World Wildlife

Unusual names of species

Female dik-dik

In this article, you’ll find a list of fascinating and unusual looking critters that have rare names from around the world.

There are thousands of species around the globe that have been given quirky names. Some may be obvious and common, but there are some that need a brief description of who they are.


Mountain chicken

Believe it or not, this critter is not actually a chicken at all! This animal’s original scientific name is Leptodactylus fallax, also known as the giant ditch frog.

Giant Ditch Frog species

This critter was affectionately named the mountain chicken by the natives that live in the Caribbean islands of Dominica and Montserrat, due to its chicken-like flavor when eaten. This type of amphibian is one of the largest and Critically Endangered species around the globe. Unfortunately, the population size of this animal has declined by 80% in the last decade. The reasons for its drastic decline are due to the spread of fungal disease, increase of predators and natural disasters around its habitat.


Tasseled wobbegong

Australia has a habit of naming their critters with interesting names, and the Tasseled wobbegong is certainly a mouthful. Scientifically known as the Eucrossorhinus dasypogon, which inhabits across New Guinea and northern Australia areas of shallow coral reefs.

Flat tasseled shark species
This species’s conservation status is listed as Near Threatened. To survive, this fleshy-bearded shark is an expert at being patient and using camouflage; waiting for its food to appear. As soon as this critter sees its meal at a close range, it uses ambush catch its prey. Although, when patience is not enough to catch its food for the day, this special shark utilizes his tail to lure fish closer.



This type of bird was named White-bellied-go-away-bird because of the calls it makes when it’s being threatened sound like they are saying “Go away.” The white-bellied-go-away-bird is also known as the Corythaixoides leucogaster, which is fortunately listed as Least Concerned conservation status. This critter is native to sub-Saharan Africa and enjoys to fly within savannas and wooded areas; searching for a range of foods such as seeds, leaves, fruits, and flowers.

Goaway bird sitting on a tree branch species



The dik-dik are scattered around eastern and southern Africa, living in semi-deserts. This miniature mammal is scientifically known as Madoqua Kirkii, which enjoys eating fruit, shoots, leaves and rarely some grass. Although don’t be fooled by its size, even though it grows up to 40 cm (16 in); this unique looking animal can run above 40 km/h (24 mph), especially from predators, such as humans and carnivores. If lucky, this critter can live up to 4 years in the wild, and up to 10 years in captivity.

Female Dik-dik species

Blue-crowned laughingthrush

The blue-crowned laughingthrush, scientifically known as the Garrulax courtoisi are small and colourful birds that can grow up to 23 cm and are listed as Critically Endangered species. Contrary to its name, it has not been found to laugh or possess any sense of humour at all, even when told a joke.

A tagged Blue crowned laughingthrush species
Additionally, this bird was given the name blue-crowned laughingthrush because of its blue coloured head. You can find this beautiful critter in China although it is rare to see it in the wild. At this day and age, the group of blue-crowned laughingthrush are kept in captivity in order to promote an increase in population. The main causes for their decline are bird-trappers, dealers, and deforestation of their habitat.

There are thousands of unusually named animals in our world. Can you name any more?

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