10. Red Panda
These cute, furry, bamboo nibbling, endangered red panda shares a common ancestor with the black and white panda but unlike them they do not belong in the bear family. Remains of the red panda like creatures have been found in Eastern Europe and North America that dates back to as far as 25 million years.
For a long time, the red panda was classified as raccoons because of their masked faces and ringed tails which helps them balance on the trees. They also use their front paws into rivers to scoop water for drinking but DNA testing has finally made scientists to classify them into a new family group called Ailuridae which consists of the red panda and its ancestors.
Other than their favourite food which is the bamboo, they also eats insects, eggs, small birds, rodents and fruits. Better than the common panda which only eats bamboo but has a horrible time digesting them since the common panda are supposed to be carnivores.
9. Sumatran Rhinoceros
They came from a 50 million years old lineage. Also known as the hairy rhinoceros or the Asian two-horned rhinoceros. They are the smallest of all the rhinoceros that currently exists and has a coat of reddish brown hair that covers most of its body. They once inhabited rain forests and swamps of India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and China but now they are critically endangered as there are less than 100 of them currently alive.
8. Giant River Stingray
As the name says, it is a stingray that lives in a river and is a giant as big as a king sized bed sheet. It can be around 6.2 ft to up to 16 feet across, 600 kg in weight and has a spiky, poisoned barbed stinger that could be around 15-inches long. The barb are known to impale body parts and may even skewer and penetrate bones. Almost like how a smaller cousin killed Steve Irwin. May he rest in peace.
The freshwater stingray have been estimated to evolve about 100 million years ago and they live in the Southern Hemisphere such as Thailand, New Guinea, Borneo and even Australia. This is because they like to live in rivers where the rivers are mostly murky for better camouflage. Like most of the animals on this list, it is also facing the problem of possibly becoming extinct very soon.
7. Purple Frog
The purple frog is one of the longest surviving species of the frog family where they have evolved to how they are now very far back around 130 million years ago. Thus making it the sole survivor of its prehistoric amphibian relatives.
From its face, you could see that it doesn’t look like a frog, rather the colour, fatness and that pink point on its face makes it look like a mole. A slimy mole. Very different from how the other frogs we know look like.
They would only emerge from the underground for about 2 weeks during the monsoon season for the purpose of mating. Just like moles, they would live underground and feed mainly on termites using their tongue.
6. Chinese Giant Salamander
This is the largest salamander and amphibian in the world that could reach a length of up to 180 cm which means its much more longer than me, much much more bigger than me. I just don’t like how salamander looks. They look so slimy not to mention that grin on their face.
It is a part of the Cryptobranchidea lineage which dates back to 170 million years ago. Like most ancient animals, they are on the verge of being extinct not just because of loss of habitat from pollution, they are also over hunted as it is considered a delicacy and have been used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Lucky for us, they are nearly blind and only feed on smaller salamanders, worms and crayfish. They may get aggressive during their mating season where the male might fight against each other to their deaths but they don’t seek to eat humans.
5. Tadpole Shrimp
They are freshwater crustacean that resembles a miniature horseshoe crab. It is considered a living fossil because its basic prehistoric morphology has changed very little in the last 70 million years, exactly matching the bodies of their ancient ancestors that inhabited Earth as early as some 220 million years ago.
They have a broad, flat carapace which conceals its head and bears a single pair of compound eyes. They are omnivores that eats small animals such as fishes and fairy shrimp. They are found to live on the bottom of shallow lakes and could be found world wide.
They have an overall shape like a tadpole being around 2 – 10 centimetres long but with claw-y legs. Thus how the name tadpole shrimp came to be.
These creatures seem to come from nightmares. I can’t stand seeing how they look like so I’m going to make this short. They are eel like parasites with a circular mouth that are filled with dozens and dozens of small, sharp teeth that would latch onto any suitable host and suck their blood. They exist way back to around 360 million years ago where a scientist found a lamprey fossil and confirmed it was essentially the same as the lampreys alive today.
3. Horseshoe Crab
As their name suggests, they look like horse’s hooves. Just like someone chopped off a hoof from a horse and gave it some feet. These crustacean-like thing is not a crab but are much more related to arachnids than a crustacean.
The fossils found of them dates back to almost 450 million yeas and there seem to have very little to no change from what is found now. They are the prey for birds and some fish while they only search for worms or mollusks for food.
They usually swim upside-down, inclined at about 30° to the horizontal and moving at about 10–15 cm/s (0.22–0.34 mph). Also that dangerous looking rigid tail is not dangerous as its only purpose is to flip the animal over if turned upside down.
The nautilus have been on earth for around 500 million years. It survived a lot of major events throughout the globe all this years but now it is finally in danger of becoming extinct. This is because it has been over fished just because of how cool they would look like for their own collection or home decoration.
The way the nautilus swim is by drawing water in and out of its living chambers and uses jet propulsion. Like a little alien submarine is what I think when seeing this creature. They could also maintain their buoyancy in long term density changes by osmosis. They are scavengers and an opportunistic predator. They may eat lobsters, hermit crabs and carrion of any kind.
1. Jelly Fish
The jelly fish was always known to be a very ancient species but only until 2007 was the jelly fish were said to exist even before there was any land-dwelling creatures at all as they found a fossil that goes back to over half a billion years old.
Jellyfish are found worldwide in every ocean from the surface to the deep deep sea. There are also some types of jellyfish that live in freshwater. We always see how beautiful they are just floating about in the waters but this is how their life cycle is:
They start of in their larva stage, become polyps which buds into ephyrae and then transform into an adult medusae where they reproduce by either sexually or asexually. But usually its just a hit and miss by releasing their eggs and sperm in the water in hopes of getting fertilized.