Sarawak – Home to Many Weird and Wonderful Creatures
Over 200 species of mammals, more than 400 types of birds, around 100 amphibians and nearly 400 species of fish make their home in Borneo, many endemic to Sarawak. Sarawak’s biodiversity provides an ideal environment for a variety of species to thrive and as time passes, more animals are discovered. While the rainforests provide shelter and sustenance to these extraordinary creatures, they are just as important to their habitat. Every animal is an integral part of the ecosystem in Sarawak and has its unique role to play. To make an inclusive list of the unique animals of Sarawak and their ecological duties would be a monumental task, so we will take a look at a few of the most fascinating creatures that grace the rainforests of Sarawak.
Mammals Living in Sarawak
The critically endangered Sunda clouded leopard is one of the most beautiful large cats in the world. This leopard is secretive and solitary and uses its climbing skills to hide. Bornean orangutans are of the most intelligent primates in the world. An interesting fact is that these strong and majestic animals share about 97% of their DNA with humans.
Proboscis monkeys share their habitat with the orangutans but not that much of their DNA, or their looks. These monkeys have abnormally large noses and tummies and frequently feature in lists that involve strange or even ugly looking animals. Despite the size of their abdomens and extremities, proboscis monkeys are excellent swimmers and can swim as deep as 65 feet underwater. Another native not known for good looks is the Bornean bearded pig. This pig has a distinctive beard of whiskers above its snout and is often seen following troupes of monkeys and feasting on the leftovers they drop from the trees.
Cold Blooded Citizens of Sarawak
The unique Mulu flying frog is found only in Sarawak and is one of three species of flying frog in Borneo. It is tiny and has bright green skin at night that changes to brown when the sun rises. The reason why this transforming amphibian is called a flying frog is because it is able to glide for some distance because of the aerodynamic flaps of skin along its legs and arms. Besides flying frogs, Sarawak is also home to the very first lungless frog discovered in the world. The Bornean flat headed frog does not need lungs because it breathes through its skin. Its flatter shape provides a larger surface through which to absorb oxygen as well as giving the frog an aerodynamic shape.
Another creature with an unusual shape is the stick insect and in Sarawak these creatures can grow to around 60cm, and possibly even bigger. Not much is known about these extraordinary insects as only three specimens have ever been found. Other extremely rare creatures in Sarawak are its slugs. Several rare species have been discovered existing in high altitudes in leafy forests, including colourful and strangely shaped species. One type is bright yellow and green and another has a very long tail – three times the length of its head. This particular slug wraps its tail around itself while it is resting as though it has its very own coat or blanket.
The list of unique and interesting animal species in Sarawak vast and it regularly expands. The region is one of the most bio diverse and interesting places on earth.