Sometimes evolution creates beautiful, colourful animals, and at other times it comes up with creatures that look like they came out of our worst nightmares
An aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) (Credit: Mark Carwardine/naturepl.com)
The aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) is a nocturnal lemur that has an unusually long middle finger. It eats grubs that hide beneath the bark of trees. It taps on the wood to find them, then chews through the wood and uses its middle finger to extract them.
(Credit: Todd Pusser/naturepl.com)
Condylura cristata is a small Canadian star-nosed mole. It has bizarre tentacle-like organs sprouting from its face. They are covered with extremely sensitive receptors, which the mole uses to find its way around.
(Credit: Solvin Zankl/naturepl.com)
Chlamydoselachus anguineus is a rare shark that lives in the deep sea. Its unusually wide jaws allow it to swallow large prey whole.
(Credit: David Shale/naturepl.com)
This unidentified Linophryne species is an anglerfish. It uses a lure to help catch its prey.
(Credit: Anup Shah/naturepl.com)
The desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) is one of two species of warthog, the other being the common warthog.
(Credit: Alex Mustard/naturepl.com)
Also known as the hairy frogfish, the striated frogfish (Antennarius striatus) is an expert at camouflage. It uses a "rod and lure" to attract prey.
The illuminated netdevil (Linophryne arborifera) is another species of anglerfish. In this group, males are much smaller than females and attach themselves permanently to the female's body.
Grimpoteuthis discoveryi is one of several species of octopus that have become known as "dumbo octopuses". They live in the depths of the sea.
(Credit: Juan Manuel Borrero/naturepl.com)
Galemys pyrenaicus is related to moles and shrews. It sticks its unusually long nose into mud and holes to locate food.
Torgos tracheliotos is a vulture that lives in Africa and nearby regions. Its bald head is typical of scavenging birds; if it had feathers, they would become gummed up with blood and guts as it thrusts its head into carrion.
(Credit: Wild Wonders of Europe/Lundgre/naturepl.com)
The Atlantic wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) is the largest of the wolffish family.
The hammer-headed bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus) is found in equatorial Africa. Males have unusually large heads, which they use to amplify the loud honking noises they make to attract females.
(Credit: Fiona Rogers/naturepl.com)
The proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) is only found on the island of Borneo. It is an endangered species, because so much of its habitat has been destroyed.
Chauliodus sloani is a species of dragonfish. Guinness World Records notes that it has the largest teeth, relative to the size of its head, of any fish.
(Credit: Jurgen Freund/naturepl.com)
The whitemargin stargazer (Uranoscopus sulphureus) belongs to a group of fish that have their eyes on the tops of their heads, rather than on the sides. They bury themselves in sand, then leap upwards to ambush passing prey animals.
(Credit: Chris & Monique Fallows/naturepl.com)
The spotted ragged-tooth shark is also known as the sand tiger shark. Carcharias taurus is a close relative of the famous great white. It is a vulnerable species as a result of overfishing, which is compounded by the fact that it breeds only slowly.
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