Did you know that some of the most eye-catching animals can be found in Asia? That’s right, the world’s biggest continent is home to a huge variety of creatures.
From majestic eagles to giant bats, here are a few of our favourites!
You might know this one as the star of the movie Turning Red. The red panda is an adorable mammal, native to China and the Himalayas. With red and brown fur and cat-like ears, it looks more like a raccoon than a panda.
In parts of China and India, red panda fur is considered lucky. Which means the red panda can be highly sought after. But in an effort to reduce poaching, or illegal hunting, many red panda habitats are now protected.
This animal isn’t actually a fox that flies. But it’s easy to understand how it got that name. A flying fox is a type of bat, called a “megabat,” because of its huge size. But don’t let that scare you. They mostly eat fruit, which is why they’re also known as “fruit bats.”
Still, their giant size has led to many horror stories about flying monsters. One of the biggest species of megabat is the giant golden-crowned flying fox. Native to the Philippines, it has the widest wingspan of any bat — up to one and a half metres. That’s as big as some people! Good thing they only eat fruit!
The pangolin is a unique mammal found in Asia and Africa. It’s known for its overlapping scales that look a bit like medieval armour. When threatened, the pangolin curls up into an armoured ball and looks like a giant pine cone.
It’s the only mammal in the world known to have this kind of protective armour. Sadly, that makes it vulnerable to poaching. But on the bright side, conservation efforts have increased and the pangolin is now protected from extinction.
This might be one of the silliest-looking monkeys in the world! The proboscis (say “pro-baw-skiss”) monkey can be identified by its long nose and bright coat. Proboscis actually means nose, and is how the animal got its name. The males tend to have large, bulbous noses. The females have smaller, more upturned noses. They can be seen in parts of Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.
Despite being one of the biggest monkey species, the proboscis monkey is generally peaceful. They even get along with monkeys of other species.
The Philippine eagle
The Philippine eagle is native to, you guessed it, the Philippines!
It’s the biggest eagle in the world in terms of wingspan. From end to end, their average wingspan is around two metres! That’s as big as a cougar! At that size, it’s no surprise they can hunt anything from monkeys to flying foxes.
It has a beautiful crest that looks like a crown. They are known locally as haribon, meaning “king bird.” These birds mate for life, and have one chick that they raise to adulthood.
Though considered the national bird of the Philippines, it’s critically endangered. There are only a few hundred left in the world.