Animals have been at the heart of our most cherished fantasy stories, classics like The jungle Bookfilled with colorful, talking animals, and iconic books like Harry Potter, where mythical creatures are commonplace. Unfortunately, giant talking snakes and fire-breathing dragons have yet to be discovered on Earth. But who said that these legendary creatures are the fruit of our imagination?
These five intriguing (and very real) animals have been roaming the Earth for some time and look like creatures straight out of your favorite fantasy.
1. Vampire deer
Various fanged aquatic and musk deer have been given the nickname “vampire deerfor trading their antlers for fangs protruding from their lower jaws. Now you can imagine a flesh-ripping deer that uses its fangs to bite and kill prey. Yet despite their odd appearance, vampire deer are actually The vampire deer fangs – similar to antlers – are reserved for dollars (males) as a weapon to fight predators. These creatures are herbivorous and feast on grass and vegetation. They can also be used as objects of sexual attraction to win potential mates.
Vampire deer are among the smallest species of deer, rarely growing taller than 3 feet (1 meter). Although the creatures are native to South and East Asia, they were imported into Britain in the 1870s and presented as exotic zoo attractions in different parts of the world. According to a recent survey by the Wildlife Conservation Society, the vampire deer is listed as a the threatened species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red listed due to habitat loss and hunting.
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Let’s face it, “narwhal” seems like a pretty made-up name. However, these strange creatures are very real and are found in Arctic coastal waters and rivers. Narwhals are whales belonging to the Family Monodontidae with belugas. This exciting creature is nicknamed “Unicorn of the Sea” due to its enormous 10 feet (3 meters) tooth / tusk on his head. Male narwhals usually sport the tusk, while only 15% women have a. Although the tusks do not hold magical powers, they are actually quite extraordinary and have more than 10 million nerve endings. Their defense allows the whale to have incredible sensory abilities like detecting changes in water temperature and salt levels and sensing the presence of squid, shrimp and other prey. New search suggests that male narwhals may also use tusk to attract mates, much like a peacock’s feathers.
The whale’s gray hue has a lot to do with its unique name. The Norse prefix “Nar” means “corpse”, thus mimicking the pale color of the narwhal, while “hval” means “whale”. As rising temperatures and human behavior continue to threaten the existence of these beautiful creatures, we may still be able to conserve the magical narwhal since it has not yet made it to the endangered species list. .
3. Komodo Dragon
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The Komodo dragon is perhaps the closest thing we have to an actual dragon, minus the wings and fire-breathing abilities. These giant lizards look a lot like the mythical creature with their long tails, yellow forked tongues and the ability to take down any prey (including humans) with their sharp teeth and poisonous bite. In fact, Komodo dragons are known to be the largest lizards in the world, with the average Komodo weighing about 154 pounds (70 kilograms) and reaching a length of about 10 feet (3 meters). The lizard’s appetite is equally remarkable, its stomach allowing it to consume more 80 percent of own body weight in one meal. Komodo dragons also have impeccable throat muscles that allow them to devour large chunks of meatand they eat anything from live prey to carrion.
Western scientists have recorded the first appearance of the dragon in 1910 when Lieutenant van Steyn van Hensbroek set out to explore rumors of a land crocodile on the islands of Indonesia. This led van Hensbroek to catch and kill a six-foot-long Komodo, which later became popularized as a “dragon” due to its appearance. However, fossil record show that the lizard may have originated in Australia more than 4 million years ago before crossing the sea to settle in the Komodo Islands in Indonesia. The Dragon recently listed on the IUCN endangered species list due to rising sea levels threatening the low-lying savannahs in which the animal lives.
4. Thorny Bush Viper
If snakes scare you, then this one has to be at the top of your list. The spiny adder is an incredibly venomous snake found nesting in the flowers of trees in central African forests. The Otherworldly Snake comes in all sorts of different colors, including green, blue, brown, and yellow. Its scientific name, Atheris hispid, means hairy and tailed, precisely capturing the animal’s spiny dorsal scales that span its rather slender and slender body. However, don’t be fooled by its small size! The venom of this creature can cause severe bleeding internal organs. Their tails also make the spiny bush viper incredible climbers, allowing them to glide up and down branches to hunt prey.
Fortunately, the spiny bush viper is nocturnal and stays hidden deep in Africa’s remote rainforests, limiting human interaction. For now, the snake is content to feed on accessible mammals such as frogs, lizards and sometimes birds.
5. Dracula Parrot
(Credit: Affandi Rahman Halim/Shutterstock)
With jet black feathers and a scarlet red belly, the Dracula parrot, also known as the Pesquet’s parrot, gives a whole new meaning to gothic creatures. The parrot – found in the hills and rainforests of New Guinea – is rather large, measuring around a foot and a half (1 metre) from tail to beak. The one-of-a-kind parrot has a curved beak and bald head that resembles vultures and prefers to jump from limb to limb instead of flying. Although the animal’s unfortunate name and garish appearance may scare you, rest assured that the parrot feeds primarily on figs, not blood.
Unfortunately, the trickster bird has been classified as vulnerable according to the IUCN Red List due to habitat loss as well as hunting. The parrot’s unique feathers are highly prized by collectors and therefore make the rare bird a valuable target. Currently, approximately 20,000 to 50,000 Dracula parrots roam the wild, although their population continues to decline.