Ask any third-grader the first thing that comes to their mind about turtles, and you’re going to hear their big shells. However, there are some turtles that eschew the tradition, such as this pancake guy.
Consider some of the largest extant freshwater turtles — while some reports say they can grow as long as six feet, other reports dispute the fact. The length of the largest specimen was fifty-one inches, and the heaviest ever found was around five-hundred and fifty pounds. These turtles are, of all things, ambush predators, attacking crustaceans, mollusks, and fish, though they also snack on aquatic plants. It spends ninety-five percent of its life buried and motionless. Same, my dude.
This little guy, found primarily in Liberia (along with the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and occasionally Guinea), is a small antelope. Commonly referred to as a banded duiker or stripped-back duiker, it's thought to be one of the earliest members of the duiker family.
The big physical element of this creature is the black stripes that wrap around the top of its body, which is where the obvious name came from. These duikers are quite small compared to other members of the antelope family, usually only growing to about three feet in length, and weighing less than fifty pounds. Females are typically larger, and most likely to support longer gestation times.
These undersea creatures are prepared for the cold. Also known as yeti lobsters, yeti crabs are named after the legendary Yeti, a mythical creature thought to exist in the Himalayas. They exist in their own family, Kiwaidae, in the superfamily Chirostyloidea.
While it looks like they exist in cold climates, they're normally found around deep-sea hydrothermal vents and cold seeps — ocean floor areas where hydrogen sulfide, methane, and other fluids collect into pools. They are often warmer than normal water temps. The hairy, bristly appearance of their big forearms is actually for protection and to find food.
The Gobi Jerboa, as the name suggests, comes to us from the Gobi desert in China and Mongolia. This species was only discovered a hundred years ago by Glover Morrill Allen.
Researchers are unsure how many members of this species exist, though due to the frequency of encountering them, the conservation status has them placed at the “least concerned” status. With long ears and spindly, jumping legs, the movement of this creature is quick and light. The tail (usually much longer than the body of the animal) often drags on the ground.
Sometimes called a “living fossil,” the goblin shark is the only extant representative of the family Mitsukurinidae, which goes back some 125 million years.
Goblin sharks — we're sure you can come up with your own great name for them — are all around the world, always at depths greater than a hundred meters, with adults being even deeper. While the goblin shark poses no danger to humans, going swimming at night and having this thing brush past you is going to warm up the water around you pretty quickly.