Some Asian customs may seem unusual to you, but the eastern continent’s animal will surprise you even more! Leave the city and experience surprising encounters with other kinds of locals: Asian animals.
1. Proboscis monkey
Do not laugh at Proboscis monkeys : they are more clever than you think. Those long-nosed monkeys live mainly on Borneo Island, where they quietly stay in the trees, climbing down only to find food and to enjoy pyjama parties by the water: don’t you wish it was your own life?
Another surprising feature of those unusual monkeys is how well they can swim : they are the best swimmers amongst primates !
And here is the most amazing: males (who weigh twice as much as their female counterparts) use their nose to attract females! Scientists suppose that their huge organ creates a sort of echo which amplifies the male’s call and impresses the ladies. You will never be ashamed of your prominent duct again.
2. Irrawaddy dolphin
No, this strange oceanic creature didn’t bang his head against some reef or some boat. Actually, what seems to be a bung on his head is simply due to its huge melon (and this scientific term doesn’t mean that this animal is big-headed).
This species lives in Southeast Asian mangroves, particularly in the Mekong Delta. If you pay attention when traveling by those areas, you might detect them due to their rounded heads floating to the surface!
Yet today their conservation is a concern, as fishing nets and a low reproduction rates threaten them. Fortunately, the development of natural reserves and hunt bans allow us to be a little more confident about their future.
3. Chinese water deer
According to its latin name, “hydropotes inermis”, this special deer has no natural weapon to fight with. Despite their lack of antlers, they keep a little secret: their canine teeth are unconventionally long, and can measure up to eight centimetres long! You’d better stay out of trouble with them.
Another of its unique features is that the Chinese water deer (once again based on his name) loves swimming.
4. Draco Lizard
Challenging the laws of gravity, and then challenging its predators, the tiny draco lizard uses the Southeast Asian jungle as its playground. For the flying dragon, it’s also the opportunity for an endless ant-and-termite gourmet feast.
Thanks to its elongated ribs and its tail, the little reptile can make his way through the high and dense equatorial forest, sometimes flying a hundred feet between two trees.
5. Blind Fish
When snorkeling in freshwater, you might come face to face with one of those blind fish. Though you might directly notice their holographic scales, take a good look : you won’t see the shadow of an eye!
Scientists’ theory (yeah, they have pretty much studied everything!) is that they evolved and lost their eyes because of their fishing techniques. Indeed, they find their food in very deep waters, where oxygen is scarce and must be saved : yet, having eyes use a lot of it. Hence, the part of their brain dealing with vision is much smaller, and they eat pretty much anything they can find (just like your little brother).
They recently came up as a popular aquarium pet, so nothings says that they won’t get their eyes back!
Jerboas are the Naomi Campbells of rodents: you’ll be amazed by the never-ending legs. Those mini kangaroos live in hot deserts, where they move by hopping, securing their balance with their super-long tails (it can be longer than their entire body!).
Jerboas are always on the look for snacks, using their excellent hearing and their tremendous running abilities (up to 24 km/h!) to track down their food. One would wonder: how can they stay so fit while eating so much? That is the answerless question about supermodels !
A final fun fact: when they build their burrow, they do not only create small cavities, they also make sure to create an emergency exit in case of a predator incursion!
7. Puss moth caterpillar
Just before wearing its final-state soft cat fur, this moth develops its own particular strategies. From its tail appendages, to the acid, to its green color that camouflages it in the leaves, this insect is an expert in self-defense.
But its most striking feature is probably the color stains on his forehead that look like a big mouth and frighten his predators.
Some aren’t frightened by this illusion though, as birds, bats and frogs are amongst their most feared predators.
The Pangolin looks like the evolution of your favourite Pokemon, but it is well and truly a real animal. Their name comes from the Malay expression “something that rolls up”, referring to their defence mechanism, which consists in rolling into an impenetrable ball when they feel threatened.
A Pangolin’s tongue can be longer than its entire body! It uses it to find food, since it has no teeth to chew. This animal does hold a secret: nobody knows how long it can live, since the depression they suffer from when living in a zoo makes this study impossible.
They also have a very weird way of dating. There is no defined mating season, and pangolins are of a solitary creature, getting together only to reproduce themselves. Hence, they developed an uncommon strategy: male mark their territory with urine, and then wait for a female to find them.
If you cross the path of a tarsier, you will feel observed like you’ve never did in your life. Do not worry : though these little primates are carnivorous (they feed on insects), they also are very shy.
Pretty much all of their features are oversized : their super long fingers (they strangely look like human ones) and above all their eyes, each of them measuring the size of their brain !
Bonus : google “Tarsier sleeping”, you won’t be disappointed
10. Yin yan frog
This recently-discovered frog species lives in the Mekong Delta, particularly in hilly areas. Looking at it straight in the eyes, you could see a nearly perfect counterfeiting of the yin and the yang. However, I’m not sure the concept of the two compensated forces applies when this 1.8 inches creature will be facing you.
Honorable mention: Lucky, the ehealthscanner dog
Passionate about health insurance plans, this special kind of bulldog will always give you a warm welcome. “Licking is better than snarling”, as he often mutters.
His healthy advice: never miss the morning croissant (or the lunch chicken nugget… or the dinner cheese)