Some creatures demand more respect than others. It’s hard to fear a bunny, but it’s impossible not to bow before the incredible abilities of the mantis shrimp, which uses club-like limbs to hit its prey so hard it briefly heats the water around it to the temperature of the sun.
There’s also another variety, shown here, that impales its prey in a flash and drags it into a burrow. Respect, mantis shrimp. Respect.
Image Credit: Roy Caldwell
Well, here we are. Absurd Creatures of the Week made it one year without getting canceled. So to celebrate, I present some more critters.
When it comes to animal attitudes, it doesn’t get more badass than the aye-aye of Madagascar.
It’s evolved a highly elongated middle finger, which it uses to fish grubs out of trees. It therefore spends its whole life giving the world the bird.
Maybe that’s why the local people fear it, and why it isn’t allowed over for dinner at other animals’ houses.
Image Credit: Ed Louis
I like this one not because of that beautiful smile, but because I got to track down the very first person confirmed to have been attacked by a cookiecutter shark.
Mike Spalding was marathon-swimming between two Hawaiian islands in the middle of the night when the shark took a sizable chunk, or “bigass hole,” as Mike explained it to me, out of his leg.
Oh, and Mike went back a year later and finished the swim. You know, like ya do.
Image Credit: George Burgess
The satanic leaf-tailed gecko is one of my favorites not because of its epic name, but because it so elegantly reveals the wonders of evolution.
Over millions of years, geckos with mutations that helped them blend into their environment survived to pass along those genes.
And voila, a gecko that today looks exactly like a leaf.