Weird animals for aspiring zoologists and the curious

Posted on April 11, 2017 at 6:00 am

By Rachel Edmondson

Like many kids, my girls love animals. But one of my daughters is especially fascinated and passionate about wild creatures. I think some of her interest began with the PBS show The Wild Kratts. From the first time she watched, she was hooked. So far we’ve learned about pandas, tigers, polar bears, and arctic foxes, just to name a few. For years now she’s been telling us she wants to be an “animal rescuer” when she grows up. She wants to take wild animals that are hurt and help them heal, so they can return to the wild. While she is pretty broad in her love of animals, many kids will get fixated on one kind of animal. So what do you do when they’ve read every single lion book in the collection? A fun way to help kids branch out is to introduce them to some of the more unusual animals found in the wild.

If your kid is obsessed with arctic animals, like polar bears or arctic foxes, try introducing them to Lemmings. These fascinating creatures are the smallest mammals found in the arctic.

Monkeys and gorillas are always popular, and if the only thing you know about sloths is that they are slow, switch things up and check out these tree-loving animals instead.

Some kids just can’t get enough of bugs. Big, small, cute, and gross, there are a lot of different bugs to explore. But if you want to intrigue your little bug lover, try exploring the microbes that make their home inside us.

Whales and dolphins are perennial kid-pleasers, especially since they have inspired many a kids’ movie (Dolphin Tale and Free Willy come to mind). While “Narwhal Tale” may not have the same ring to it, these remarkable animals are sure to enthrall. Manatees are another memorable aquatic animal. And now that I think of it, “Free Manatee” actually sounds pretty good.

We know that kangaroos are marsupials, but did you know that Tasmanian Devils are? Just their name alone is enough to capture a kid’s attention.

If none of these animals are quite strange enough, then Unusual Creatures is the book for you. I hadn’t even heard of many of these animals before I checked out this book. So if you want to know what a bilby, a dugong, and a long-eared jerboa are, give this book a look.

Finally, if you too have a budding zoologist, checkout Zoology for Kids. It even has a forward by those creature-loving Kratt brothers.

Rachel Edmondson

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