13 Animals That Even Scientists Know Very Little About

There are so many different species in the world and scientists are constantly discovering new ones. Some of these are hard to research thanks to their habitat and environment. Here are 13 animals that even scientists know very little about. 

Goblin Shark

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National Geographic Kids writes, “These pink animals can grow 12 feet long and weigh up to 460 pounds. They have narrow snouts and fanglike teeth. Spotted mostly off the coast of Japan, they’re named for their likeness to mythical goblins that appear in Japanese folklore.” As they live at the bottom of the ocean, scientists don’t know that much about them. 

Mata Mata Turtle

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Mata mata turtles are known for their large, flattened heads and for having a horn on their snout. They’re found in freshwater areas in South America, preferring rivers and lakes to the ocean. What scientists have discovered is that mata mata turtles are ambush predators and rely on their camouflage to catch prey. 

Superb Bird-of-Paradise 

Superb bird-of-paradise
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One thing scientists do know about these birds is that females have a unique mating call to attract mates. This mating call is important because there’s a significantly lower number of female birds compared to males, which can make mating difficult. Males can be identified by their different colored feathers, compared to the more muted female ones.

Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko 

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These geckos have incredible camouflage, with their bodies being able to mimic the different appearances of leaves. Only found in Madagascar, the satanic leaf-tailed gecko’s habitat is under threat due to deforestation and human encroachment. Scientists have conducted little research on this species, which is why little is known about them.

Alligator Gar 

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This species can grow up to eight feet and has a prehistoric look thanks to its long snout and sharp teeth. They’re usually found in fresh water in the southeastern United States. They have hard scales that act as a way to protect them. Even though they have ‘alligator’ in their name, this species is considered part of the fish family.  

Blue Sea Dragon 

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The blue sea dragon floats on the surface of the ocean and is pulled by currents. They can be identified by their blue and silver features, which allow them to be camouflaged from predators by the ocean. They’re known to be highly venomous and should be left alone. 

Frill-necked Lizard 

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These lizards can be found in Australia and New Guinea. Little research has been done on these lizards, but scientists have figured out that their necks expand into a frill when they feel threatened. Their diet mainly consists of insects and small animals. 

Long-Wattled Umbrellabird 

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These birds are usually identified by their long wattle, which is used as a way of displaying courtship. Long-wattled umbrellabirds are found in humid places such as the Andes of Colombia and Ecuador. They’re considered threatened birds due to the destruction of their habitat. 


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According to the WWF, the vaquita was only discovered around half a century ago, which is why little is known about them. However, we may never know much, as they’re already on the brink of extinction thanks to fishing in the Gulf of Mexico on California’s side. 


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The axolotl can be found in freshwater lakes in Mexico. The species is considered endangered due to its loss of habitat, which will be due to climate change and pollution. They’re a type of salamander that doesn’t go through metamorphosis, where they become land animals. Scientists are still unsure of the reasoning behind this. 

Dumbo Octopus 

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This species of octopus was named after Disney’s Dumbo thanks to its ear-like fins. They’re found at depths of 13,000 feet, which is why it’s so difficult for scientists to conduct research on them. For example, not much is known about their cycle of life or reproductive habits. 


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Native to New Zealand, this flightless parrot is also nocturnal. For example, the BBC Science Focus writes, “Among its nocturnal adaptations are special whisker-like facial feathers for feeling in the dark, a highly developed sense of smell, and a unique musky odor that helps the birds keep track of one another.” 

Ocean Sunfish (Mola Mola) 

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This fish is known for being one of the heaviest in the world. It has big bones, a large head, and a round body. It’s commonly found in tropical waters around the world, as it prefers warmer temperatures. It’s known for being a clumsy fish, which has left many scientists questioning its survival.

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