I love wildlife and it’s one of the reasons I get so inspired by life itself when on a safari. Frankly, I miss having safari opportunities in my backyard like I did when I lived in South Africa. Having experienced bush life in a few countries in Southern Africa as well as Kenya and Tanzania, I’ve come across a few unusual animals in my time.
The Elephant Shrew
For example, how about the Elephant Shrew, which is a cross between a rodent and an elephant except that it’s small. The name is derived from the fact that the Elephant Shrew has a long trunk-like nose as well as unusually long legs that are disproportionate to the size of their bodies.
Photo credit: e Elephant Shrew – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gustible/9085402451
They’re amusing to watch as well since they hop around like a rabbit and while they are small and not so easy to see, you can find them in a variety of places throughout Africa.
I’ve never seen a Pangolin however nature lovers I ran into (in the bush) brought them up, largely because I think they are apparently threatened to the point of extinction and sadly there’s only a few of them left in the world.
Pangolins have scaly bodies that are made up of keratin — yup, the same stuff our nails and hair is made up of, which is both unusual and interesting. Apparently the way they adapt and protect themselves is by rolling up in a ball. They almost look pre-historic up close, but further away, they blend so well with the environment, you could easily mistake it for something else.
The Royal Flycatcher
How about this beauty? They call it the Royal Flycatcher.
They apparently build their nest on tree branches hanging over the water. Although I’ve never seen one, I have to say they seem to be as colorful and as exotic as the Quetzal, the bird everyone couldn’t stop talking about when I landed in Costa Rica. You know, how rare it was to see them? Bird lovers would head to Costa Rica just for the opportunity to see one and somehow I lucked out and saw one on my first hike and within the first hour.
The Ninja Lantern Shark
Photo credit: Victoria Vasquez, Moss Landing Marine Labs
The Pink Fairy Armadillo
So much wow in this all things pink Fairy Armadillo which apparently is only found in Argentina. As odd as it looks, as odd as it functions, which is as a portable radiator, meaning it can cool down or heat up depending on the temperature of the soil it happens to be in at any given time. Pretty cool right?
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Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.
She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.
Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.
Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.