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Just because in some cases they have been around for millions of years doesn't mean you'll have seen them. In fact, our list of the world's more unusual animals includes some which are definitely not easy to see, such as the virtually motionless sloth. See which animals made our list.

  • Tarsier, Bohol

    Tarsier, The Philippines

    Amongst the smallest primates in the world (3.5 to 6.25 inches tall), tarsiers are found in several Southeast Asian locations including Sulawesi, Borneo, Sumatra and the Philippines. Their excellent night vision makes it a good hunter in the dark where it feeds mainly on insects. They are endangered in the wild while captive tarsiers have, sadly, been known to deliberately injure or even kill themselves due to stress.

    Read more about The Philippines
  • Tasmanian devil, Devils@Cradle, Tasmania

    Tasmanian devil, Australia

    It's the world's largest carnivorous marsupial but the Tasmanian devil is probably known to most of us because of the famous Warner Bros cartoon series. However, the name actually does bare some relation to its cartoon portrayal as a snarling lunatic, as early settlers to Australia noted it had a feisty character. Found originally throughout Australia, they are now only to be seen in Tasmania itself.
    Read more about the wildlife of Australia
  • Kiwi

    Kiwi, New Zealand

    There were once millions of kiwi birds in New Zealand but with the arrival of humans around 1,000 years ago its numbers have been reduced drastically to just a few thousand. Having evolved on an island with no predatory mammals the kiwi became a flightless ground dweller, sniffing out grubs. A tiny cousin of the now extinct great Moa birds, the kiwi is one of the last of its kind.
    Read more about New Zealand
  • Komodo Dragon

    Komodo dragon, Indonesia

    The Komodo dragon is the largest living species of lizard, growing up to 3 metres in length and weighing around 70 kilograms. They eat mostly carrion (they can locate a dead or dying animal up to 6 miles away), but will also hunt and ambush prey such as birds and mammals. Komodo and its smaller neighbour of Rinca Island in Indonesia are the only places in the world where it exists.
    Read more about Komodo Island
  • Fossa, Madagascar

    Fossa, Madagascar

    The fossa is Madagascar's largest mammalian carnivore but although it resembles a cat in appearance, it is in fact related to the mongoose (it has webbed feet!). It hunts birds and reptiles but most of its diet is made up of lemurs. As with much of Madagascar's unique fauna, the fossa is listed as 'endangered', mainly through loss of habitat.
    Read more about Madagascar
  • Musk Oxen in the Arctic

    Musk oxen, Arctic

    Natives of Arctic Canada, Greenland and Alaska, musk oxen are noted for their thick shaggy coats, long curved horns and for the strong odour emitted by the males. These sociable animals usually live in herds of between 10 to 20 animals but sometimes the herd can number several hundred, while their thick coats enable them to survive bitterly cold winter temperatures.
    Read more about the Arctic
  • Pangolin

    Pangolin, Botswana

    Pangolins are the only mammals which have large, hard plate-like scales covering their skin, which are then used as a defence against predators as they can roll themselves into a tight ball. Found in Africa, their diet consists mainly of insects which they eat with their elongated tongue. As usual, their main threat comes from humans: they are considered a delicacy in China.

    Read more about Botswana
  • Sloth

    Sloth, Costa Rica

    Sloths are the world's most sedentary creatures, sleeping between 15 to 20 hours every day. In fact, they are so slow moving that algae can grow on their fur. Located in Central and South America, they spend most of their time living in trees, returning to the ground about once a week on average. Even immature sloths are surprisingly sturdily built and rarely die from falls. They are currently classified as 'endangered'.

    Read more about Costa Rica
  • Capybara, Los Llanos

    Capybara, Brazil

    Found in South America, the capybara is the world's largest rodent (over 4ft in length and up to 140lbs in weight), living a semi-aquatic existence in grassy wetland areas or close to rivers. Here they graze mainly on grasses and aquatic plants but they are also excellent swimmers and can stay underwater for up to five minutes. They are not considered a threatened species.
    Read more about Brazil
  • Frilled Neck Lizard, Kakadu National Park

    Frilled neck lizard, Australia

    With its large frill around its neck (which is uses partly to scare potential predators) and its ability to run on its hind legs, the frilled neck lizard looks like a leftover from the age of the dinosaurs. They live in the northern part of Australia where the hot, tropical climate ensures their requirement - being cold-blooded - to control body temperature.
    Read more about the wildlife of Australia

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