Some animals just look weird. Take the mandrill, whose outrageous face is colored to mimic its genitals, or the star-nosed mole whose nose sprouts 22 fleshy tentacles. Others behave strangely—a mallee fowl builds huge mounds of rotting vegetation in which to incubate its eggs. Some are plain ingenious, such as the fog-basking beetle, which stands on its head to drink from fog on the breeze (the fog condenses on its body and then trickles down to its mouth), or the cartwheeling spider, which turns itself into a wheel to roll down sand dunes when it needs to make a sharp exit. Then there's the horned toad, which squirts blood from its eyes at attackers, and the African egg-eating snake, which has to dislocate its jaw to eat an egg three times bigger than its head. With glorious (and sometimes grotesque) full-color photography throughout, 100 Bizarre Animals celebrates the antics and appearance of the world's wackiest creatures.
Mike Unwin is an author, editor, photographer and illustrator specializing in natural history. He won the BBC Wildlife/Bradt Travel Guides Travel Writing Competition in 2000, and is now series editor of the Bradt wildlife guides and author of Southern African Wildlife.