare for overwintering, the frogs accumulate large quantities of urea and glucose in their tissues. These compounds act as cryoprotectants, preventing cell damage caused by very low temperatures. Once the snow melts, wood frogs thaw out to resume eating and breeding. Number 7 Zombie Worms This deep sea worm species belongs to the Osedax genus, which is Latin for ‘bone -eating’.Also known as zombie worms, they were discovered in 2002 in California’s Monterey Bay by a remotely operated submarine called Tiburon. At a depth of about 9,500 feet, these creatures were found living on the bones of a decaying gray whale. Instead of relying on their teeth, Osedax secrete acid to bore into the bone and access the nutrients found inside. It’s still unclear whether they feed exclusively on whale bones or if they have a wider feeding pattern. The fact that they have a broad geographic range seems to suggest the latter. Number 6 Tufted Deer Most people think of deer as timid herbivores and innocent creatures. The last think they’d associate with them is a sharp pair of vampire-like fangs. Yet, male tufted deer exhibit just that. Mainly found in China, it draws its name from the prominent tuft of black hair on its forehead. The males have fang-like canines which protrude outside their mouth and can grow to be an inch or longer. These deer have antlers, but they’re quite small, so when males engage in territorial battles they might resort to using their canines as well.If the fangs aren’t weird enough, these creatures are known to let out a bark before fleeing in cat-like jumps, whenever they feel threatened. Number 5 Lungless Salamanders Unlike other salamanders and many other animal species, salamanders from the Plethodontidae family don’t have any lungs. They’ve adapted to breathing entirely through their skin and the tissues lining their mouths. Sometimes referred to as ET salamanders, because of their resemblance to the character in Steven Spielberg’s film, this is mainly due to the presence of a vertical slit between the salamander’s upper lip and its nostril, called a nasolabial groove, which is lined with sensory glands.Number 4 Texas Horned Lizard Texas horned lizards display some of the oddest defensive behavior found in nature. Even though its coloration acts as camouflage, this creature employs other tricks for protection against predators. When threatened, the lizard will puff up its body, which not only makes it seem larger but also causes its scales to protrude, making it difficult to swallow. While camouflage and puffing up aren’t unusual defensive adaptations, this next one most definitely is. The lizard can squirt an aimed stream of blood for a distance of up to 5 feet from the corners of its eyes. It does this by restricting the flow of blood leaving the head, thus increasing the pressure and breaking the vessels around its eyelids. This confuses potential predators but also gives them a taste of the lizard’s blood.It’s mixed with a chemical that makes it foul-tasting for canine predators like coyotes, wolves or domestic dogs. Number 3 Diving Bell Spider Argyroneta aquatica, also known as the diving bell spider, is the only spider species known to live almost entirely underwater. These fascinating creatures irregularly build diving bells out of sheets of silk and an unknown protein-based hydrogel. The builder typically spins the diving bell between submerged plants and then inflates with air it’s brought down from the surface. Even though the silk is waterproof, it allows for gas exchanges with the surrounding water. There’s net regulation of oxygen inside the bell and carbon dioxide out of the bell. The diving bell system has been described as an inorganic form of gill, as the spider will adapt to the oxygen demands of an aquatic environment and inflate it accordingly. The spider will make trips to the surface to replenish the air supply. It will also sometimes bring prey, consisting of crustaceans and small insects, to the surface but, otherwise, it spends most of its life submerged. Number 2 Mantis Shrimp Mantis shrimp are among the planet’s most incredible creatures, for a number of reasons.One of them is that they have the most complex visual systems ever discovered. Our eyes have three types of photoreceptor cells but a mantis shrimp have at least sixteen, in clusters of tens of thousands which make up their compound eyes. Their visual system is so advanced that visual information is processed directly in the eyes, instead of the brain. One species, called the purple spot mantis shrimp is the only known organism believed to have optimal polarization vision. Remarkable as that might be, the fascinating adaptations of the mantis shrimp don’t end here. They are arguably the hardest pound per pound strikers in the animal kingdom. Depending on the claws they possess, species are divided into smashers and spearers. Smashers have more club-like claws used to bludgeon prey while spearers have barbed tips, used to stab and snag prey. Both species unleash devastating strikes that can reach an acceleration of 10,400 g from a standing point. These strikes are so powerful that vapor bubbles are created through a process called cavitation. The collapse of these cavitation bubbles generates an instantaneous force of about 1,500 Newton. Even if the initial strike misses its target, the shock wave from the collapsing bubble is strong enough to kill small prey.It can also produce sonoluminescence, which is a short burst of light, and temperatures close to the surface of the sun. Mantis shrimp are known to engage in ritualistic fighting, they frequently kill much larger prey and their strikes are powerful enough to break through aquarium glass. They are truly among nature’s fiercest warriors. Number 1 Star-Nosed Mole The star-nosed mole has some of the most remarkable adaptations found in the animal kingdom. It draws its name from the 22 pink appendages ringing its snout, which are in constant motion as this blind mole feels its way around. These appendages feature 25,000 sensory receptors, called Eimer’s organs, supplied by 100,000 nerve fibers. To compare, the human hand, one of the most tactile-sensitive parts of the body, only has about 17,000 ‘touch’ fibers. This means that in its snout, which is roughly the size of a fingertip, the mole has over five-times more fibers than the entire human hand. The star is the most sensitive known touch organ in any mammal species, mirroring, in many ways, our sense of sight. The mole shifts its star to new areas of interest, much like our eyes’ tracking system.The way the star-nosed mole processes information is truly incredible. Scientists have mapped its neocortex and discovered a star-like pattern as the mole makes unique neural recordings and detailed measurements. It only takes 8 milliseconds for this creature to decide if something is worth eating or not. Such astonishing speeds approach the physiological limit of neurons. From that point on, it takes the mole about 120 milliseconds to consume a food item, making it the fastest-eating mammal in the world. This hamster-sized creature has another amazing adaptation.It’s the only known mammal capable of smelling underwater. The mole achieves this by exhaling air bubbles onto an object and then inhaling the bubbles that carry scents back through the nose. Additionally, the mole uses its shovel-like front limbs to swim for food or dig tunnels. When considering all its incredible physical features, it’s quite clear that the star-nosed mole is one of the most perfectly-adapted creatures on Earth. Thanks for watching! Which of these odd animal adaptations impressed you the most? Let us know in the comment section below! .


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