Surprising animal cousins

Surprising animal cousins

Hippopotamus and dolphins
Believe it or not, the hippopotamus shares an ancestor with dolphins and other cetaceans including whales and porpoises.

Red Panda and racoon
Considering its name is red ‘panda’ you would think that this cutie is a type of panda. However, red pandas are in a genus of its own, called Ailurus. It’s closest relatives are the Musteloidea superfamily which makes it cousins with weasels, skunks and this cute raccoon.

Tapir and rhinoceros
You might not have ever heard of the tapir, which are an endangered species living in forests of Central and South America and Southeast Asia. It looks like a pig but its closest cousins are actually rhinoceros.

Elephant and dugong
You may have thought that elephants are related to rhinos but their closest cousins include dugongs and manatees.

Guinea pig and capybara
Did you know your cute guinea pig friend has a giant cousin? It’s called a capybara and is the largest rodent in the world.

Seal and bear
Seals are actually related to bears. If you take a close look you will find that seals and bears have similar bone structure and both have five non-retractable claws on each foot.

Platypus and echidna
Our famous Aussie animals, the platypus and echidna are not just neighbours but cousins too. They are both monotremes, meaning they are mammals which lay eggs.

Sloth and armadillo
Hands up if you thought a sloth was related to monkeys. We did too, but this critter’s closest relation is actually the armadillo.

Okapi and giraffe
The striking okapi look like they are straight from the zebra family tree but they are actually more closely related to giraffes.

Coelacanth and humans
A coelacanth (see-la-kanth) is a prehistoric marine animal which was thought to be extinct. While it looks and swims like other bony fish it is actually more closely related to land animals, including mammals, reptiles, birds and humans!

Read more at Better Homes and Gardens

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