Environment

10 Animals Who Are Surprisingly Cute

They may not be puppies or kittens, but there's no denying that there's something about these unconventional animals that is actually quite cute.

The animal kingdom never ceases to be interesting. Every now and then bizarre and interesting facts about animals will catch one’s attention. You are in for a treat as you learn more about these surprisingly cute animals.

10. Pufferfish

A pufferfish in its natural environment.

The pufferfish has vibrant skin which makes it impossible for it to camouflage in its environment. However, in case of impending danger, the pufferfish inhales so much air that it swells into a big, round ball. Consequently, it prevents its predators from swallowing it. Furthermore, the pufferfish have very poisonous venom called tetrodotoxin. Tetrodotoxin is 1200 times deadlier than cyanide. The male pufferfish is popular for making the most beautiful circles on the seafloor in order to woo the females. The female who likes the circle enters it and lays eggs which hatch after six days. The pufferfish feed on algae, invertebrates, and shellfish.

9. Skunks

Skunks are nocturnal animals and can often be found in cities.

The most popular skunk trivia that people can conjure is the skunk's ability to release odor when faced with danger. The foul smell can travel up to 1.5 miles away. Skunks are mostly white and black in color. Some of them are brown, grey, or cream-colored. Skunks have an excellent sense of hearing and smell. However, they have poor vision being able to see only up to ten feet away. They are nocturnal animals. Skunks are seldom aggressive towards humans; they may only spray as a form of self defense. They feed on insects, lizards, rodents, fish, moles, and grubs.

8. Dugong

Despite their large size, dugongs mostly eat sea grass.

The dugong is a marine animal which is popularly called the “sea cow.” They are graceful swimmers in as much as they cannot stay under water for more than six minutes. Dogongs have flippers and a flat tail which resemble that of whales. Their swimming speed is six miles per hour and 14 miles per hour when they are accelerating. As such they are very fast swimmers. Dugongs are also true vegeterians who mostly feed on sea grass. They give birth every three to seven years and have a life span of about 70 years.

7. Jumping spider

Maybe not your conventional idea of cuteness, but still undeniably charming.

Jumping spiders are known to have the best vision among all the arthropods. They use the vision for hunting, courtship, and navigation purposes. The jumping spiders are adorably cute due to their colorful bodies. More interesting about these spiders is that the males have a “little secret” that they use to catch the female jumping spiders’ attention. Considered as excellent dancers, they do a little dance which entails beating their abdomens and waving their legs in the air! Besides this, jumping spiders do not need to use webs to trap their prey. Whenever they take a leap, they support themselves with a string so that in case they miss their target they are kept safe.

6. Gecko

Geckos live 10 years on average.

Geckos are brightly colored and possess different colors depending on their environment. There are about 1000 species of geckos all over the world. They all adapt differently to their environments. However, generally, geckos feed on various types of fruits, worms, flower nectar, and insects. They have fat tails which are a reservoir for fats. The tails also help in balancing the geckos when in motion. The flying gecko possesses swimming abilities. Additionally, geckos can live for as long as 10 years. However, the leopard gecko may live up to 20 years if confined in a zoo.

5. Llama

Llamas are known as shy and gentle animals.

The llama is bright-eyed and sure footed. It can grow as tall as six feet and weigh 280-450 pounds. Llama is a pack animal that is able to carry 50-75 pounds of luggage for up to 20 miles. But it can refuse to move if it is overloaded. Llamas express their displeasure with each other by either spitting on one another or sticking out their tongue. The llama fleeces are used in textiles by the inhabitants of Andes Mountains of Peru. The llamas are very gentle, curious, shy, and intelligent animals. They also have excellent sense of hearing, smell, and eyesight. It is believed that they originated from North America forty million years ago.

4. Raccoons

A baby raccoon in a tree.

The raccoons are natives to North America. They are curious and highly intelligent, but can also be mischievous sometimes. They live in wooded areas which are full of trees, abundant vegetation, and water. Raccoons eat birds, nuts and seeds, snakes, frogs, and fruits. In addition, they are only active in the night and hide away in dens during most winter seasons. Raccoons have great dexterity abilities. As such they can open doors, latches, jars, and bottlers. Wild raccoons will live for two to three years only. But those kept in zoos may live up to 13 years.

3. Cownose ray

The cownose ray is known for its look, which is as if it is smiling.

The cownrose ray is a fish which is popularly known for its long migrations which are made in large schools. It possesses flexible fin lobes used to search for its prey on the sea floor. Cownose rays feed on molluscs, crabs, fish, and lobsters. They do this by sucking and crushing it with their strong, plate-like teeth. Furthermore, they have stingers on their tails. Cownrose rays hatch their eggs within their bodies and give birth to only one baby annually.

2. Lumpsucker fish

A lumpsucker fish sunctioned in its place.

As suggested by its name, the lumpsucker fish has a suction cup that it uses to cling to its surroundings. The lumpsucker fish do not have swim bladders and as such are poor swimmers. Additionally, their fins are very small and their bodies perfectly round. Thus they find swimming very difficult for them. With regards to reproduction, the male lumpsucker fish hatches the over 350,000 eggs laid by the female lumpsucker fish and takes care of the eggs till they hatch. Then they leave the newly hatched babies to take care of themselves.

1. Puffin

An Atlantic puffin resting on a rock.

Puffins are the most popular birds in the North. They have colorful bills surrounded by dull-colored beaks. During winter, puffins shed off their colorful bills. About 60% of the world’s puffins breed in Iceland. Every year they lay one egg and the male and female puffins take turns in taking care of the chick. Puffins have raspy tongues as well as spiny palates which assists them in holding several fish in their bills.

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