It’s a strange and beautiful world, and we love searching for unique wildlife not found anywhere else. Take a look at some of the more interesting creatures we’ve spotted on our journeys.
Relatively small, yet with enormous eyes, these incredibly cute primates find their home in the trees of Borneo and other parts of Southeast Asia. Tarsiers are nocturnal, and because their large eyes do not rotate, they rely on their heads to do the turning, which can swivel 180 degrees in either direction. And speaking of their eyes, each eyeball is larger than their brain! Diana Poindexter, one of our Europe Specialists, was able to see one of these elusive creatures on our recent journey. “Tarsiers are rarely seen in the Danum Valley,” she said, “so when we heard of a spotting near our lodge one night, we immediately set out to search for the creature, and soon spotted the tarsier’s eyeshine in a thicket near the forest floor. Our tarsier friend happily posed for us for a minute before heading back into the night to search for an insect dinner.” You can search for these on our journey: Borneo Expedition.
These sea slugs are absolutely amazing and entirely odd looking. There are more than 2,000 species of nudibranchs, and new species are still being discovered. Nudibranchs gain their color from the food they eat, which help camouflage them in reefs. If nudibranchs happen to eat something poisonous, they can store that poison as a defense mechanism for later use. We search for these in remote bays in Raja Ampat, where the water is clear and the reefs pristine, making for ideal conditions to spot these masters of disguise. One of our Area Specialists, Carolyn Tallman, traveled to Raja Ampat, where she saw this particular nudibranch and wrote a fun haiku about them:
Scooting along the sea floor
Hiding in plain sight
Learn more about nudibranchs on our adventure: Snorkeling Raja Ampat.
Known for their slow-moving pace, sloths harbor a lot of unique—albeit strange—attributes. For one, they move at such a slow pace that algae actually grows on their fur, which in turn creates the ultimate disguise from predators. They are known to sleep half the day, every day, and when they are awake, they usually spend their time upside down in trees, or eating fruit and leaves. All sloth species are found in the jungles of Latin America. We search for them on our adventure: Costa Rica Wildlife.
These prehistoric-looking lizards are the only sea-faring iguanas in the world, and they are only found in one place: the Galápagos. Marine iguanas can grow to be almost three feet in length—they forage for algae and seaweed beneath the water’s surface, and can dive down to nearly 100 feet if they need to. When you visit the Galápagos, you’re likely to come across a colony of them sunbathing on the rocks. Check out our exciting Galápagos journeys.
Not as iconic as the Big Five—nor as popular as zebras, giraffes, and hippos—gemsbok are still fascinating safari animals. What makes them truly unique is that they can survive in some of the harshest conditions in Africa. Unlike other mammals that roam the savannas, gemsbok are able to retain water from the food they eat, meaning they can go weeks without ever drinking from a water source. What’s more, those somewhat strange-looking, sword-like horns are as much a decoration as they are a defense. The pointed tips have been known to injure—and even kill—their predators, including lions. During game drives in southern Africa, particularly Namibia, we search for gemsbok and other types of desert-adapted wildlife. Take a look at all of our safaris.
From the ocean’s reefs to the mountain’s peaks, we’re always in search of amazing landscapes—and the unique creatures who call them home.