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  • Top scariest and harmless animals and their habitats

    aye ayeWhenever you visit a part of the world where you haven’t been before, you have to get used to a new culture and a different language and people, but that’s not all. There’s also the wildlife, which depending on your location, can be more or less interesting or bothersome.

    If you’re touring cities, or you spend most of your time on the beach, the most you have to fear are some mosquitoes, but if you are trekking or hiking (and these activities usually offer ample opportunity to get acquainted with the local critters), meeting a “resident” is not always the best thing that can happen to you. But some animals that you might encounter on your travels might look weird or dangerous, but actually they couldn’t be more peaceful. So here’s a list of the the scariest harmless animals in the world.

    Sun scorpions

    Sun scorpionSurprisingly, not all scorpions are evil insects who want nothing more than to sink their stingers into you. This species of scorpion (practically not a scorpion, but a type of arachnid), looks really scary but it won’t bite and poison you.

    They won’t harm humans, they only hunt other bugs, which is a good thing if you don’t like creepy-crawlies. Sun scorpions live in desert habitats, and you might bump into one practically everywhere except Australia. You can find them in desert areas in the U.S. (Arizona, for example), but you are most likely to see them in South Africa.

    Vampire bats

    vampire batIf you’ve watched any vampire movies when growing up, you are probably not particularly fond of vampire bats. They will suck you blood, right? Actually, vampire bats never attack humans. They do feed on the blood of animals, but they won’t suck them dry, and won’t kill them.

    A vampire bat’s saliva contains coagulants which prevent blood clotting, and will feed for approximately 20 minutes, drinking about 20 grams of blood. All three known species of vampire bats live on the American continent, and you are most likely to encounter them if you are hiking through Central America.

    Aye-Aye

    aye ayeThis species of lemur lives only in Madagascar, and it is the largest nocturnal primate in the world. Most primates look cute, but the aye-aye seems like an unfortunate combination between a rodent and a monkey. This critter is omnivorous, but it eat mainly fruit and nuts, and attacking a human is the last thing on its mind.

    The aye-aye is an endangered species, because there are several Madagascan superstitions according to which it brings bad luck, so the locals hunt it (it supposedly predicts the death of a person, and in some villages people claim that it will even sneak into people’s homes and kill them).

    Echidna

    echiechidnaEchidnas look like oversized, angry hedgehogs, but they are actually a species of egg-laying mammals from the same order as the platypus. The Echidna is named after a mythical Greek monster, but on a closer look there’s not much to scare you about this spiky flellow. Echidnas are peaceful and shy, and will stay out of your way.

    They eat ants with their long, sticky tongue, so even it they look scary they don’t bite (since they have to teeth). They live in New Guinea and Australia, and sometimes you can spot them even close to urban areas, looking for a lunchtime anthill.

    Thorny devil

    thorny devilThe name alone makes you wish you never meet this animal in person, but despite its scary name and appearance, the thorny devil won’t hurt you unless you attempt to squeeze it in hug, in which case you might get stung a bit.

    This Australian lizard will most likely run away if it sees you, or will defiantly wait for you to leave, but it will never try to hurt humans. You are likely to chance upon the thorny devil if you are visiting the Outback.

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    Comments on Top scariest and harmless animals and their habitats

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    littlebooboo wrote on September 17, 2010:

    Their so awesome i would love to have them as pets. teehee

    zlori wrote on January 30, 2011:

    eeak… the ugliest animals I have ever seen… :) There is no way I would keep them as pets.. the only way I see for me buying one of these animals is as a present to a person whom I really hate his guts.. 😛

     
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