Pets

Slimy, spiky and slightly unsightly: 18 of the weirdest animals on Earth

March 6, 2014 at 12:35 PM ET

The United Nations General Assembly chose March 3 as World Wildlife Day, and as the end of the week approaches, we still find ourselves marveling at just how crazy cool planet Earth can be.

From the canopies of the rain forest to the extreme depths of the ocean, jaw-dropping creatures are surviving, new species are hiding, and animals considered critically endangered are coming back from the brink. Check out this slideshow of bizarre animals to see what we're talking about:

MEXICAN AXOLOTL
Stephen Dalton
From red-lipped fish to leaf-nosed bats, see 18 of the most bizarre members of the animal kingdom.

Did you forget to throw a wild party on World Wildlife Day? Don't despair: You can celebrate on May 16, when we observe Endangered Species Day!

Samantha Okazaki is a multimedia editor for TODAY.com.

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