Everyone has a favorite animal — dolphins, perhaps, or koalas. Maybe even sloths or Red Pandas. And sure, those animals are all absolutely adorable, fascinating and amazing, they’re not the be-all-end-all when it comes to the animal kingdom. Click through to learn more about some of the more unusual creatures roaming our earths — maybe you’ll even find yourself a new favorite animal!
See Also: Is Your Pet Left-Handed? Use This Test!
1. Mouse Deer
Belonging to the ungulate family, the mouse deer counts elephants, manatees, horses, zebra, elk and gazelle among its closest relatives. These guys are the smallest of the bunch — with one species of mouse deer, pictured above, weighing in at an average of just 4.4 pounds. You’ll find this guy in Indochina; other mouse deer species live in Central and West Africa, India, and other parts of Asia.
Also Check Out: Water Scarcity May Force World to Adopt a Vegetarian Diet
Image Credit: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen via Wikimedia Commons
2. Emperor Tamarin
As adults, these adorable little tamarins grow a large, almost comical white moustache, the feature that allegedly got them their name. The Emperor Tamarin’s distinct moustache closely resembles the one worn by Emperor Wilhelm II, the last emperor of Germany. Sadly, logging has led to the Emperor Tamarin to be an endangered species in its native Amazon Rainforest.
Related: 10 Rarest Cat Breeds (Slideshow)
3. Gouldian Finch
Are these the most colorful birds on the planet? They sure seem to be! The incredibly striking birds are native to the tropical savannas of Northern Australia. In recent decades, the Gouldian Finch has experience a serious population decline; the birds are endangered and are protected by the Australian government. They are a popular pet across the globe, yet, in the wild, less than 2500 remain.
Earlier: 7 Biggest Diet Myths (Slideshow)
4. Slender Loris
Aw, look at those big beautiful eyes! The slender loris, similar in size to a chipmunk, is too adorable to handle. These little guys are nocturnal and, in their native India and Sri Lanka, quite difficult to track down. The slender loris is protected by the Indian government, but it’s not clear how much that is really helping.
Photo Credit: By Kalyan Varma (Kalyanvarma) (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html), GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
These funny little salamanders are native to freshwater lakes in and around Mexico City. Most axolotls are brown or black; the one pictured is actually a mutant color.
6. Saki Monkeys
Sakis are nothing if not loyal. Indeed, these New World monkeys mate for life and live in nuclear family units with their mate and offspring. And that’s not all — the males even pitch in with grooming and carrying babies sometimes. They sure do sound like keepers! These monkeys are native to Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil.
7. Philippine Tarsier
Tarsiers have been around for 45 million years. Though once found across the globe, today, tarsiers live only in Southeast Asian islands. They are quite small for a primate, usually measuring in between 3 and 6 inches tall. They are perhaps best known for their huge eyes. How huge? Well, tarsiers have the largest eyes compared to size of any mammal on the planet!
Also Check Out: Farm Feeds Cows Candy Because Corn is Too Expensive
Believe it or not, the Okapi is the only close relative of the…. giraffe. Yep, they may bear a resemblance to that other black-and-white striped creature found the in the African savannah, the zebra, but the Okapi is no such creature. Unlike the giraffes of the savannah, okapi are found in the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Western World was unaware of the animals existence until just over a century ago.