Strange Creatures


The axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, is a neotenic salamander, closely related to the Tiger Salamander. Larvae of this species fail to undergo metamorphosis, so the adults remain aquatic and gilled. It is also called ajolote (which is also a common name for different types of salamander). The species originates from numerous lakes, such as Lake Xochimilco underlying Mexico City. Axolotls are used extensively in scientific research due to their ability to regenerate limbs.

Thaumatichthys axeli

In the bituminous blackness of the deep sea, what an alluring sight to a fish must be the luminescent organ dangling from the toothy jaws of Thaumatichthys axeli, "Prince Axel's wonder-fish." The first specimen of this black, 18-inch bottom-dweller was trawled from a depth of 11,778 feet in the Atlantic by the Galathea expedition of 1950-52. The voyage's chronicler deemed the find "unquestionably the strangest catch of the Galathea expedition, and altogether one of the oddest creatures in the teeming variety of the fish world."

Sea Pig

These creatures live on or just underneath the surface of the very bottom of the ocean, on the abyssal plain. Called "sea pigs", they are a type of sea cucumber, which is a member of the same phylum as starfish and sea urchins (Echinoderms). They look and act kind of like slugs do up here on land. They feed on the mud of the sea floor, benefiting from the organic materials that settle to the ocean bottom. Sea cucumbers, starfish and sea urchins can be found in all depths of the ocean. For reasons scientists don't yet understand, members of the phylum Echinodermata (like the sea pigs) are extremely successful down in the ocean depths.

Saki Monkey

Sakis, or saki monkeys, are any of several New World monkeys of the genus Pithecia. They are closely related to the bearded sakis of genus Chiropotes. Sakis' range includes northern and central South America, extending from the south of Colombia, over Peru, in northern Bolivia. and into the central part of Brazil.

Dracula Fish

One of the world's meanest-looking species, the sabre-tooth dracula fish also lays claim as one of the most challenging freshwater sportfish. Broken lines, battered lures, and shattered rods attest to the sheer strength of these menacing predators, making it the ultimate quarry for both the fly and plug anglers.

Star-Nosed Mole

With a mug like that, the star-nosed mole might seem to be in danger of scaring away all its food. Luckily, these bizarre-looking creatures can detect a snack and gulp it down all under a quarter of a second.

"Most predators take times ranging from minutes to seconds to handle their prey," said Ken Catania of Vanderbilt University. "The only things I've found that come even close are some species of fish."

The secret to the mole's impressive foraging ability is the 22 appendages that ring its nose. Nearly blind, the animal uses this sensitive, star-shaped flesh to feel around in its dark, underground environment. This mysterious mole has moves that put the best magician to shame: The energetic burrower can detect small prey animals and gulp them down with a speed that is literally too fast for the human eye to follow.

Myzopoda schliemanni

Scientists have discovered a new species of bat that has large flat adhesive organs, or suckers, attached to its thumbs and hind feet. This is a remarkable find because the new bat belongs to a Family of bats endemic to Madagascar--and one that was previously considered to include only one rare species.

Giant Grenadier

The giant grenadier, Albatrossia pectoralis , is a very large rattail, the only member of the genus Albatrossia, found in the north Pacific from northern Japan to the Okhotsk and Bering seas, east to the Gulf of Alaska, and south to northern Baja California in Mexico, at depths of between 140 and 3,500 m. Its length is up to 2.1 m. The giant grenadier has the usual greatly elongated pointed tail of the rattails.

Racoon Dogs

Raccoon Dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) are native to Japan, southeastern Siberia and Manchuria. Average adult head and body length is about 65 cm (2 ft) and weight ranges from 4 to 10 kg (9 to 22 lb). Average litters consist of 5 pups. Longevity is 3–4 years in the wild and up to 11 years in captivity.

Giant Otter

Giant otters may be as long as 2 metres (6 ft.) and weigh up to 30 kilos (70 lbs.)

Yeti Crab

The creature, dubbed the "yeti crab," is so unusual that a whole new family of animal had to be created to classify it. Its official name is Kiwa hirsuta, and even after a year of study scientists say there's still much about it they don't understand.

One mystery is the purpose of the fine, hairlike filaments that coat the crab's arms and legs. The fibers trap bacteria, which the crab may use as food. But some scientists think the germs may filter out the toxic minerals that spew from the deep-sea vents.


Fangtooths are beryciform fish of the family Anoplogastridae (sometimes spelled "Anoplogasteridae") that live in the deep sea. The name is from Greek anoplo meaning "unarmed" and gaster meaning "stomach". With a circumglobal distribution in tropical and cold-temperate waters, the family contains only two very similar species, in one genus, with no known close relatives: the common fangtooth, Anoplogaster cornuta, found worldwide; and the shorthorned fangtooth, Anoplogaster brachycera, found in the tropical waters of the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean.

Pelican Eel

The pelican eel or Eurypharynx pelecanoides is a deep-sea fish rarely seen by humans, though the creatures are occasionally snagged in fishermen's nets.The pelican eel's most notable feature is its enormous mouth, much larger than its body. The mouth is loosely-hinged, and can be opened wide enough to swallow a fish much larger than itself.


This strange cartilaginous fish uses its long snout to scan over the sea floor for the electrical impulses of its prey that bury in the muddy sea floor, just like a metal detector. Like other chimaeras (such as ghost and elephant sharks), these animals lay horny egg cases in which their young are left to develop, potentially for up to one year. For defense, most chimaeras have a venomous spine located in front of the dorsal fin.

Tripod Fish

Long extensions of three of this deep sea fish's fins allow it to stand on the ocean bottom where it waits for small crustaceans to drift towards it. The three elongated fins of the tripod fish may extend to nearly one meter (3 ft 3 in) in length.

Giant Salamander

The Japanese Giant Salamander (Andrias japonicus) reaches up to 1.44 m (4 ft 9 in), feeds on fish and crustaceans, and can live for up to 80 years. The Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus) can reach a length of 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in).


The rarely seen king of herrings is the world's longest bony fish and has been documented to 41 feet in length, with reports to 50 feet, and 600 pounds. Its head and body is silver with blue streaks, with blackish streaks and spots on the body. The Oarfish (as it is also known as) is a relatively obscure fish that is reported to move vertically through the water in a column and is found between 3,300 feet deep and the surface.

Mekong Giant Catfish

Attaining an unconfirmed length of 3m (9+ft), the Mekong giant catfish grows extremely quickly, reaching a mass of 150 to 200kg in only six years. The largest catch recorded in Thailand since record-keeping began in 1981, was a female measuring 2.7 m (roughly 9ft) in length and weighing 293 kg(646 lb). This specimen, caught in 2005, is widely recognized as the largest freshwater fish ever caught.

Bigfin Squid

The bigfin squids are a group of rarely seen cephalopods with a very distinctive morphology.The family is known only from larval, paralarval, and juvenile specimens, but some authorities believe the adult creature has been seen: Several videos have been taken of animals nicknamed the "long-arm squids", which appear to have a similar morphology. Since none of the adult specimens have ever been captured or sampled, it remains uncertain if they are the same genus, or only distant relatives

Vampire Squid

The Vampire Squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis, lit. "vampire squid from hell") is a small, deep-sea cirrate cephalopod. The Vampire Squid is an extreme example of a deep-sea cephalopod, thought to reside at aphotic (lightless) depths from 600-900 metres (2,000-3,000 feet) or more. Within this region of the world's oceans is a discrete habitat known as the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). In order to cope with life in the suffocating depths, vampire squid have developed several radical adaptations.

Dumbo Squid

Belonging to the Octopus suborder Cirrina, the genus Grimpoteuthis consists of over a dozen rare and poorly-known species, all of which are found in the extreme depths of the ocean. They are small, not getting much bigger than 20 cm (8 in), and their common name comes from the ear-like pair of fins (present in all cirrate octopuses, but generally larger in the Dumbos) which are used to assist locomotion the same way a squid uses its fins. Like other cirrate octopuses, the arms of the Dumbo Octopus are completely webbed, and they also retain an internal shell, something the more common incirrate octopuses (i.e. every other kind of octopus) have lost entirely. Dumbo Octopuses spend their time either sitting on the sea floor, or swimming just above it searching for food.

Megamouth Shark

The Megamouth shark is an extremely rare and unusual species of deepwater shark. Discovered in 1976, only a few have ever been seen and only three recordings of it are on film.