Madagascar must be one of the best places to find rare and totally weird animals that do not seem to exist anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily a boastful trait, because many of these creatures depend on the fast depleting forests.
The sucker-footed bat almost looks like the grandfather of the species. With very big ears and a very fuzzy face that almost looks like a scraggly beard. But the most unique feature is the suction cups that serve as feet and thumbs. It helps them to climb up into the leaves, when it lives.
If you are prone to nightmares, you may not want to look at a picture of the star-nosed mole. It looks like a cross between a Venus flytrap with teeth, a worm, a catfish, and a big star-shaped mouth that can swallow its prey whole. Should you reside in Canada or the North-Eastern United States, you may have seen one. But, have you been brave enough to look closely? If so, then you will have noticed that it is actually furry.
Worms, crustaceans and insects are no match for the 22 tentacles that give the appearance of a very large menacing mouth- for a mole. They spend all of their active time, both day and night, foraging the bottom of streams and ponds for their unsuspecting prey.
The sun bear is smaller than its relatives. A large dog might weigh more than this weird adaptation to the brown bear. Its max weight is around 130 pounds. But, its most unique feature gives it the name of sun bear. It has a patch of yellow fur on its chest, in the shape of a horseshoe. It might also have yellow markings around the eyes and snout as well.
Unlike other bears, the sun bear doesn’t hibernate. Since it lives in the lowlands, it has no need to sleep away the cold months. It doesn’t have a particular mating season and can give birth to cubs, usually twins, year round. Moms have been known to nurse their babies for 18 months. A sun bear is not considered full-grown until it’s 3-4 years old. But, the bear has been known to live as long as 28 years in captivity, where it is safe from potential predators and protected from disease.
The sun bear is generally nocturnal and likes to slumber on the lower branches of trees. It’s not the most dangerous of bears; but, it can cause damage to property. Coconut palms and trees beware!