Wild Asia: Fascinating Animals & Unexpected Traditions
From weretigers to deer with fangs, let’s explore together the wild side of Asia. Tell us, what is the most bizarre animal you have ever heard of?
12 No Werewolf Found
We all have heard of werewolves. In the ancient legends of Europe and now movies the full moon transforms the human in to a hungry wolf. But have you ever heard of a weretiger? Not as well known outside of Asia. The weretiger is a mythical hybrid between a tiger and a human that prowls Asian jungles looking for prey during the full moon as well… Tigers, definitely one of the most majestic animals in the Asian animal kingdom!
11 The Flying Frog
We all know frogs swim and hop around. Their webbed feet were once thought to be for swimming, that would be a normal assumption, but the Wallace’s flying frog had adapted to the predators and its own prey and therefore learned to glide from tree to tree in the jungles or Borneo and Malaysia. They can glide a distance of about a bowling lane! Adaptation achieved with this one!
10 The Blood Thirsty Leech
We all have the idea that the vampire bats are the ones to be weary of when thinking about blood thirsty animals. But you should be more worry about the blood sucking invertebrates that slither in the forest. In the Americas, leeches are small and can easily be pulled away. But in Asia, of course leeches are ever so clever and even more hungry. A leech in Asia would fall of a tree and drink your blood until literally you dry out! Vampires don’t do that! They just drink a little bit and go. But witch one looks more scary?
9 Blind As A… Dolphin?
Most of us who have gone to the aquarium or had the pleasure of seeing a dolphin in the wild know that they have eyes and can see. But not all dolphins are born with eyesight. In the Indus and Ganges rivers of South Asia a specie of dolphin is born blind and in order to navigate and hunt for food. They use echolocation! Another cool characteristic is that they swim on only one side of their body so their flippers are touching the muddy bottom to steer the prey out of hiding. What a clever adaptation to the murky waters.
8 Hog So Cute
When thinking of a regular pig, you may not think of the tusks some species have. Most of them grind the exposed teeth but not the Babirusa from the island of Indonesia. This “Deer Pig” would be a dentist dream! Since they don’t grind those tusks, this is only achieved with regular friction, there have been accounts of the babirusa teeth being so long as to pierce their own skull.
7 Brain Power
In most parts of Asia, monkey brains are served as a delicacy. But our imagination had gone out of control with some of us thinking that the brains are consumed while the animal is still alive. To everyone’s relief, thank goodness that’s not the case. What movie does it remind you of?
6 Deer With Fangs
We all have seen deer and one thing that comes to our minds is how cute they are… Now imagine a hybrid with a bat... And you get the tufted deer. With fangs and the added bonus of little antlers for males that are hidden under a dark tuff of hair. This Chinese wonder is very elusive and keeps very much to itself. If you go to China and hike near Tibet look for them in dense covers. If startle they will bark and jump like cats before fleeing. What other wild animals do you know of that look like hybrids?
5 It Nose Better!
Monkeys. Agile cousins of ours. Best known their mischievous nature as well as the best trapeze artist in the planet. And this monkey for sure has that and much more. Meet the Proboscis of Borneo. Its name comes from his most predominant feature… its nose. But their noses are not simple decoration.They use the enlarged nasal cavity to make loud noises. Whether to challenge other males for territory and serenade females. The larger the male, the louder and therefore way more attractive to the ladies. One more fascinating thing. They are fantastic swimmers with webbed toes! Cute all around... ha...
4 Dumbo Does Exist!
Asia does seem to have its share of unusual animals and this one fits the bill… or the coin in this case. The Long-Eared Jerboa was minted in a 2006 Mongolian coin but in 2007 it was the first time it was video recorded. This long-legged rodent has very long ears and even longer tail used for balance. As avid hunters of insects they leap high in the air to catch their prey and can run 15 m/h or 24km/hr… its like a mouse, Dumbo-kangaroo in a very small package! Does it remind you of a little wound-up toy? With an extra pack of energizer bunny batteries!
3 The Indian Jabba The Hutt
Most of us are familiar with the Star Wars characters Jabba The Hut, but in India, that large blob like creature looks a lot like the Indian Purple Frog. With short stubby legs perfect for digging and a nose that resembles a pig, this purple critter spends most of its time underground and only surfaces 2 weeks… of their entire life. They make the best use of their little time in the surface and sing their hearts out to serenade the females, mate and burrow back into earth forever… what other animals have you heard of who live most of their lives underground?
2 Who Nose Where It Went
Earlier we explored a monkey with such a predominant nose. So, we have to meet this guy, the total opposite. Meet the Snub-nose Monkey or rhinopithecus. From China and Vietnam, they were discovered not too long ago in Myanmar. Because of their peculiar nose scientist have observed how the snub-nose monkey curls up in a ball when it rains. You probably guessed why. That’s because water can easily fall into the nostrils and make them sneeze like crazy! They do look like a surgery gone wrong…
1 Asian Future
Asia, such diverse continent, there are so many more species to talk about… I hope the species we explored today will inspire you to fall in love with nature and its wonders. As we take advantage of the opportunities to make a positive change for our future generations. The overproduction of many crops has cause a decline of larger species like orangutans, Asian tigers and elephants. But how about the less known? Best said by the late Australian conservationist, Steve Irwin “If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched... Humans want to save things that they love.”
Wild Asia, discovered, what other worlds should we explore?