I am developing a number of pages on unusual variants on normal animals species. These are the rare, the unusual, the beautiful, the sometimes disturbing deformities that spontaneously occur, combining the peculiarity of genetics and the strange beauty of extremes.
Add to that deliberate genetic modifications, extremes of breeding and occasional mishap, and the diversity of animal appearance is truly amazing. Links are provided when the page has been begun. Un-linked phrases are pages I intend to develop. Suggestions, critiques and comments are more than welcome.
Most of the examples listed below result from genetic mutations. These are random changes in the genome that cause variations in the animals phenotype, or appearance. Almost all of them, as is to be expected when making changes at random, have a negative--or at best neutral--effect on the animals overall abilities and well-being. In fact many are seen only in fetal or very young animals as they would prevent the animal from growing to maturity.
- Curly Coat: Breeds of animal with natural perms....
- Dreadlocks: Ya mon, animals that have corded coats.
- Hairless Animals: Animals that normally have hair, but don't....
- Hairy Animals: More than usual, that is.
- Striped Dogs: Many are fakes, some are not.
- Spotted Breeds of Animal: Entire breeds defined by their spots, but are those pretty patterns hurting them?
- Black Lions: ...Which don't actually exist.
- Black/Melanistic Animals: Melanistic morphs of many different species.
- Brightly Colored Animals: By mutation or misadventure, animals that come in neao shades.
- Leucistic Animals: A mutation leading to white or very pale coloring.
- Purple Squirrels: Squirrels, but purple.
- Spotted Animals: That aren't normally spotted....
- Striped Animals: not, like, zebras... one that normally don't have stripes.
- Transparent Animals: Totally freaky.
- White Animals in Myth and History: Not just that they exist, what people think about them.
- Zebras with a Difference: Did you think zebras only come in black and white stripes? Not so!
- Winged Cats: Really, winged cats? Well... sort of.
- Glowing Animals: Putting fluorescent jellyfish genes into other species so they glow under black light.
- Wrinkled: Animals with extra skin.
- Giant Animals: Just like normal animals, only bigger.
- Miniature Animals: Just like normal animals, only smaller.
- Biggest Draught Teams--Horses and cattle.
- Animals with Prosthetics--Not letting a lost body part slow then down!
- Cyclops: One-eyed wonders.
- Tailless: Lost or missing tails....
- Three legged horses--how to they survive, what do they mean?
- Two legged pigs: Who are getting around just fine!
- Animals with Extra Ears: Usually one extra set, but sometimes more....
- Animals with Two Tails: And tales thereof....
- Antlered Does: Female deer that do not normally have antlers, with them....
- Cats with Thumbs: A favorite of Hemingway....
- Cats with Two Tongues: <--just what it says.
- Conjoined Animals: The effects of twins not fully separating in the womb.
- Deer with tooth abnormalities: Because who can resist a vampire deer?
- Double Muscled Animals: Myostatin mutation in many different species.
- Duplicate Limbs: Feet, digits....
- Freak Deer Antlers--Unusually large or weird shaped deer antlers.
- Three-Eyed Fish: The real Blinky!
- Two-Headed Animals: <--What it says on the box. (See also: Spotty's Two-Headed Calf)
- Cattle with large horns--Texas Longhorns especially.
Mulefoot: A hoof malformation
- Fainting and Ragdoll Animals: Animals that spontaneously go limp or collapse on the ground.
- Rage Disorders: Sometimes it isn't really the animal's fault.
- Fear and Stress Disorders: Not enough breeding... or sometimes too much.
Rare and Rediscovered
- The un-extinct--Rare species offer us one last chance at conservation (usually in vain).
Myths Made Real
I have another series of hubs on the subject of mythological and fantasy animals. The following are hubs about real animals and simulacrums that are either hoaxes or deliberate homages to these animals. But there is no suggestion, at least from the owner/creators of the animals covered in this section, that they really are their mythological counterpart.
- Fake Zebras: Zebras that... aren't.
- The Jackalope: a.k.a. the jackalopes on you!
- Mermaid Mummies: As in mummified, not mummies and daddies :)
- "Real" Unicorns: Whether wishful thinking, or deliberate hoaxes... actually unicorns (if you go by appearance).
- The White Hart: White stags have an important place in mythology, but they also exist in real life!
Fakes, Hoaxes and Mistaken Identity
- Fake Zebras: Zebras on a budget.
- Mechanical Horses: Can you really make a functioning horse robot? No! But that doesn't stop people from trying.
- Weird Carcasses: Chupacabra, or not?
Animals and People
- Animal Memes--Critters we find funny, loose on the open internet.
- Strange Things People do with Animals--In the ends, the strangest species is homo sapiens....
Kofantom on February 18, 2014:
yes the cyclops kitten is real. At first it was believed to be a hoax but a vet examined its remains and said the story was true.
vellos on June 27, 2011:
Very disturbing. But that's Mother Nature!
Penny Skinner (author) on December 11, 2010:
I decided to move the kitty off the first page, just in case people want a little more warning before seeing the more physically abnormal animals.
Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on August 02, 2010:
What a beautiful squirrel! But the cyclops kitty was something I did not need to see. Ugh. Interesting subject!
fucsia on July 22, 2010:
Before prenatal diagnosis , also our children could be born with major anomalies, I saw, for example, a picture in a medical book of a cyclops child . So I think that this can happen in the animal world
Daniel from USA on June 25, 2010:
thats terrible, I cant believe that actually happens to some animals
Penny Skinner (author) on June 25, 2010:
It is a case I intend to look into more when I have time. I believe it is a kitten with a cyclops defomrity. Deformities that severe are almost aways lethal.
Daniel from USA on June 25, 2010:
is that cyclops really real?