If you are an avid follower of It’s Nature then you might recognize some of these elusive mammals, however to the everyday public these animals are relatively unknown and are some of the most unique mammals in the natural world. It’s not uncommon to find a new species or sub species of animal, but mammals are one type of animal that don’t crop up very often when it comes to new species. Check out these weird and wonderful creatures below.
10. Hairy Saki
The Hairy Saki also known as the Monk Saki because of its unique pattern of fur is unique to the Amazon and is seldom seen by anyone. These colorful monkeys spend nearly all of their lives up in the trees away from danger and that is actually a good thing because if you came face to face with one you may scare it to death, literally. These fearful monkeys are not seen in captivity because even the slightest bit of panic sends these monkeys into shock which is nearly always fatal.
Oh, you’ve seen an Argali before have you? Actually unless you’ve spent time in Mongolia, Siberia or Tibet I very much doubt it. Even then these large wild sheep are very rare. The Argali may not seem particularly different from any other sheep however Argali are critically endangered due to habitat loss and hunting. The Argali travel the plains of central Asia in same sex herds of up to 100 and are a rare sight indeed.
8. Pink Fairy Armadillo
The Pink Fairy Armadillo is a species of armadillo that lives exclusively in Argentina and is very small (roughly about 120mm long). Even in its home country of Argentina the Pink Fairy Armadillo is a rare sight which is probably down to its size and the fact that it is an absolute expert when it comes to digging itself out of an not so desirable situation. The Pink Fairy Armadillo will usually get out of sight before you’ve even noticed its there by burrowing and hiding underground which makes coming accross this little mammal by accident almost impossible.
The Aardwolf or ‘earth wolf’ is a mammal that makes its home in Africa and although the Aardwolf resembles a Hyena this unique mammal’s diet actually consists entirely of insects. The name ‘earth wolf’ was given to the Aardwolf as it spends at lot of time in its underground burrow and as such is rarely seen. Even though the Aardwolf is nocturnal it doesn’t have to compete too much for food due to its unique diet, however it does mean that the Aardwolf has to consume a massive amount of insects such as termites and ants to get its fill.
The Douroucouli otherwise known as owl monkeys or night monkeys are the only true nocturnal species on monkey in the world. Its common to think of other species of monkeys to be nocturnal but usually its the twilight periods where most species are active whereas these night ninjas truly make the night their own. Although these monkeys are nocturnal they certainly aren’t going to keep themselves hidden for long as they are extremely musical boasting over eight distinct calls. The Douroucouli can be found in south America and sometimes in the central regions and you will definitely hear them before you see them!
5. Lesser Grison
The Lesser Grison are native to South America and are very similar to stoats. These natural hunters were once domesticated in Peru and used to hunt Echidnas. If you have never been to South America then you will have probably never have seen one of these unique mammals before, they are around 30 cm in length and although they are closer relatives to stoats they resemble Otters more physically with coloration not different to that of badgers.
4. European souslik
OK so you might be wondering why the over elaborate name for a squirrel? Well the the simplest answer is because it sounds better! Yes it is just a squirrel but more specifically the European souslik is the common ground squirrel of Europe and Asia so its likely that not everyone will be familiar with this particular species. Although physically very similar to other species of squirrel the European souslik is worth a mention due to its unique diet that most people probably don’t know about because the European souslik actually can eat quite an amount of meat unlike other rodents. Common meals for the European souslik include mice, voles and even small birds.
The Fossa is an extremely rare mammal that is found only on the island of Madagascar. The Fossa does look a lot like a cat but is actually much more like a Mongoose and sporting a lushous brown coat the Fossa is the largest member of the Civet family and the largest mammal on Madagascar. Currently the Fossa is listed as endangered as it is believed there is only around 3000 left in Madagascar.
2. Moon rat
This funny looking creature is the Moon rat or otherwise known as the hairy hedgehog. The Moon rat makes its home in south east Asia and avoided by many due to the potent foul smell produced from its musk glands that rival the better known skunk. Sporting a white face the moon rat is big for its family and usually has a dark brown cost everywhere bar its face. The most distinct characteristic this weird mammal possesses is its nose which is bald and oddly shaped like a toned down version of the Star moles nose.
1. North American Cacomistle
Refreshingly this species is not endangered. The North American Cacomistleis common in southern USA but is otherwise unknown. Alias’s of the North American Cacomistle include ‘ring-tailed cat’ and ‘cat squirrel’, neither of which give an accurate description of this evasive mammal. The North American Cacomistle is more like a Raccoon than at cat and has similar habits, sometimes causing trouble that the Raccoon gets the blame for. The name North American Cacomistle comes from the Nahuatl language literally meaning ‘ half mountain lion’ which again is pretty far off target.
That rounds up out list of the most elusive mammals in the world! hopefully you’ve discovered some wonderful creatures that you never thought existed so if you live close to any of these animals why not keep an eye out for them? just don’t bother the Hairy Saki!