By Chelsea on March 12, 2018
As Guy Boas put it in his hilarious poem, "The Vet," "To be a successful and competent vet / Needs a knowledge exceedingly wide! For each of the patients, he's likely to get / Possesses a different inside."
Mr. Boas was indeed onto something; there are literally hundreds of thousands of species on this planet, and almost nobody knows all of them. There are so many that naturalists had to develop whole systems for classifying, recognizing, and distinguishing them. This is called taxonomy, and it's the job of making sure all living things are clearly understood and placed within the tree of life.
Animals are only one branch of the great tree, and that branch splits again into many different sub-branches. Animals are ranked with those that are most like them genetically, those with whom they share a common ancestor, and those with whom they share specific characteristics, such as being warm-blooded or cold-blooded, bearing live young or laying eggs, reproducing sexually or not, and so on.
Among all of these neatly labeled creatures are some animals so weird and wonderful that you'd assume they hailed from mythology? But they're real, and we're here to test whether you can recognize them... from a single shot!