5 Unusual animals that will make you say “awww”

The bilby is a lesser known creature, looking like a mixture between a rat and a bunny.

Wayne Lawler/AWC

The bilby is a lesser known creature, looking like a mixture between a rat and a bunny.

Maci Jacobs, Feature Editor

There are animals all over the planet that are scarce thoughts in people’s minds. Hardly anyone knows they even exist.

These animals can be ferocious or absolutely adorable. Here’s a list of five of my personal favorites. 


Meaning “earth wolf,” the aardwolf is actually not part of the Canidae family. While it does look more foxy, this animal is considered to be part of the hyena family, Hyaenidae.

They have large ears, small eyes, and whiskers. Aardwolves don’t necessarily have a large color spectrum. Usually, they appear dark black or brown, or light brown, and often have irregular shaped stripes on their legs.

These cute little mammals are native to east and south Africa. 


A bilby is a rare creature found in the desert; it mostly looks like a cross between a rabbit and an opossum or a very large rat. Centered in Australia, these furballs are most well known for their big ears and their silky gray fur. 

This little guy has a more commonly said name, you might’ve heard them mentioned as “rabbit bandicoot.” 

He is the idol for Easter in Australia, taking the place of the representative who is etched into our childhood minds as Peter Rabbit. 

Ili Pika

Researchers believe that there are less than 1,000 of Ili Pikas, so you can imagine how rare it is to catch a glimpse of one. They are known locally as “Magic Rabbits,” primarily because of how little they are seen. 

These small animals are super adorable, and Ili Pikas have the face of a teddy bear with rabbit ears. They’re herbivores, munching on grass, mountain herbs, and other plants. 

They spend most of their time hiding out in rocks, only being captured by camera traps set up in their known habitats.

Raccoon dogs

Despite their name, and the uncanny resemblance, these tall fluff balls are actually nowhere near related to raccoons or dogs!

They’re actually most closely related to foxes. 

Raccoon Dogs are an important item in Japanese folklore culture. Statues decorate homes, they’re most known for shape-shifting, joyfulness, and mischievousness.


These cat-like creatures look almost like a seal. Their thick, long tails are used just as any other cat’s tail, but I suppose you could say this one has a little extra balance since their average sizes for their tails are about half the size of their body, or 30 inches long!

They love to climb, that’s one thing they do most; they hide out in trees. Fossas are popular in Madagascar.

Madagascar praises these stalking animals and gives them the highlight of being villains.