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What animal looks different in real life to what you expected?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Grant Rhino, 20 Jun 2015.

  1. Grant Rhino

    Grant Rhino Well-Known Member

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    I recently saw a numbat in a zoo for the first time in my life. Of course I knew what a numbat was, and had seen photos of them, but what really surprised me was how small it was (I expected them to be quite a lot bigger).

    On the same day, my son said that he thought Tasmanian Devils would be bigger than they are.

    What animal have you seen in a zoo that is bigger or smaller or different in any way to what you expected?
     
  2. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    I saw a Talapoin for the first time a couple of months ago and it was much smaller than I expected.
     
  3. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    The first time I saw an aye-aye, it was larger than I expected it to be. It is about the size of a cat, but I have read various texts saying it is 'diminutive'.

    The first platypus I saw was smaller than I expected it to be.
     
  4. Pleistohorse

    Pleistohorse Well-Known Member

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    Musk Ox are a bit smaller than I thought.
     
  5. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    What animal..?

    As a very small child, I thought mice would be about rabbit size, maybe bigger. Gobsmacked when I saw my first one.
     
  6. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    Musk ox spring to mind immediately, I was just baffled by how small they were compared to what I expected. It took several years to get used to their actual size....

    On the other hand I expected sickle-billed vanga to be a large sun bird size, where they are over twice that size.....
     
  7. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Cape clawless otters were much larger than I expected.

    Alan
     
  8. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    takin were much bigger than I expected.
     
  9. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    AyeAye is a classic example of a species one expects to be smaller than it is. I had presumed it was squirrel-sized and the first one I ever saw (in a museum) was quite a shock, being much bigger than I expected. I was really surprised by it.

    Generally speaking I think our expectations lean toward thinking some species we aren't familiar with are larger than they really are. More seem like that than the other way around. I used to think a Wryneck was thrush-sized or bigger, whereas its tiny. On the other hand, adult male European Otters can be really big and bulky animals, larger than I had imagined.

    Many people unfamiliar with the actual animal, tend to think Platypus is larger than it really is, I think. Museum specimens of the Thylacine too, nearly always prove it in reality to be rather a smaller animal than one might expect from old photos, the literature etc. But as Chlidonias said, on the other hand, the Takin is a good example of an animal being bigger than might have originally been thought too.
     
  10. Crowthorne

    Crowthorne Well-Known Member

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    Fossas are very much smaller than I expected
     
  11. Grant Rhino

    Grant Rhino Well-Known Member

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    They look a lot bigger in the old photos because people were generally smaller back then and people are in the photos with them. In the photos they (the thylacines) are also usually dead and strung up too - which extends their body size out...

    And I agree - they are much smaller than people expect.
     
  12. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    Aardvarks for me, I don't know how big I thought they were but seeing one in the flesh threw me completely! Also never expecyed warthogs to be as large as they are, probably due to The Lion King!

    And as a very young child I expected wolverines to be roughly the size of a small bear, boy was I shocked when I saw one in a nature documentary a couple of years later! :p
     
    Last edited: 20 Jun 2015
  13. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Both very true observations.;) In the 'trophy' shots they are either stretched by hanging down, or laterally to make them look as impressive as possible. And yes, in the old zoo shots with people in them, smaller folk equals larger -looking animals.
     
  14. Thaumatibis

    Thaumatibis Well-Known Member

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    California sea lions are bigger than I expected up close.

    ~ Thaumatibis
     
  15. Merintia

    Merintia Well-Known Member

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    I was surprised when I saw my first Aardvark and North American Porcupine, both species were much bigger than I expected.
    On the other hand, Amazon River Dolphin was smaller than I imagined.
     
  16. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    When I saw a elephant for the first time in a few years, I was shocked at how large their heads are compared to the size of the rest of their bodies.

    The reason I hadn't seen any in a few years is because I went through a period of time when I stopped liking zoos as much as I do now.
     
  17. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    Golden lion tamarin. As a kid, I saw them in a book, then went to look for them at the zoo. WAY tinier than I expected!
     
  18. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

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    Aardwolfs I expected to be size of African painted dogs and boy was I in for a shock!
     
  19. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

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    Camels always surprise me with how tall they are. It's my understanding that they are taller than horses, which catches me off-guard because I always imagine riding mounts as being roughly horse-sized.

    When I visited the Georgia Aquarium, the whale sharks were slightly less impressive than I imagined, but still bigger than anything else I've come close to. The manta rays, however, were surprisingly large themselves; bigger than a human being, and that much is obvious even from a distance!
     
  20. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Walrus are huge creatures. I originally imagined something Sealion sized.