31. New Mexico: Gemsbok
The Gemsbok (aka Oryx gazelle) is a large antelope of striking appearance with long, spearlike horns. It has a thick, horselike neck with a short mane and a compact, muscular body. A defined pattern of black markings that contrast with the white face and fawn-colored body are prominently displayed in dominance rituals to emphasize the length of horns and strength of the shoulder.
The head is marked with black triangular patches and broad black stripes that extend from the base of the horns over the eyes to the cheeks. A ring of black encircles the throat and runs down the neck to the chest. The ears end in a black tip (a black tassel hangs from the ear tip of the fringe-eared oryx).
A narrow black stripe runs along the spine, and another one separates the lower flank from the white underparts of the body. The white forelegs have a black ring above the knee and a black patch below. The black tail tassel reaches to the hocks.
The oryx’s ringed horns are up to 30 inches long, making them formidable ᴡᴇᴀᴘᴏɴs. The female’s horns are often longer and thinner than the male’s.
32. New York: Seneca white deer
For years, rumors have circulated about the strange herd of white deer living in the former Seneca Army Depot in Seneca County, New York. Many people have speculated that the “ᴀʟʙɪɴᴏ” breed of deer were freak-ᴀᴄᴄɪᴅᴇɴᴛs in an army experiment gone wrong. Others have attributed the animals’ appearance to an underground supply of ʀᴀᴅɪᴏᴀᴄᴛɪᴠᴇ military ᴡᴇᴀᴘᴏɴs. Neither of these rumors, however, are true.
The white deer were first spotted around 1941, when the U.S. Army fenced off 24 square miles of land for the Seneca Army Depot, a ᴍᴜɴɪᴛɪᴏɴs storage site. Under the protection of the security fencing, the deer population thrived – and, along with it, a recessive-ɢᴇɴᴇ for white coloration. Though the animals appeared to be ᴀʟʙɪɴᴏ, they were, in fact, White-tailed deer who carried the recessive-ɢᴇɴᴇ for an all-white coat.
As the white deer population proliferated through the 1950s, the U.S. Army decided to protect the unique herd. Aiding in the process of artificial selection, a depot commander managed the brown deer population through ʜᴜɴᴛing and forbade GI’s from sʜᴏᴏᴛing any white deer. Since then, the white deer population has grown to approximately 300, making it the largest herd of white deer in the world.
33. North Carolina: Glass lizard
Glass lizard, also called glass snake, any lizard of the genus Ophisaurus in the family Anguidae, so named because the tail is easily broken off. The Eastern glass lizard, Ophisaurus ventralis, occurs in southeastern North America and grows to about 105 cm (41 inches). Together, the lizard’s head and body account for only 30 to 35 percent of its total length. It has no legs but is easily distinguished from a snake by its ears, movable eyelids, nonexpandable jaws, and the fact that the scales on the lower and upper sides of the body are of equal size. It closely resembles the slender glass lizard, O. attenuatus, which has a broader distribution in southeastern North America northwestward into the upper Mississippi River valley. Unlike O. ventralis, which has a broad band along each lower side, O. attenuatus has narrow dark lines.
34. North Dakota: Spotted skunk
Spotted skunks are largely nocturnal, medium-sized omnivores in the weasel family (Mustelidae). Skunks are about the size of house cats, and have distinctive black and white fur patterns. Skunks detected in the Great Lakes region are usually striped skunks, as only 6 spotted skunks have been detected in the last 20 years despite intensive efforts. Spotted skunks have a more complicated pattern of spots and broken lines, while striped skunks have two white stripes running from head to tail.
35. Ohio: Lamprey
Lamprey, any of about 43 species of primitive fishlike jawless vertebrates placed with hagfishes in the class Agnatha. Lampreys belong to the family Petromyzonidae. They live in coastal and fresh waters and are found in temperate regions around the world, except Africa. The eel-like, scaleless animals range from about 15 to 100 centimetres (6 to 40 inches) long. They have well-developed eyes, one or two dorsal fins, a tail fin, a single nostril on top of the head, and seven gill openings on each side of the body. Like the hagfishes, they lack bones, jaws, and paired fins. The skeleton of a lamprey consists of cartilage; the mouth is a round sucking aperture provided with horny teeth.
36. Oklahoma: Ringtail
The Ringtail is a member of the Procyonidae family and about the size of a ferret. The tail is long and bushy with alternating black and white buffy rings. The upper body is long and buff, pale brown with a lighter underbelly. They have large black eyes, surrounded by white rings of fur, tall oval-like ears, set wide apart, and short legs with semi-retractable claws. Ringtails are a solitary species, meeting only for the purpose of reproduction and they’re excellent climbers capable of ascending vertical walls, trees, rocky cliffs and even cacti. Ringtails are nocturnal, but they may be active in daylight hours during the reproduction season.
37. Oregon: Porcupine
When sitting hunched high up in a tree, a porcupine could be mistaken for the nest of a squirrel or a crow, but close to the ground it is easily recognized. It has a short, blunt-nosed face with small eyes. The ears are small and round, almost concealed by the hair, which also covers the spines. The shoulders are humped, making the back look arched. The short legs are bowed, and the animal stands bear-like with its entire foot planted firmly on the ground. The claws are long and curved. On the hind feet the first digit is replaced by a broad movable pad that allows the animal to grasp branches more firmly when climbing. The muscular tail is thick, short, and rounded at the tip.
38. Pennsylvania: American paddlefish
Paddleﬁsh have skeletons comprised of cartilage, not bone, like sharks. Paddlefish are filter feeders and feed by swimming through open water with their mouths open and allowing their close-set gill rakers to capture their microscopic food. There is only one other species of paddleﬁsh in the world and this is the Chinese paddleﬁsh or Psephurus gladus, which is found in Asia and can grow up to 300cm (9 ft., 10 in.). There have been reports of paddleﬁsh living for 55 years. Large specimens have been reported to weigh as much as 199 kg. (438 lbs., 11.5 oz. and reach 221 cm in total length ( 7 ft. 3 in. in length). The eggs of an adult female paddleﬁsh can easily weigh 9.1 kg (20 lbs.) or more.
39. Rhode Island: Northern snakehead
The northern snakeheads are primarily freshwater fish and are most commonly found in ponds, lakes, streams and rivers. However, snakeheads are highly resilient to changes in salinity, temperature and diet, and can flourish in a wide variety of habitats. They can live out of water for up to four days if kept moist and will lie dormant in mud during ᴅʀᴏᴜɢʜᴛs.
The northern snakehead’s elongated body grows to 33 inches in length. It has tan, dark brown or black coloring with a mottled, snake-like pattern. Its long dorsal fin runs along most of its back. It has a large mouth with a protruding lower jaw and many teeth. Young snakeheads may be golden brown or pale gray, darkening as they grow older.
40. South Carolina: Sheepshead fish
Sheepshead fish looks like a ɢᴇɴᴇtic experiment gone wrong thanks to its human teeth. A Scientific American blog post explains that fully-grown convict fish—a nickname inspired by the distinctive black bars running down their silvery bodies—have well-defined incisors at the front of their jaw, multiple rows of molars, and strong grinders at the back. As with humans, this unique combination of choppers allows them to bite into armored prey like clams, crabs, and barnacles.