The aardvark, which literally translates to earth pig, is a solitary creature that is seldom seen. Still, reminders of their presence exist in abundance as they dig holes throughout the African bush.
The cavities are especially visible around termite mounds, which provide most of the animal’s food. Living up to their translated name, aardvarks do resemble pigs in a way, though their ears are reminiscent of a rabbit’s and the tail resembles a kangaroo’s.
Madagascar is home to more than half the world's chameleons including the largest, the two-foot-long Parson's chameleon, and the tiniest, the Pygmy stump-tailed chameleon.
One of the most intriguing, though, is Labord's chameleon which inhabits the dry land in and around Kirindy Forest. What makes this animal remarkable is its 'live fast die young' life cycle of about 4-5 months, shorter than that of any other tetrapod.
Madagascar Leaf-nosed Snake
Snakes of the bizarre genus 'Langaha' are among the island's many impressive endemic creepy-crawlies. In the very distinctive Madagascar spear-nosed snake, males are yellow and tan, with a spear-shaped nasal appendage.
Females look like a different species altogether, greyish in color with a serrated, leaf-shaped nasal extension giving rise to the name 'Madagascar leaf-nosed snake'. Though they are venomous, their poison is not deadly to humans.
Pangolins, sometimes known as scaly anteaters, are sometimes mistaken as reptiles due to their scaly appearance, but they are actually scaly-skinned mammals. Its scales are actually made up of keratin, which accounts for about 20 percent of its weight. It has a small head and a long, broad tail. It has no external ears, but its hearing is quite good.
All pangolins are able to roll themselves into a ball in self-defense. When threatened, they can also emit a noxious-smelling acid from their glands. You know, like skunks, except there is no spraying.
The emperor tamarin is just about as amusing as any creature on our list. For the most part, the emperor is just a typical small-sized, black monkey that enjoys swinging from treetops and eating plants. They use high-pitched, shrill sounds to warn trespassers what their territory is. They also engage in tongue-flicking, rapidly moving their tongue in and out of their mouth to indicate displeasure.
Its giant white curly mustache makes it a dead-ringer for German Emperor Wilhelm II. What was first a comical nickname is now the animal’s official scientific title. The emperor tamarin is native to the rain forests of Peru and Bolivia.