From unusual reproductive practices to surviving in hostile habitats and being immortal, our world has plenty of tiny creatures that confound biologists. Here’s the strangest part. Almost all the beasts featured here are missing the vital Hox genes that arrange bodies from head to toe, or nose to tail. They’re also missing lots of bones. Who needs X-Men’s Wolverine when you have immortal jellyfish and infallible tardigrades, prehistoric frogs and swamp-dwelling fish?
Here’s our own version of Newt Scamander’s “textbook” Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Our story is full of creatures as weird and wonderful as the Plimpy or the Shrake. The only difference is, the animals you will find here are real.
Drift over the map and find the tiny, weird beasts of Asia.
Vinita was an editor and writer at Kontinentalist. She has previously worked at Wildlife Reserves Singapore and co-founded an NGO to represent survivors of genocide in Cambodia before the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. She enjoys her daughter's animated babbling; swimming in oceans; Hindu mythology; ancient temple ruins; social justice and punk rock.