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11 Animals That Prove Mother Nature Doesn't Mess Around

And all we got were these lousy THUMBS.

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1. Tasmanian devil and its deadly bite.

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Although this little fella looks cute and cuddly, he's anything but. The Tasmanian devil has a mighty fierce temper, and with those sharp teeth, it's got the strongest bite-force of any mammal of its size. Bud, you don't wanna mess with the Tasmanian devil. So watch your butt.

2. Spotted hyena aka The Bone Crusher.

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The spotted hyena earns its super-cool nickname not because it's in a cool musical street gang (which it is), but because of its ability to crack and crush bone with its teeth! As if that weren't cool enough, it can also quickly swallow an entire carcass — bones and all. Yummo!

3. Babirusa and its gnarly teeth.

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Bet you thought those were horns, huh? Nope! They're teeth, and this guy clearly needs to brush. The babirusa has these long upper canines that grow directly up through the top of the skull and out through the skin on the snout. It uses the canines for display and in fights against mating-season rivals. So, you know, just like humans when our wisdom teeth come in!

4. Chinese pangolin's sharp edges and stinky defenses.

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If you're planning a surprise party for your friend the pangolin, you might want to reconsider. When frightened, pangolins roll into a ball and erect their scales into sharp blades using muscles in their skin. Like skunks, they can also target attackers (or surprise-party planners) with jets of foul-smelling liquid. Surprise!

5. Nocturnal tarsier's hypnotic eyes.

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The nocturnal tarsier is known for smiling and winking at bugs to make them feel at ease...and then eating them when their guard is down. Just kidding! Its eyes may not have magical hypnotic properties, but they are the same volume as its brain and happen to be the largest eyes relative to body size of any mammal. The better to see you with, indeed.

6. Aye-aye's crazy smarts and hearing abilities.

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Don't you just hate hunting for insect larvae? It's the worst! Well, not for this bizarre nightmare creature! With its highly evolved brain, the aye-aye has developed a complex strategy that uses its sensitive hearing and elongated, wiry middle fingers to tap on tree branches to locate (and enjoy) those tasty insect larvae.

7. Gray whale and its monstrous hunger.

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Gray whales spend the summer hanging out in polar oceans, packing on fat by eating about 375,000 pounds of small sea creatures. The whale in the photo probably wishes it had saved room for dessert.

8. Bats...lots and lots of bats.

Bats are the only mammals that *truly* fly. And there's...a lot of bats out there. In fact, among the more than 5,400 living species of mammals, about 1,100 are bats. Wow! You know what? Good for them. They look like little winged teddy bears. The more the merrier.

9. Aardvark and its late-night snacking habits.

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Aardvarks spend their nights digging around for termites, using their giant footlong tongues to scoop them up — sometimes eating 40,000 in one meal. Hey bud, how 'bout you save some termites for the rest of us? Greedy.

10. Sloth, breaking land-speed records left and right.

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All right everyone, just CALM DOWN, okay? We all know that sloths are arguably the cutest animals alive and that they're super slow. But do you know just how slow they are? Well, on land, they might only cover about 165 feet in an hour — which is just a little more than half the length of a soccer field!

11. Platypus and its sixth sense.

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The platypus is equipped with a sort of sixth sense called electroreception, which allows it to detect the electric currents that small animals emit from every movement and heartbeat. It can also tell when you're lying. So stop lying so much, liar!

The Extreme Mammals Exhibit at the Natural History Museum has tons (literally! tons!) more animals that prove Mother Nature really doesn't mess around. Check it out May 14–September 10, and bring the kids!

All facts provided by The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.