Rare Animals | Top 11 Rarest Animals in the World with Amazing Facts

Rare animals are animals that are scarce to spot or encounter. They are usually found in a specific geographical niche. These animals are so rare that you may spot them once after several decades of the last time you saw them. So if you ever encounter one of these animals, count yourself lucky.

Rare Animals

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When you thought you had seen it all, nature always has a surprise hidden under its sleeves. This is so as every year, new animal species are being discovered. It is estimated that there are at least 8.7 million animal species globally.

This article gives a brief rundown on the 11 most rare animals globally and their current population estimation according to the statistics recorded by researchers.

Rarest Animals in the World

Land animals

  • White deer
  • Pangolins
  • The elephant shrew
  • Saola
  • Hispaniolan solenodon

Aquatic animals

  • Yangtze finless porpoise
  • Vaquita

Amphibians

  • The purple frog
  • The Northern Darwin’s frog

Birds

  • The Hooded Grebe
  • The Philippine eagle

List of Rare Animals and Their Facts

Land animals

The white deer

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This deer lacks pigmentation making its body white, unlike its cousins, usually whitish brown to gray. In addition, it possesses brown eyes, making it a marvel to behold. According to statistics, these species of deer are estimated to be at least 300 in total.  

White deer are often considered to be a symbol of good luck or spiritual significance in many cultures, and are highly revered by hunters and wildlife enthusiasts alike. However, their distinctive appearance also makes them a target for poachers, who seek to sell their hides or antlers on the black market. 

Saola

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The Saola, also known as the “Asian unicorn,” is a rare and elusive mammal that is found only in the Annamite Mountains of Vietnam and Laos. They are known for their distinctive appearance, with long, straight horns that can grow up to 20 inches in length. Saola are shy and reclusive animals, and are rarely seen in the wild. They are herbivores, feeding on a variety of leaves, fruits, and flowers, and are known for their ability to navigate steep and rugged terrain. 

Pangolin

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They are known for their distinctive appearance, with scales made of keratin covering their bodies, which they use for protection against predators. Pangolins are nocturnal and solitary creatures, and are primarily insectivores, feeding on ants and termites. They are also excellent diggers, and use their strong claws to excavate burrows in the ground. Despite being protected by law in many countries, pangolins are one of the most heavily trafficked animals in the world, with their scales and meat being highly valued in traditional medicine and as a delicacy.

The elephant shrew

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The elephant shrew, also known as the sengi, is a small mammal found in Africa. Despite its name, it is not actually a shrew, nor is it related to elephants. Elephant shrews have a long, pointed snout that they use to probe for insects and other small prey. They are known for their speed and agility, able to move quickly through their habitat of savannas, forests, and deserts. Elephant shrews are also monogamous and form strong pair bonds, with both parents sharing in the care of their young.

Hispaniolan solenodon

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The Hispaniolan solenodon is a rare and unusual mammal found only on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. It has a long, pointed snout that it uses to probe for insects and other small prey, such as worms and snails. The solenodon is one of the few venomous mammals in the world, with venomous saliva that it uses to subdue its prey. It is also one of the few mammals with a flexible proboscis, which it can move in any direction to locate its prey. The solenodon is nocturnal and spends most of its time in burrows or under vegetation. It is considered an endangered species due to habitat loss and predation by introduced species such as dogs and cats.

Amphibians

The purple frog

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The purple frog, also known as the Indian purple frog or the pig nose frog, is a unique and elusive amphibian found only in the Western Ghats of India. It has a distinctive appearance, with a bulbous body and a small head that blends into its round snout. The purple frog spends most of its life underground, emerging only during the monsoon season to mate and lay eggs in temporary pools of water.

It is one of the few amphibians that does not have a tadpole stage, instead hatching as a fully formed frog. The purple frog is considered a living fossil, as its closest relatives are believed to have lived over 100 million years ago. It is also listed as an endangered species due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

Northern Darwin’s frog

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The Northern Darwin’s frog, also known as Rhinoderma rufum, is a critically endangered species of frog found in Chile and Argentina. It is named after the famous naturalist Charles Darwin, who discovered the species during his voyage on the HMS Beagle. The Northern Darwin’s frog is unique in that it undergoes a type of parental care called mouth-brooding, where the male frog carries the eggs in his vocal sac until they hatch into tadpoles. Unfortunately, this species is facing many threats, including habitat loss, climate change, and the spread of a deadly fungal disease known as chytridiomycosis.

Birds

The hooded Grebe

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The hooded grebe is a critically endangered species of bird that is found only in Argentina. It is named after the distinctive black hood that covers its head and neck. The hooded grebe is a small bird that is adapted to living in high-altitude lakes and wetlands in the Andes Mountains. Unfortunately, this species is facing many threats, including habitat loss, predation by introduced species such as the American mink, and disturbance by human activities such as fishing and tourism.

The Philippine eagles

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The Philippine eagle, also known as the monkey-eating eagle, is a critically endangered species of bird found only in the Philippines. It is one of the largest and most powerful eagles in the world, with a wingspan of up to 7 feet and a weight of up to 14 pounds. The Philippine eagle is an apex predator, feeding on a variety of prey including monkeys, flying squirrels, and other birds. 

Aquatic mammals

Yangtze finless porpoise

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The Yangtze finless porpoise is a critically endangered species of cetacean found only in the Yangtze River and its associated lakes in China. It is one of only two species of freshwater porpoises in the world, and is named for its lack of a dorsal fin. The Yangtze finless porpoise is a small, shy animal that feeds on fish and crustaceans in the river. Unfortunately, this species is facing many threats, including habitat loss due to dam construction and pollution, accidental entanglement in fishing gear, and illegal hunting for meat and oil.

Vaquita

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The Vaquita is a critically endangered species of porpoise found only in the Gulf of California in Mexico. It is the smallest and most endangered cetacean in the world, with a population estimated to be less than 10 individuals. The Vaquita is a shy and elusive animal that feeds on fish and squid in the shallow waters of the Gulf. Unfortunately, this species is facing many threats, including accidental entanglement in fishing gear, habitat loss due to development and pollution, and illegal hunting for their meat and blubber.

Key Takeaway

These rare animals serve as a national heritage in different nations around the globe. But, unfortunately, they are in danger of extinction due to human activities, with the most critically endangered species.

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Last Updated on November 2, 2023

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