The World's Most Bizarre Critters!
Call the paparazzi! Getting a good shot of this one is harder than catching Brangelina. “Pretty shy and high strung, they look like tennis balls bouncing from tree to tree,” says Nick Baker, the host of Science Channel’s Weird Creatures.
You know that guy who never wants to leave the party? Well, this is that guy in the animal kingdom. The horseshoe crab (with Baker) has been around for half a billion years. If you see one – they’re all over the eastern seaboard – thank it for its contributions to science. “We use their blood to screen for contamination in hospitals,” Baker explains. “If you’ve ever had an operation, you owe something to the horseshoe crab.”
“You’ve seen him in Madagascar,” says Baker of this lemur. Other than appearing in films, you can find them tapping trees with their long fingers looking for beetle grub. Yum!
Baker’s love affair with this creature began in tidal pools near his home in the UK. “You flip over a rock and you see this weird fish. Yes, it’s a fish!” says Baker. He explains its weird look: “Its pectoral fins have fused to form a huge sucker on its belly.”
With tiny and almost worthless eyes, this guy uses the pink “star” organ above its mouth to locate food. “This sensory organ works as an eye. Each one of these has 250,000 eimers organs.”
They’re fun to look at, but don’t get too close – those razor sharp claws can pull apart concrete in their quest for food! Baker learned the hard way when one grabbed on to his finger. “They have karate moves!” Sounds painful!
This critter “uses its incredible muscular control to push its bodies into different shapes,” explains Baker. “It can be a flat fish, it can be an eel, it can be a jelly fish.” Never trust a shape-shifter!
This slimy salamander – which can be as big as 18 inches! – lives all over the American Appalachians. Baker loves this animal, called a Hellbender, because of its unique gender roles. “The males guard the babies!”
Check out the show Weird Creatures with Nick Baker on The Science Channel, every Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET