Seldom-Seen Species

Animal characters in fiction run the gamut. Just a look at the listing in Animal Stereotypes shows that there are plenty of common enough animals that are used for their distinctive traits (presumed or real).

Then there's the Seldom Seen Species — that is, a species that, once you see it, makes you think, "Hey, you don't usually see that animal!" In some cases, this may be a forced attempt to avoid the countless existing Animal Stereotypes.

Some animals, such as monkeys, songbirds, and frogs, are usually represented by a generic or nondescript variant of the type of animal as opposed to an actual species of that type of animal. In that case, portraying an actual species of that type of animal would count if that actual species isn't commonly used in fiction.

This trope is a Cyclic Trope because some species are more seldom seen in the media of some cultures, in certain forms of media, and in some time periods and than others. For example, red pandas are common in Furry Fandom artwork, but are seldom seen in other fictional works and media.

Many of the older examples of this trope look and act little (if not nothing) like their Real Life equivalents.

Examples of this trope should be species that are still seldom seen in media these days. Examples of older works that show species that were seldom seen in media at the time of the work's release, but not that seldom seen now are also allowed.

Contrast Small Taxonomy Pools.


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  • There are the two meerkats from Compare the Meerkat, Alexandr and Sergei. Meerkats are related to mongooses, which have enjoyed moderate fame in Western culture over the past century and a half thanks to Rudyard Kipling's short story "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi." If a mongoose shows up, expect it to be creepy or even "evil" - even though Rikki himself was a good example of Dark Is Not Evil.
  • The GEICO Gecko.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Four of the five main characters of Tokyo Mew Mew are actually infused with the DNA of an Irimote cat, an Ultramarine Lorikeet, a Finless Porpoise, and a Golden Lion Tamarin respectively. The idea is that, as these are all endangered species, their desire to continue living is what gives the girls their powers. The fifth is the somewhat more common wolf.note  Also, a character introduced for the video game gets her powers from the DNA of a Humboldt Penguin.
  • Dinosaur King has numerous lesser-known dinosaurs such as Mapusaurus and Amargasaurus.
  • Shirokuma Cafe:
    • One of the recurring characters is a tamandua, a type of anteater.
    • A tapir and a sea cow appeared in episode 3.
    • The editor of a local food magazine is a shoebill.
    • Episode 19 introduces King Penguin, the 3 members of genus Pygoscelis (Adelie, Chinstrap, and Gentoo), and Tree Kangaroo.
    • Lesser Panda from Episode 20 and then on.
    • Mr. Crested Serpent Eagle from episode 29.
    • The alligator who called Panda delicious is a black caiman.
    • Prairie dogs and ring-tailed lemurs work in the cafe gardens.
    • The Yama Arashi consists of different types of porcupines, and capybaras assist with the music.
    • The local animal doctor from Episode 46 is a tarsier.
  • Azumanga Daioh:
    • Chiyo's dog Tadakichi-san is a Great Pyrenees. They're not particularly rare in real life but rarely appear in fiction.
    • In one episode Sakaki ends up befriending an Iriomote cub she calls "Mayaa", a rare type of wild cat native to the Iriomote island of Japan.
  • Cowboy Bebop has Ein the data dog, specifically a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
  • The Jungle Book has Kichi the red panda and Tabaqui the striped hyena (in contrast to most incarnations, where he is a jackal).
  • Anomalocaris has gained a certain degree of popularity in Japan; often depicted as a huge monster with four grasping appendages, such as in Bubblegum Crisis and Kamen Rider Double, or highly stylized, like Anorith in Pokémon and Scorpiomon/Anomalocarimon in Digimon.
    • Carisu Hime, the female main character in Cambrian Q Ts, is an anthropomorphic Anomalocaris.
  • Doraemon:
    • "Nobita's Dinosaur 2006" prominently featured a Futabasaurus named Piisuke. Alamosaurus, Maiasaura, Baptornis, and a giant ammonite appear as well.
    • "Nobita and the Island of Miracles—Animal Adventure" has rhinoceros beetles, Ceratogaulus, Chalicotherium, Elasmotherium, Gastornis, Glyptodon, Machairodus, Megatherium, moas, and Paraceratherium.
    • "New Nobita's Great Demon-Peko and the Exploration Party of Five" featured aardvarks as steeds for the humanoid dogs, a Congo peacock in the opening, red-crested turacos, a bushbaby, okapis, black-and-white colobus monkeys, a crowned crane, pangolins, bongo antelopes, African clawless otters, and great blue turacos. The rhinoceros that chases Gian in one scene looks more like a white rhino, as opposed to the more commonly used black rhino.
  • In CLANNAD, Sanae Furukawa mentions that her greatest fear is the Bengal monitor lizard. Her husband Akio talks Tomoya into dropping a toy one down her back. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya, the eponymous character transforms some pigeons into extinct passenger pigeons.
  • In Ginga Densetsu Weed, in the episode were GB accidentally infiltrates Hougen's pack, a white stoat is shown in the jaws of one of the Mooks.
  • K-On! has Ton the pig-nosed turtle.
  • Kimba the White Lion features many types of obscure African wildlife such as okapis, kudu, and dik-diks.
  • Fishmen and merpeople in One Piece are always based on and referred to by a species/type of fish or similar sea animal (i.e. a ray fishman). Some of them are quite rare in fictional works, like kissing gouramis, Japanese cat sharks, saw sharks, blue-ringed octopi and pike congers.
  • Jewelpet has Coal the capybara, a major character in the fourth season.
  • Cage of Eden is filled with extinct animals that you would not normally see in popular culture. In fact, the series doesn't even feature the iconic Mesozoic reptiles such as non-avian dinosaurs.
  • Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! has a wombat, which for audiences outside Australia is a rare sight. For those in Australia, the hedgehog would be a rare sight. In both cases, Goura's shoebill is rare. However, note that these animals are aliens who look like animals and function as Mentor Mascots to the MagicalGirl teams, zigzagging the trope.
  • Hanako from Massugu No Ikou is a Kishu, a Japanese breed of dog. When her boyfriend Mametarou learns this it only makes him feel worse about being a mix breed. Most of the other dogs are more frequently seen breeds like Shih Tzu's and Yorkie's.
  • Daikyouryu No Jidai featured trilobites, ammonites, Dunkleosteus, Eusthenopteron, Eryops, Archelon, Tylosaurus, Ornitholestes, Corythosaurus, Edaphosaurus, Protoceratops, Scolosaurus, placodonts, Nodosaurus, Gorgosaurus, Acanthopholis, Deltatheridium, Pliohippus, and Amebelodon.

  • This is another reason why William Wegman's works leave a strong impression on their viewers: they may have not even seen or heard of the Weimaraner breed beforehand.
  • Ursula Vernon is especially fond of illustrating animals that are not usually given focus, especially in a fantasy context, i.e. as an anthropomorphic warrior or sage. And she tends to use a wombat for self-insert works. See also Digger under Webcomics.

    Comic Books 
  • The Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog universe is full of this. Not the least of which are echidnas (most famously Knuckles), lynx (Nicole, Lightning Lynx, et al.) and mongooses (Mina and Ash). And with the reboot we can add pikas (Relic), bettas (Coral), water buffaloes (Axel), and pistol shrimp (as-yet unnamed character).
  • In Cerebus the Aardvark, aardvarks are not at all common, but have appeared enough times throughout Estarcion's history that it's not a cause for public wonder. That three aardvarks are running around at one time, on the other hand, is exceedingly rare.
  • The Belch Dimension Comics has Jason T. Gibbon (although slightly subverted in an "Untold Tales" segment when it's revealed he was once a boy turned into an ape by an evil spell). One story also featured a villain named The Cassowary, which series creator Jonathan M. Sweet was surprised wasn't used more, as this large flightless bird, with its bony skull-crest and large clawed foot,seemed "fairly made for supervillainy". Although naturally stylized to appear cartoonish, the series actually has fairly recognizable renderings of specific dog breeds, such as the beagle and the pit bull, unlike most comics and cartoons.

    Comic Strips 
  • B.C. has the Apteryx, a "wingless bird with hairy feathers," as he invariably introduces himself. Apteryx is the generic name for kiwis.
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Calvin has a fairly encyclopedic knowledge of animals, primarily dinosaurs. They also averted Stock Dinosaurs with Centrosaurus and Supersaurus (although it is referred to as "Ultrasaurus" and is depicted as a brachiosaurid).
    • He once asked if Hobbes could draw anything other than tigers, to which Hobbes replied, yes, he could also draw ocelots (slender, spotted wild cats from the jungles of Central and South America).
  • Pogo was the only ever possum leading man in an American comic.
  • Sherman's Lagoon has all sorts of obscure aquatic life.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea has rays, oarfish, coelacanths, bioluminescent squid, hagfish, flapjack octopi, anglers, sea slugs, trilobites, Opabinia, Dipnorhynchus, Bothriolepis, Gogonasus, etc.
  • You Are Umasou:
    • The film has a Chilantaisaurus, Avisaurus, Ornithocheirus, and titanosaurs. The film also prominently features Maiasaura, which is while a stock dinosaur hardly depicted in the media. Tylosaurus and Giganotosaurus make brief appearances as well, and Troodon are featured in the opening attacking the Maiasaura nesting grounds.
    • The second film distributed by Korea has a Pawpawsaurus named Kirari, as well as Kronosaurus and Tapejara.
  • The Lion King has several:
    • Timon, a rare example of a meerkat.
    • The sequel featured okapi, a close relative to the giraffe.
    • Zazu, another character, is actually a Red-Billed Hornbill who looks nothing like an actual hornbill and more like a toucan instead.
    • Hyenas gained quite a bit of fame after this movie, thanks to the memorable star turns by Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed. Prior to that, they had only been seen with any frequency as the pets of The Joker and Harley Quinn on Batman: The Animated Series (due to their "laughing", which, as every zoologist has confirmed, is not laughter at all).
    • The rodent Scar was tormenting during his introductory scene is actually a jerboa, judging by the tuft on its tail.
    • Meanwhile, Simba tormented a giant one-horned chameleon (with the horn exaggerated to make it look weirder, apparently).
    • The animals that go to pay respects to baby Simba include guineafowl and vervet monkeys.
    • Several background animals in the series include marabou storks, kudu, oryx, and topi.
    • The birds Timon and Pumbaa were trying to chase away in the second film are spotted thick-knees.
    • Sadly averted in the scene where Mufasa trains Simba to hunt. The animal Zazu falls over was supposed to be a naked mole rat and the sequence during the song "Just Can't Wait to be King" supposed to be aardvarks, but the exes didn't like it and was redesigned into a gopher and giant anteaters.
  • The Madagascar film franchise is full of this:
    • The entire franchise has three different types of lemur (ring-tailed lemur, mouse lemur and aye-aye).
    • The antagonists are the little known fossa preying on the lemurs.
    • Besides the three named lemur characters belonging to the above species, the lemurs appearing in the background belong to various other species. A tenrec also appears in one scene.
    • In the sequel, aside from the typical African fauna, there are some dik-dik antelopes.
    • The Valentines special Madly Madagascar features an okapi as Marty's love interest. Ironic, since Melman the Giraffe was originally going to be an okapi, but the directors wanted to use a more familiar animal.
    • The Penguins of Madagascar (TV series with the eponymous penguins and the three lemurs) features a poison-dart frog, leopard seals, and a rockhopper penguin. It also has Marlene, an Asian small-clawed otter. The episode "Endangerous Species" makes references to extinct birds Waitaha penguin and laughing owl.
    • In Penguins of Madagascar (spin-off movie also starring the penguins), the explosives expert of the North Wind is a harp seal named Short Fuse.
    • And then there's All Hail King Julien (spin-off on Netflix), which in addition to having the three lemurs, has another character who is a fanaloka (or Malagasy civet), and more fossa.
  • The background animals from the "Noah's Ark" segment from Fantasia 2000.
    • The "Rite of Spring" sequence from the original film featured hydras, annelids, trilobites, venus girdles, brittlestars, Pterichthyodes, eurypterids, ammonites, orthocones, Polypterus, Eustenopteron, Placochelys, Tylosaurus, Nothosaurus, Troodon (depicted as a predatory pachycephalosaur), Hallopus (depicted as a tree-climbing dinosaur), Plateosaurus, Kannemeyeria, Corythosaurus, Kritosaurus, Psittacosaurus, Dimorphodon, Chasmosaurus, and Ceratosaurus.
  • Dinosaur not only featured obscure dinosaurs (such as Iguanodon for the hero and Carnotaurus for the villain), but also modern Sifaka lemurs.
  • Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire featured coelacanths. (This also counts as a Genius Bonus, because in the year Atlantis was supposed to be set, the coelacanth was presumed to have been extinct for millions of years. Except, apparently, by the elderly Gentleman Adventurer who had two in his mansion's fish tank.)
  • Finding Nemo featured clownfish, regal tangs, moorish idols, yellow tangs, royal grammas, four-striped damselfish, cleaner shrimp, makos to make everything worse, an angler, moonfish, kelp gulls, eagle rays, longnose butterfly fish, flapjack octopi, and flounders. And speaking of Flounder...
  • This part of the song "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid:
    Oh, the newt plays the flute, the carp plays the harp
    The plaice plays the bass, and they sounding sharp
    The bass plays the brass, the chub plays the tub
    The fluke is the Duke of soul (yeah!)
    Oh, the ray he can play, the ling's on the strings
    The trout's rocking out, the blackfish he sings
    The smelt and the sprat they know where it's at
    And, oh hear that blowfish blow!
  • Aladdin introduces us to Abu the New World Monkey and Iago the red macaw. Rajah, meanwhile, is a fairly typical tiger.
    • Abu spends most of the first film as a female indian elephant.
      • Not necessarily a Gender Bender, actually. Some male elephants don't have tusks. In some populations of Asian elephants, only a small portion of males have them.
  • Averted in The Sword in the Stone. This is significant because Merlin and Mad Madame Mim spend the climax of the film taking turns transforming into very generic animals, except for when Madame Mim turns into a purple dragon.
  • Although not exactly cute in the ordinary sense (think Ugly Cute), the animals in Rango are not the typical animals you find in an animated movie about desert animals. Cases include Priscilla the oddly adorable, yet misplaced aye-aye (according to Word of God, although some people think she's a cactus mouse), Beans the Love Interest and desert iguana, and the burrowing owl mariachi band.
  • The different species of owls from Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. You have Gylfie the timid yet intelligent tiny Elf Owl, Twilight the street-smart Great Grey Owl, and Digger the fast-talking Burrowing Owl. In fact, the movie's plot is kick-started by the barn owls called the "Pure Ones" (in a not-so very subtle call to Nazi Aryanism) starting a race war against the other owls. An echidna and a Tasmanian devil also show up.
  • In Happy Feet, one can count several different types of penguins beyond the generic black and white ones seen in typical media. Mumble and Gloria are emperor penguins, the Latino-accented Plucky Comic Reliefs are Adelie penguins, and the guru voiced by Robin Williams is a Rockhopper penguin. Chinstrap Penguins and African Jackass Penguins are also seen briefly during Mumble's imprisonment in the marine animal exhibit. In addition to the penguins, there's the Nightmare Fuel-laden leopard seal, a herd of elephant seals, and a gang of skuas.
    • The sequel features two krill, one named Bill and one named Will.
  • Other than two of the main heroes (mammoth and saber-toothed cat or Smilodon), Ice Age and its two sequels were filled to the brim with prehistoric animals that went beyond the stock animals that is so nauseatingly typical in any other movie. You had Sid the Megalonyx or ground sloth, glyptodonts (salesman Fast Tony's sidekick who got eaten by the marine reptiles, Cretaceous the Metriorhynchus and Maelstrom the Globidens), the sad and farting chalicothere, gray trunked Moeritherium, the rhino-looking Brontops brothers who were harassing Sid in the first movie, long-necked and trunked Macrauchenia, a bulky Homotherium or scimitar-toothed cat as a member of Soto's pack, shovel-tusker Platybelodon, some Baptornis or hesperornithes, musk ox-like Euceratherium, and giant Gastornis birds. In the third movie, 'Dawn of the Dinosaurs', it showed that Buck is a pine marten and the giant butterfly is a Queen Alexandra Birdwing. It went beyond Stock Dinosaurs to include small stegosaurid Kentrosaurus, a pack of Troodon, Roger the Harpactognathus who served as an airborne mount for Buck and the possum brothers, a predatory flock of Pterodactylus, ravenous wolfish Guanlong, and a white Baryonyx named Rudy — Buck's eternal enemy and threat to the T. rex family.
    • The fourth film further contributes to this trope by featuring a colony of hyraxes, Big Bad Gutt the Gigantopithecus, Flynn the elephant seal, Silas the petrel, Pirate Girl Raz the Procoptodon (a short-faced kangaroo), a pod of narwhals, and Precious — Sid's grandmother's pet Livyatan melvillei.
    • The concept art showed more obscure animals that did not make it to the cut. Such species include an axolotl, Mamenchisaurus, Hyracotherium that were to be steeds for the hyraxes, and Paraceratherium.
    • The game app Ice Age Village brings several more, such as Pterodaustro and Cacops.
  • The Princess and the Frog featured spoonbills.
  • Tarzan showed ring tailed lemurs in mainland Africa, colobus monkeys, and a marabou stork.
  • The Jungle Book has Bagheera the black panther and Baloo the sloth bear. Shere Khan the tiger, Colonel Hathi and his herd of Indian elephants, King Louie the orangutan, and Kaa the python get special mention.
    • Jungle Cubs featured geladas (referred to as baboons), a mongoose, Indian rhinos, a babirusa, dholes, Asiatic cheetahs, a pangolin, striped hyenas, mugger crocodiles, and four-horned antelopes.
    • "Jungle Book 2" features macaques and ocelots.
  • The Three Caballeros featured umbrellabirds, boat-billed herons, fork-tailed flycatchers, curve-billed scythebills, yellow-chinned spinetails, horneros, and Andean condors.
    • And yes Disney fans, the Aracua or Speckled Chachalaca (called the Aracuan Bird in the film) is real... though like many of the older examples on this page, the real bird looks and acts nothing like its more famous animated equivalent.
  • Shifu the Red Panda and Tai Lung the snow leopard from Kung Fu Panda
    • Monkey is a golden langur as opposed to the familiar generic monkey.
    • The rhino prison guards look refreshingly more like Asian rhinos than the African white or black rhinos more often seen.
    • The tv series takes it and runs with it. Half the villains and several new good guys are all obscure chinese creatures.
    • The Big Bad of the second film is an indian peacock, and an albino one at that.
  • The Rescuers Down Under features a giant wedge-tailed eagle named Marahute.
    • As well as a goanna named Joanna. ("Goanna" is sort of a generic word for monitor lizards in Australia, since several species of monitor lizard do live there, but based on her size she's most likely a Perentie.)
  • Rio has a number of more obscure bird species, most prominently, the Spix's Macaw.
    • For bonus points, Spix's Macaw is a critically endangered species (fewer than 100 remain), meaning that it's literally seldom seen.
    • Besides obscure birds, there's also marmosets and a white-shouldered bat.
    • Rio 2 features capybaras, a tamandua anteater, a poison dart frog or what appears to be one, tapirs, squirrel monkeys, rheas, tamarins, hoatzins, tree porcupines, cock-of-the-rocks, Boto dolphins, arowanas, and caimans.
  • Epic shows that a mouse almost attacks MK, is a grasshopper mouse.
  • Babar: King of the Elephants has a marabou stork as The Narrator. Sacred ibises and cattle egrets also make background appearances.
  • Dumbo briefly featured striped hyenas.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie featured a frogfish.
  • The Powerpuff Girls Movie featured proboscis monkeys and Japanese macaques alongside the usual stock primates.
  • Zootopia has many secondary characters who qualify, including a fennec fox, honey badger, and gazelle.
  • Lilo & Stitch shows spinner dolphins, rather than the more well-known bottlenose dolphin.
  • Pocahontas has Flit the hummingbird.
  • ''Moana;; has Tamatoa, a giant coconut crab.
  • The Good Dinosaur features Thunderclap the Nyctosaurus. Also, Arlo is seen helping Butch and his family herd long horned bison.
  • Ferngully The Last Rainforest has a rapping goanna.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Jungle Book (2016) was full of (mostly Indian) species not often seen in cinema, such as nilgai, blackbuck, Indian rhinoceros, Indian pangolin, pygmy hog, Indian giant squirrel, jerboas, small Indian civet, red and white giant flying squirrel, Indian cobra, mugger crocodile, Indian cuckoo, hoopoe, Asian fairy-bluebird, and green bee-eater. King Louie's monkey underlings include some relatively obscure species, such as western hoolock gibbon, lion-tailed macaque, pig-tailed macaque, golden langur, and Nilgiri langur. King Louie himself is the extinct orangutan-like ape Gigantopithecus.
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks prominently featured a secretarybird.
  • In the most recent film of The Time Machine, one of the Eloi men is seen carrying a live black-furred animal over his shoulder, which appears to be a binturong.
  • Besides the usual chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans, Rise of the Planet of the Apes featured a bonobo named Koba as the Token Evil Teammate. He is promoted to Big Bad in the sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
  • The Syfy Channel's Malibu Shark Attack features goblin sharks, presumably because they look so bizarre.
  • Deep Blue Sea features mutant mako sharks, rather than the usual Great Whites.
  • Jurassic Park III features a Spinosaurus as the main antagonist. Much like with Velociraptor, Spinosaurus was obscure when the film was made and became one of the best-known dinosaurs after the release, although it is almost always based on the film's now outdated portrayalnote .
  • Indominus rex, the main antagonist of Jurassic World, is stated to be made from the DNA of cuttlefish and tree frogs. All There in the Manual states it also contains the genes of Therizinosaurus, Giganotosaurus, Carnotaurus, Rugops, and Majungasaurus.
  • The Big Year is a film (based on a nonfiction book of the same title, but fictionalised somewhat for the screen) about competitive birders trying to set a record for the most species seen in North America (north of Mexico, i.e. the continental United States and Canada) during one calendar year. Seldom-seen species are therefore the driving force of the whole plot: Nutting's Flycatcher, Xantus' Hummingbird, Pink-footed Goose, the list goes on and on...
  • Snakes on a Plane: One of the more distinctive motherfuckin' snakes on this motherfuckin' plane is a Gaboon viper.
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction showed a Psittacosaurus and a herd of heterodontosaurids in the opening scene.
  • T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous featured a pair of Dryptosaurus to associate with early 20th Century artist Charles R. Knight. For bonus points, they adopt the same pose as in his famous "Leaping Laelaps" painting.
  • Sandy from Annie (1982) is played by an Otterhound named Bingo. It's such an unknown breed that they can easily be mistaken for mutts, which is what Sandy is supposed to be.
  • Goodbye, My Lady is about a boy in rural Mississippi who finds a stray Basenji. Basenji are a rare breed in modern day media, nevermind in the 1950s.
  • The Mission features a tiny marmoset monkey instead of your typical South American monkey like capuchin or squirrel monkeys and a collared peccary which could easily be mistaken as a wild pig. Also, it features a three-toed sloth, who weren't as popular back in 1986, before the Internet days.

  • The owls in Harry Potter include some commonly-mentioned species, but also the lesser-known eagle owl and Scops owl. Similarly, lesser-known mythological creatures such as basilisks and Hippogriffs appear.
  • Redwall is known for focusing on the seldom used ends of the mustelid spectrum, such as stoats. Many major villains are the only ones of their kind seen in the entire series, Ublaz (pine marten) and Gulo (wolverine) in particular. There was even a wolf as a Posthumous Character (his skull is worn by the villain who calls himself the Foxwolf).
    • Strangely, rabbits. Despite there being many hare characters, there are only a few rabbits in all the books, none of them major characters.
  • Aralorn of Masques can turn herself into a mouse. As she works as a spy, she is diligent about using just the right species for the location, and has a rather impressive selection of subspecies to choose from. The only flying animal she can turn herself into is a goose, not your typical shapeshifter choice, either.
  • Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the Rudyard Kipling book about a mongoose. The story also features such seldom-seen Indian fauna as the krait, the chuchunder (Asian musk shrew)note , and the tailorbird.
  • A mongoose also appears in the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Crooked Man."
  • Andre Norton's Beast Master novels included meerkats: Hing in The Beast Master and Lord of Thunder, and Ho in The Beast Master.
  • The lammergeier in Iain M. Banks's Feersum Endjinn.
  • Velociraptors (along with a few other genera) were obscure back when Jurassic Park was written. But then the book and movie popularized them so that they are inescapable in dinosaur media these days, though they almost always get depicted like the ones in Jurassic Park when in reality they were only 2-3 feet tall and covered in feathers. Dilophosaurus is an example that never caught on quite as much.
    • Spinosaurus and Mosasaurus are cases similar to Velociraptor.
    • Some genera that are still rather obscure to this day also make appearances in the franchise: such as Procompsognathus, Othnielia, Microceratus, Dryosaurus, Cearadactylus, Mussaurus, Hypsilophodon, Ornitholestes, Mamenchisaurus, Corythosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Herrerasaurus, Troodon, and Dimorphodon. Metriacanthosaurus, Proceratosaurus, Baryonyx, Segisaurus, and Euoplocephalus are also implied to have been among the species present in the park of the first book/film.
    • The second book also includes Pachycephalosaurus and Maiasaura, which are among the better-known species but aren't nearly as prolific as the likes of Tyrannosaurus and Stegosaurus, as well as Carnotaurus, which have chameleon-like color-changing abilities. The carnotaur and it's color-changing wasn't adapted into the film version, but was included in the arcade game, of all things.
  • The Immortals featured pygmy marmosets in the third book.
  • The Spellsinger series includes increasingly-exotic species among its Funny Animal cast in its later books, including the likes of the pangolin, javelina, silky anteater, viscacha, and aye-aye.
  • The Frances TV series and the Frances The Badger children's books feature an American badger as its main character.
  • Dinotopia features not only Stock Dinosaurs but also more obscure prehistoric animals.
  • Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs has Sid the Scelidosaurus. There was also an Anchisaurus character that was absent from the animated adaptation; similarly, one episode of the series had a Nanosaurus character.
  • The Earth's Children series goes into intricate detail about the wildlife, including such animals as the saiga antelope, the chamois, and the cave bear. Flipped, a 'dirk-toothed tiger' gets barely a mention.
  • Astrosaurs features numerous obscure dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures.
  • Forests of the Night features an anthropomorphic mongoose, attached to a battalion of tiger Super Soldiers as their medic.
  • Raptor Red not only prominently features Utahraptor but also includes Acrocanthosaurus, Kronosaurus, Gastonia, Aegialodon, Trinitichelys, Ornithodesmus, Platypterygius, Astrodon, Bernissartia, and a generic therizinosaur.
  • Carnosaur features Tarbosaurus, Becklespinax (referred to as "Altispinax"), Megalosaurus, and Scolosaurus.
  • Cobras aren't that rare in literature, but on a space ship? You bet they are!
  • The Animal Antics A to Z series has exactly that - at least one animal that begins with each letter of the alphabet. As such, there are common animals like a dog and a goat, but there's also unusual ones, such as a quokka.
  • Touching Spirit Bear prominently featured a Kermode bear, a subspecies of black bear with white fur.
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth makes references to extinct mammals Lophiodon, Anoplotherium, Megatherium, Protopithecus, and Glyptodon.

    Live Action Television 
  • Little Maya's maternal grandmother on Six Feet Under gives her a stuffed okapi, to prove how much more sophisticated she is compared to her paternal grandmother, who gave her a monkey.
  • The titular character of the PBS children's show Zoboomafoo is a Sifaka lemur, who for some reason is actually anthropomorphized by being fed.
  • Sesame Street:
    • Its South African co-production Takalani Sesame has a giant meerkat named Moshe.
    • "African Animal Alphabet", a segment on the American version, had ibises, jerboas, kingfishers, okapis, hamerkops (identified as umber birds), warthogs and African ground squirrels (identified by their Latin name Xerus).
  • When Super Sentai and Power Rangers does an animal theme (which is often), they usually have some stock badass animals they like to use — but then there's usually also an oddball choice. Some of these aren't obscure in general, but they evoke a similar reaction in the show's action-superhero context; for instance, a lot of viewers were confused by the Black Ranger having a frog zord in the later parts of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
    • Kakuranger/Mighty Morphin Season 3 infamously had the aforementioned frog, as well as a crane. The former was something of a case of Lost in Translation - in Kakuranger the frog-bot (and its pilot) were a reference to The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie tried to vaguely justify it with the concept of Bewitched Amphibians.
    • Gingaman/Lost Galaxy had a condor and a wildcat.
    • Gaoranger/Wild Force included a giraffe and an armadillo.
    • Gekiranger/Jungle Fury had an antelope.
    • Engine Sentai Go-onger included an orca-bike and a chicken-copter; counterpart Power Rangers RPM never defined what sea creature the bike was (beyond just a "fish", which is possibly even weirder) and referred to the copter as a falcon (which became kind of hilarious later on when Gokaiger/Super Megaforce introduced an actual falcon Engine).
    • Shinkenger/Samurai has a marlin/swordfish, lobster, and squid/octopus.
    • Goseiger/Megaforce gives the Black Ranger a snake motif — not uncommon on its own, but so associated with villainous characters that a heroic use is worth mentioning. Goseiger also has an ostrich or some other flightless bird.
    • Zyuohger has another giraffe and a mole. The first episode also has a character acting as field guide to a class on a nature trip, where they see a Japanese serow.
    • Even the dinosaur-themed Abaranger/Dino Thunder got in on the act with the Sixth Ranger having a Tupuxuara zord (ie, a pterosaur that isn't a pteranodon), as well as Carnotaurus and Chasmosaurus zords. Kyoryuger/Dino Charge similarly had a series of powerups based on lesser-known prehistoric life, though none were prominent enough to be used for the Rangers' powers or mecha (though Dino Charge's toyline did add some obscure creatures in the Ammonite, Deinosuchus, Oviraptor, and Archelon zords).
  • Geo Kids had Bobby the Bushbaby and Sunny the honey possum.
  • David Attenborough's The Life of Mammals prominently featured echidnas, possums, yapoks, shrews, pangolins, pika, marmots, ground squirrels, mole rats, maras, fennec foxes, african wild dogs, harbour seals, right whales, sun bears, fruit bats, lorises, gibbons, uakaris, tamarins, guenons, macaques, and geladas.
    • This trope goes for all of Attenborough's Life on Earth series.
    • Likewise, meerkats were essentially unknown in Britain until the 1987 Wildlife on One episode Meerkats United. Overnight they became a national fascination that's never really let up since.
  • This trope is the whole point of the documentary series Mutant Planet.
  • Combatants on Monster Bug Wars include such oddities as spitting spiders, assassin bugs, carnivorous katydids, whip scorpions and velvet worms.
  • Primeval has prominently featured quite a few more obscure prehistoric animals: including Coelurosauravus, Inostrancevia (simply called a gorgonopsid on the show), Scutosaurus, Arthropleura, Tylosaurus, Hesperornis, Anurognathus, a Columbian Mammoth, Pristichampsus, Diictodon, Giganotosaurus, Titanis, Dracorex, Embolotherium, Australopithecus, Kaprosuchus, Euchambersia (simply identified as a therocephalian in the show), Koolasuchus (simply referred to as a labyrinthodont in the show), Hyaenodon, and Liopleurodon.
    • The spin-off Primeval: New World continues the trend with Albertosaurus, Utahraptor, Titanoboa, Lycaenops, Daemonosaurus, Ornitholestes, and Brontoscorpio.
  • Jessie has Mr(s). Kipling the Asian water monitor.
  • Dinosaurs has Earl Sinclair the Megalosaurus and Spike the Polacanthus. Dryptosaurus, Troodon, Ceratosaurus, Psittacosaurus, Corythosaurus, and Protoceratops appear as one-off characters and puppets.
  • Although not identified as such (being a show for infants), In the Night Garden… had hoopoes and red-crested turacos.
  • I Didn't Do It has hellbenders (identified as snot otters).

  • The Schoolhouse Rock song "Four-Legged Zoo" prominently mentioned ibex (a type of goat with large, curved horns) and kudu (a large antelope with corkscrew-shaped horns).
  • Frank Zappa's piece "The Adventures Of Greggery Peccary" from Studio Tan and ''Läther, correctly describes him as "the nocturnal gregarious wild swine".

    Theme Parks 

  • The Trash Pack has featured rarely-mentioned bugs in their Bin-sects team, including tapeworms, earwigs, and silverfish.
  • Some of the higher-end animal toy manufacturers such as Safari Ltd., Schleich, and CollectA will feature obscure animal species in addition to well-known ones. Examples are too numerous to list.

    Video Games 
  • Crash Bandicoot
    • Aside from the title character's species, the series also includes a potoroo (Pinstripe), a thylacine (Tiny) and two Komodo dragons (Joe and Moe), along with the usual stock Australian critters that may apply, such as dingos and koalas.
  • Ty the Tasmanian Tiger
    • Besides thylacines, there's also a cassowary as the Big Bad, a Tasmanian devil, a green tree frog, a thorny devil, wallabies, goannas, bilbies, weedy sea dragons, giant groupers, wombats, blue-tongued skinks, a lyrebird, Sydney funnel-web spiders, a ghost bat, an echidna, cane toads, Muttaburrasaurus, and marsupial lions.
    • Similarly, the third game features an obscure mythical creature: the Quinkan.
  • Bubsy the bobcat.
  • MANY Pokémon are actually based on obscure animal species. We have Pangolins note , Hermit Crabs note , Tapirs note , Dugongs note , Mongooses note , Weedy Sea Dragons note , Angler Fish note , Porcupine Fish note , Mudskippers note , Cicadas note , Bagworms note , Sea Slugs note , Meerkats note , Leaf Insects note , Chinchillas note , Lampreys note , etc. And that's not including the fossil Pokemon or plants! There's also the Axolotl, an endangered aquatic salamander, which serves as the inspiration for Wooper, as well as another possible inspiration for Mudkip. You might recognize them as the same species as Dr. Shrunk from Animal Crossing (see below).
    • It's safe to say that Game Freak has Shown Their Work concerning many species and other biological life. Even the ones that aren't based directly on specific animals are instead based on old myths note . You'd be hard-pressed to find one type of creature in real life that hasn't been made into a Pokémon yet. Aside from normal dolphins, oddly enough.
  • Knuckles and Tikal the Echidna.
    • While well-known in Japan, hedgehogs themselves were this in many parts of the world (such as the Americas) until Sonic made his species famous.
  • Mega Man X6 has Infinity Mijinon, a water flea, and Ground Scaravich, a dung beetle.
    • Other unusual species represented by Mavericks found across the series are Armored Armadillo, Split Mushroom, Spike Rosered (a rose), Tornado Tonion (an Onion), Optic Sunflower, Volt Catfish, Crush Crawfish, and Wire Sponge (Who, despite his name, is actually a Luffa. The very same luffa you use to scrub yourself with in the shower.)
    • Mega Man X Corrupted, a Mega Man X fan game, features a Milodon (aka Megatherium) and Hoatzin.
  • The Darius series has a whole slew of them, in the form of Humongous Mecha sea creatures. Absolute Defender- pinecone fish, Tripod Sardine- tripod fish, Folding Fan- fanfish, The Embryon- sea angel,Brightly Stare-Barrel Eye fish, and more.
  • Zoo Tycoon contains too many examples to list.
  • Chimera Beast features two giant monsters inspired by lamprey, and related species, as it's first boss.
  • Ocelots in Minecraft
  • The opossums (namely Sparkster) that appear in the Rocket Knight Adventures series.
  • Dino Run's visible dinosaurs all belong to the typical stock clades, but the bonus eggs you can pick up include such specific and seldom-heard-of genera as Olorotitan, Rinchenia and Magnosaurus.
  • Impossible Creatures, a game about combining animals, has poison dart frogs, archerfish, and muskoxen, among others.
  • Most of the characters in the Animal Crossing games are fairly commonly-seen animals, but Dr. Shrunk is an axolotl and New Leaf introduces Luna, a tapir. Also in that game, the player can dig up fossils of the brontothere Megacerops, and most of the collectible fish and arthropods fall into this trope.
  • The vast majority of animals seen in the Endless Ocean games are likely to be little known by anyone who's interest is outside Marine Biology, and even then it includes some really obscure animals, such as the aforementioned sea angels, Turritopsis nutricula, the Venus Flower Basket and Praya dubia.
  • Hello, Odell Down Under.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend introduced many Japanese and American audiences to birds like the Luzon bleeding-heart dove and the Chukar partridge. The downside of that is that we're all going to think of Chukars as sinister violent Mad Scientists and bleeding-heart doves as drug-addled lunatics from now on.
  • The Dino Crisis series feature Therizinosaurus, Oviraptor, Mosasaurus, Inostrancevia, and Giganotosaurus.
  • The Japanese Xbox game Dinosaur Hunting features not only the Stock Dinosaurs but also more obscure types: Albertosaurus, Amargasaurus, Ampelosaurus, Baryonyx, Cave lion, Deinosuchus, Dromaeosaurus, Euoplocephalus, Gastonia, Gastornis, Hypsilophodon, Kentrosaurus, Maiasaura, Moa, Ouranosaurus, Pelecanimimus, Shunosaurus, Stygimoloch, Supersaurus, Therizinosaurus, Torosaurus, and Wuerhosaurus.
  • From the Far Cry series:
    • Far Cry 3 has Komodo dragons, cassowaries, tapirs, bull sharks, macaques, birds of paradise, and thylacines.
    • Far Cry 4 adds in snow leopards, clouded leopards, tigerfish, Indian rhinos, Malayan tapirs, black eagles, mugger crocodiles, ratels (honey badgers), white-rumped vultures, pit vipers, dholes, Asian black bears, Himalayan brown bears, Assam macaques, Himalayan monals, sambar deer, bharals (Himalayan blue sheep), red-crowned turtles, Japalura lizards, and Nepalese crows.
    • Far Cry Primal features Coelodonta (woolly rhinoceroses), cave bears, dire wolves, Megaloceros (Irish elks), cave lions, Eurasian eagle owls, European jaguars, Crocodylus bugtiensis (Pakistan crocodiles), Megacerops (brontotheres), European dholes, gray langurs, European adders, vivaparous lizards, and Chukar partridges. Snow leopards, tigerfish, and tapirs also return in the game.
  • Dwarf Fortress has a pretty diverse array of ecosystems, each with some unusual fauna to be had, from macaques to olms to sponges. All of them can kill your dwarfs. At one point, players who donated more than a certain amount could pick a new creature to include in the next release.
  • Pitfall The Lost Expedition features tuco-tucos.
  • Putt-Putt Enters the Race has an activity where you can read about obscure species, from aardvark to zorilla.
  • The Amazon Trail, on par of being an Edutainment game, is filled to the brim of obscure animals native to the Amazon such as ocelots, kinkajous, tapirs, night monkeys, bush dogs, fishing bats, tambaqui, piraracu (or arapaima), tucunare, potoos, hoatzins, mealy amazons, collared trogons, jabiru storks, honeycreepers, tegu lizards, basilisks, spectacled caimans, fer-de-lance snakes, bushmasters, Gulf Fritillary butterflies, giant Agrippa moths, goliath bird-eating spiders, etc.
  • Fossil Fighters features a large number of dinosaurs as the basis for its viviosaurs, as well as unusual prehistoric lifeforms. In addition to more obscure dinosaurs like Therizinosaurus and Bradycneme, the game actually features three distinct subspecies of ammonite, the giant hornless rhinoceros Paraceratherium, and the "armored fish" Dunkleosteus.
  • Monster Racers has quite a diverse range of creatures from Australia. It features monsters based on the Tazmanian devil, frilled lizard, emu, and bandicoot, which aren't entirely unusual for works that reach for more unusual Australian wildlife. However, it also has a monster based on the fairy penguin, correctly native to Australia instead of anywhere else. The "legendary beast" of Australia is also based on the mythological rainbow serpent. Outside of Australia, it has monsters based on the springbok (Africa) and the mythical Polevik (Eurasia).
  • Terraria features Arapaimas as Hardmode enemies in the Jungle.
  • Assassin's Creed:
  • Age of Empires III features Guanaco, Giant Salamanders, Saiga, Ibex, Nilgai, Serow, Tapir, Capybara, Musk deer, and Rhea as huntable animals in some of its Maps.
  • Primal Carnage has Oviraptor, Cryolophosaurus, and Tupandactlyus as alternate skins for the playable Mesozoic reptiles, which are all Stock Dinosaurs. There are also plans for Acrocanthosaurus and Kaprosuchus to be added in the game.
  • Dino System: Although the game started off containing Stock Dinosaurs like Triceratops, T.rex and Ankylosaurs, later updates added creatures such as Alphodon and Azhdarchids.
  • Splatoon: The creatures wandering around are either based on or are humanoid versions of sea creatures (plus a cat). While many of them are common animals like squids and jellyfish, the shy store clerk Annie is a humanoid sea anemone, complete with a (rude) clownfish living in her anemone afro; and the weapons salesman Sheldon is a horseshoe crab, who are also quite uncommon in fiction land
  • Confirmed creatures in Saurian include Dakotaraptor, Acheroraptor, Champsosaurus, an unnamed alvarezsaurid ("O." minutus), Chamops, Habrosaurus, Borealosuchus, Thoracosaurus, Basilemys, Leptoceratops, Didelphodon, Denversaurus, Avisaurus, Thescelosaurus, Palaeosaniwa, Cimolopteryx, Pectinodon note , Brodavis, Toxochelys and Anzu.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved has tons of obscure prehistoric creatures (some of which are yet to be implemented as of writing) including Carbonemys, Pelagornis, Tapejara, Titanomyrma, Chalicotherium, Kaprosuchus, Kentrosaurus, Leedsichthys, Pegomastax, Purlovia, and Tusoteuthis.
  • E.V.O.: Search for Eden featured sea cucumbers, sea slugs, Thelodus, Dinichthys, trilobites, Cephalaspis, Orthoceras, Cladoselache, coelacanths, Ichthyostega, Diplocaulus, Protophasma, Meganeura, Edaphosaurus, Moschops, basal archosaurs (referred to as "thecodonts"), Stegoceras (referred to as Troodon), ammonites, Deltatheridium, Hyaenodon, Paraceratherium (referred to as Baluchitherium), Eohippus, condors, and Gastornis (referred to as Diatryma).
  • Among the creatures found in Snapimals are dik-diks, lovebirds, and plover birds.

    Web Comics 
  • Roland le Fay, the pangolin from Concession.
  • Dinosaur Comics, in addition to the not-that-unusual T. rex, includes a Utahraptor and a Dromiceiomimus among the main cast.
  • Mocheril from The Meek, who is an olm (rarely seen outside of slovenian heraldy).
  • Natureof Natures Art, full stop. Featuring jerboas, degus, tamanduas, kinkajous, several species of spiders and many more.
  • In Off-White, the pack is shown hunting a chamois. This might be the one and only time you'll ever see one in any fiction whatsoever.
  • The main characters in Yuck Heads are mongooses, specifically Yellow Mongooses.
  • Femmegasm has a tamarin monkey and axolotl as its lead characters.
  • Dawn of Time tends to feature lesser-known dinosaurs like Pachyrhinosaurus and Sauropelta.
  • Commander Kitty features Nin Wah, a red panda. The first version of the comic also had part of the plot set on a planet of pangolins.
  • Raptormaniacs has Zahavi the Jinfengopteryx, Remex the Caudipteryx, and Ebeff the Therizinosaurus. Also Skull, who is a skull cast of Tsaagan.
  • Stephan in Ozy and Millie is an aardvark.
  • The protagonist of Digger is a wombat, and several of the supporting cast come from a tribe of hyenas.
  • The Bug Pond features a lot of obscure bug species, such as silverfish, earwigs, and assassin bugs.
  • Liz Climo often features these in her comic series, such as tamanduas, honey badgers, and fennec foxes.

    Web Original 
  • The middle portion of the song "In the Ocean Blue" from Charlie The Unicorn, which sounds an awful lot like the Pokerap:
    Lungfish, Blackfish, Alligator, Icefish
    Armorhead, Hammerhead, Anaconda, Flathead
    Manta ray, Stingray, Fangtooth, Moray
    Goblin shark, Grass carp, Round River Bat Ray
    Noodlefish, Hagfish, Man o' War, Ladyfish
    Black eel, baby seal, Sprat, Koi, Electric eel
    Lamprey, Pejerey, Yellow-edged Moray
    Salmon shark, Sleeper shark, Leatherback, and Eagle ray!
  • The Happy Tree Friends universe includes a marmot and an anteater (Cro-Marmot and Sniffles, respectively). While Sniffles has been known to hunt ants on occasion, the ice-encased Cro-Marmot never engages in any marmot-esque activity. Or any activity, period.
  • The Tyrannosaur Chronicles includes a handful of dinosaur species that are rarely used in media like the Einiosaurus or the Stegoceras.
  • Cracked loves this trope.

    Western Animation 
  • Bonkers D. Bobcat.
  • Woody Woodpecker.
  • Rufus the naked mole rat from Kim Possible.
  • Spongebob Squarepants (the sea sponge) and Plankton (the copepod).
    • The series also featured flounder, groupers, whelks, nematodes, rays, hagfish, gulper eels, and anglers.
  • The Tasmanian Devil from Looney Tunes. One animator joked that it was the only animal left that Bugs Bunny hadn't faced, so director Robert McKimson decided to rectify that.
  • Little Beeper, Concord Condor, Bookworm, and Dizzy Devil from Tiny Toon Adventures. Shirley McLoon would also count (not many loons in fiction), but she looks like a duck as opposed to the actual loon species.
  • Tiko from Jana of the Jungle is a yapok, a little-known aquatic species of opossum. The show mislabels him a coatimundi, which is a completely different animal.
  • Go, Diego, Go! features a lot of Seldom Seen Species, including spectacled bears, kinkajous, okapis, and pygmy marmosets.
  • Dora the Explorer has an episode dedicated to the coqui.
  • It's a Big Big World features a tamandua (a species of anteater) named Bob, a pair of marmosets named Smooch and Winslow, and a quetzal bird named Birdette.
  • The classic Goofy animated short My African Diary featured hartebeest, which resemble medium-sized antelope whose horns are shaped like hearts, hence their name.
    • Another short "El Gaucho Goofy" had a rhea (referred to as an Argentine ostrich).
  • Minerva Mink and Baynarts "Charlton" Woodchuck from Animaniacs.
    • Calhoon Q. Capybara and Who Who the ring tailed lemur (who looks vaguely like a red panda) from "Back In Style" count too.
  • Rocko the wallaby in Rocko's Modern Life.
  • The Land Before Time series shows not only the Stock Dinosaurs, but also features several more obscure dinosaurs as well.
  • Dinosaur Train primarily features many obscure dinosaur genera.
  • Almost Naked Animals has a narwhal, a dugong, a beluga, and a manatee.
  • Brandy & Mr. Whiskers has all sorts of obscure South American fauna including a giant otter, tapirs, capybaras, kinkajous, coatis, basilisk lizards, marmosets, and even a walking stick insect.
  • Fish Hooks has Albert Glass the glass catfish.
  • VeggieTales features a song dedicated to "Barbara Manatee." They also had another song called "Song of the Cebu".
  • Adventures from the Book of Virtues has Aurora the red-tailed hawk, Socrates the bobcat, and Aristotle the prairie dog.
  • Megas XLR, as an Affectionate Parody, had a few episodes featuring the S-Force, a Sentai Expy, who had Combining Animal Mecha. Though four of the five had the commonly-seen eagle, panther, gorilla and rhino, the last, who was appropriately the Cloudcuckoolander, had a kangaroo.
  • The Pelican and the Snipe starred a pelican and a snipe, probably being the only cartoon where you can see the latter species onscreen.
  • Regular Show has Mordecai the blue jay.
    • It also has Margaret's cousin John, who may be based on an oriole, a rather obscure bird, which clearly shows the creators did their research.
    • The episode "Replaced" has Chad the Australian possum and Jeremy the ostrich, the former of which is rarely represented in fiction.
    • Rigby himself closely resembles the crab-eating raccoon of South America more than the common North American raccoon. It's never been confirmed which one he is supposed to be.
      • Though in the music video bumper, a live-action North American raccoon was briefly seen before becoming live-action Rigby.
    • The commercial seen in "Every Meat Burrito" makes a list of several obscure animals (aside from bacon and long pig).
    Gila monster, pigeon, marmot, dik-dik, baboon, bushpig, long pig, aardwolf, manatee, bat-eared fox, red bat, spotted bat, dog-faced bat, opossum, emu, hairy long-nosed armadillo, big hairy armadillo, screaming hairy armadillo, colocolo, spectacled bear, lowland tapir, red deer, shy albatross, komondor dog, hagfish, Sonoran sidewinder, snorkel viper, oak-leaf rattler, bacon, narwhal, kookaburra, aha ha, blobfish, bulldog stargazer, tufted titmouse, screaming cowbird, green jay, lady Amherst pheasant, Polish chicken, quetzal, Surinam toad, tomato frog, turtle frog, Christmas tree worm, vampire squid, coelacanth, mugger crocodile, aye-aye, dumbo octopus, platypus... and more!
    • A emu made a brief appearance in "Mordecai and Rigby Down Under."
    • The cassowary from "Brilliant Century Duck Crisis Special."
    • The "USA! USA!" music video had a blue bird-of-paradise.
  • The Secret Saturdays has a Komodo dragon and a Tropeognathus as two of the main animal characters. Similarly, it has a wide variety of obscure cryptids like the Fiskerton Phantom, the Hibagon, the Orang-pendak, the Mapinguari, and the Owlman.
  • The Miscellaneous Disney Short, "Pigs is Pigs," features two guinea pigs the Westcote railroad station who reproduce countless offspring. Guinea pigs may not be that seldom seen these days, but they were seldom seen back in 1954, when this cartoon was released.
  • One late 1950s/early '60s Hanna-Barbera cartoon had a hyena (a carnivore not much seen outside of media related to The Lion King, as noted above) named Hardy Har Har. He was a spotted, "laughing" hyena (have you ever seen a striped hyena on TV?note ), and was drawn to resemble a dog (even though hyenas are more closely related to mongooses and meerkats).
  • Peep And The Big Wide World has blue jays.
  • Muddy Mudskipper from The Ren & Stimpy Show.
  • The 2007 version of George of the Jungle tend to feature lesser-known animals such as a tapir and a meerkat.
  • The giant anteater in Top Cat, a show that aired in the early 1960s, when anteaters at all were a rare occurrence in fiction.
  • Kiki the capybara and the manatee dummy in one episode of Bob's Burgers
  • Tennessee Tuxedo And His Tales has Jerboa Jump the kangaroo rat.
  • Mike, Lu & Og has a wombat who is a Friendly Enemy with Alfred.
  • The Raccoons had Cyril Sneer, an aardvark. In 1985.
  • Noah's Island had aardvark, proboscis monkey, mandrill, desman, bandicoot, aye-aye, golden mole, baboon, hyena, wombat, hyrax, Komodo dragon, wallaby, pangolin, mongoose, sloth, and Spix's macawnote .
  • Littlest Pet Shop (2012) has Sunil Nevla the mongoose.
    • And as far as dog breeds go, there have so far been Zoe, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel; Sam U.L., a Griffon Bruxellois; and Philippe, a French Terrier. All three breeds are actually rather common in real life but are rarely represented in fiction, probably because they're difficult to recognize.
    • Overall, this series is not shy about picking from anywhere in the animal kingdom, such as with Steve, a water cobra; Bearded Lady, a bearded lizard; Desi, a myna bird; and Sweetcheeks, a sugar glider. Julie McNally Cahill and Tim Cahill have previously shown their expertise at animal identification with My Gym Partner's a Monkey (see below).
  • The Farm League shorts on DC Nation featuring a Funny Animal Justice League of America include Supermanatee, Batmongoose, Wonder Wombat, Aquamandrill and Green Lamprey (who, despite his name, is a warthog). Their villains include Lex Liger. Yes, the lion/tiger crossbreed species.
  • Adventure Time had a Surinam toad in the episode "Five More Short Graybles".
    • In the episode "A Glitch is a Glitch", Jake mentions dreaming as a coelacanth.
    • "Apple Wedding" introduces Wyatt, an elephant seal.
    • "You Forgot Your Floaties" has a coconut crab.
    • "President Porpoise is Missing!" has a narwhal.
    • The first issue of the comic showed fossils of Torosaurus, Lambeosaurus, and a glyptodont.
    • Volume 4 of the Adventure Time Graphic Novels has the Mudskipper Gang.
  • Cow and Chicken featured striped hyenas, a jackal, and spotted owls.
  • My Dad the Rock Star has Mosh the Komodo dragon.
  • Futurama often uses this trope.
    • A coelacanth appears in "Deep South". More also appear in "The Farnsworth Paradox" kept by the Professor in a tank.
    • In "Love and Rocket", when Bender and the Planet Express ship visit a zoo, they come across tapirs with their young. Bender even calls himself a cuddly baby tapir after saying he is a lone wolf and a solitary eagle.
    • "300 Big Boys" has Mushu the pygmy sperm whale.
    • "Bender's Big Score" has a narwhal named Leelu. She is portrayed as having a tusk which is a rare occasion for female narwhals, and she is even described as a "rare toothed female narwhal".
    • "Fun on a Bun" showed Megatherium, Doedicurus, Machairodus, Macrauchenia, and Coelodonta.
    • "Fry and Leela's Big Fling" featured bonobos, gibbons, mandrills, hamadryas baboons, langurs, ring-tailed lemurs, and proboscis monkeys alongside more commonly-seen primates such as gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans.
    • "Naturama" featured Pinta Island tortoise, Darwin's finch, marine iguana, blue-footed booby, elephant seal, and vampire squid.
  • My Gym Partner's a Monkey has several of these, particularly Jake Spidermonkey. Any character in the series, in fact, can be identified down to the species.
  • Babu the ocelot from Archer. Lampshaded by the titular character with his overjoyed exclamation of "I've never seen an ocelot before!"
  • George and Martha has Bud and Valerie the hyenas, and some of the minor characters include a Komodo dragon, ring-tailed lemurs, and a manatee.
  • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers had a Tasmanian devil in the episode "Wolf in Cheap Clothing".
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Part of Heinz Doofenshmirtz's Hilariously Abusive Childhood involved getting adopted by ocelots.
    • In "Tour De Ferb", Doofenshmirtz's part-time job involved posing for an advertisement with a wombat.
    • In "Interview With a Platypus", among the animals chasing Candace are a roadrunner and a spotted hyena.
    • "Hawaiian Vacation" had a manta ray. Also in the same episode, Perry and Doofenshmirtz briefly get transformed into an Ichthyornis and a mudskipper respectively.
    • The red-billed oxpecker from "What'd I Miss?"
    • "The Secret of Success" had a manatee.
    • "Where's Perry" featured blesbok, bongo, zebu, waterbuck, and ring-tailed lemurs.
    • The blind cave salamander from "Save Summer".
    • "Der Kinderlumper" had chinchillas.
    • The star-nosed mole from "At the Car Wash".
    • "It's About Time!" had Alamosaurus and enantiornithines.
    • "My Fair Goalie" had emus.
    • Perry himself, a duck-billed platypus, counts as one. The creators wanted his species to be an uncommon animal that couldn't be bought from pet stores.
    • Some of the OWCA agents include a mongoose, a great grey heron, and an aardvark.
    • The spin-off special "OWCA Files" features Harry the Hyena and Maggie the Macaw.
  • From The Emperor's New School: Red-eyed Tree Frog Man.
  • Camp Lazlo has Slinkman the banana slug, Chip and Skip the dung beetles, Patsy the mongoose, and Dave and Ping-Pong the loons.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Some of Fluttershy's birds include jays, loons, and bitterns.
    • "The Best Night Ever" has wallaroos, meadowlarks, and spider monkeys.
    • The peregrine falcon from "May the Best Pet Win".
    • One of Ahuizotl's cat minions is a lynx.
    • Speaking of which, Ahuizotl himself is a mythological example of this trope.
    • "Trade Ya!" features another obscure mythical creature, the Orthros (a two-headed dog from Greek mythology who is related to Cerberus).
    • "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone" has Arimaspi, yet another lesser-known mythological creature.
    • "Stranger than Fan Fiction" features the Cipactli, a crocodilian-like creature of Aztec mythology.
    • "Viva Las Pegasus" has prairie dogs.
  • Season 3 of The Amazing World of Gumball had the Wattersons adopt an aggressive soft-shelled turtle as a pet.
    • "The Rerun" had a brief appearance of the gomphothere Platybelodon. Gets lampshaded in that Rob doesn't know what it is.
  • Dino Riders had Torosaurus, Monoclonius, Edmontonia, Kentrosaurus, Saurolophus, Placerias, Pachyrinosaurus, Chasmosaurus, Desmatosuchus, Megatherium, Doedicurus, and Entelodon alongside the usual Stock Dinosaurs.
  • The Wild Thornberrys, being a show about animals, has boatloads of these. From dugongs to colugos.
  • The Penguin in Batman: The Animated Series used exotic birds like the Andean vulture and the cassowary in some of his crimes.
  • Kenny the Shark has a bull shark named Elly who served as a temporary Love Interest for the titular character.
  • Slammu of Street Sharks takes the form of a whale shark, as opposed to his brothers who transform into well-known shark species (great white, hammerhead, and tiger shark).
  • One episode of The Cleveland Show, "A Short Story and a Tall Tale", had a Komodo dragon named Cameron.
  • Babar and the Adventures of Badou has Munroe the African crested porcupine and Hoot the spotted hyena. Marabou storks also frequently show up in the series.
  • Sometimes the only point of an episode of Wild Kratts is showcasing little known animals - or little known facts about normal animals. We have seen caracals and fossa, and even the pigeon got a highlight in one episode when it was revealed that is one of only three types of bird to feed their young with milk (the other two being a specific sort of penguin and a specific sort of flamingo).
  • Sixty Four Zoo Lane has miplaced animals; Giggles and Tickles the Geoffroy's spider monkeys, Toby the Ornate box turtle, Green frogs, and Pauline the American white pelican. It has Aardvarks, anacondas, two-toed sloths, and a Grey-crowned crane.
  • The Animated Adaptation of Franklin had a one-shot magician character named Marten who was an anthropomorphic pine marten.
  • Gravity Falls featured purple finches, greater yellow-finches, white zebra finches, chickadees, mountain bluebirds, American white pelicans, pileated woodpeckers, turkey vultures, sandpipers, Virginia opossums, American badgers and gopher snakes.
    • "The Legend of the Gobblewonker" showed 2 species of salmon: Chinook and Sockeye.
    • The dolphins seen in "The Deep End" appear to be spotted dolphins, as opposed to the commonly-seen bottlenose dolphins.
    • The dinosaur-themed "Land Before Swine" featured Ceratosaurus among the dinosaurs trapped in tree sap.
    • In "Society of the Blind Eye", Mermando was revealed to have been engaged to a manatee queen. Also, a protoceratopsid skeleton can be spotted in the museum.
    • A few Freeze-Frame Bonuses show that the main inhabitant of Grunkle Stan's aquarium is an Axolotl, which seems to be a particular favorite of creator Alex Hirsch.
  • The PBS adaption of The Berenstain Bears featured a blue jay, a paradise tanager (which had red wings as opposed to real-life black ones), and a leopard frog.
  • An episode of Teen Titans Go! had Beast Boy turning into a cuttlefish and a pangolin. There was also a brief reference of the mandrill. Another episode had him turn into a two-toed sloth.
  • The Clarence episode "In Dreams" shows Clarence dreaming about a mongoose.
  • Taz-Mania featured a host of Australian and Tasmanian fauna, including kiwis, bush rats, dingoes, wombats, the titular Tasmanian Devils, and even a Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger).
  • The Last Of The Curlews features Eskimo curlews and golden plovers.
  • An episode of the Harold and the Purple Crayon Animated Adaptation features a titanosaur as the main sauropod as well as Centrosaurus, Ouranosaurus (or Edaphaosaurus), and what appears to be a prosauropod.
  • Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production:
    • "Not Lyin' Lion" has Snorts, a naked mole rat. The same episode also showed a civet.
    • The villain of "Splashwater Bugs" is an elephant seal named Slugsworthy the First.
    • "Fwee Wange Wabbit" has a turkey vulture named Vera.
  • One episode of Miles From Tomorrowland features a tardigrade.
  • Many episodes of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! are focused on animals and it sometimes covers some more unusual ones including the duck-billed platypus, booby birds, water striders, and, of course, the ever-rare hatted-cat.
  • BoJack Horseman takes place in a world populated by both humans and anthropomorphic animals. Obscure species can sometimes be seen.
    • One episode features an underwater city. In addition to well-known species like bottlenose dolphins and seahorses, there are blobfish, krill, anglerfish, a Pantropical spotted dolphin, and others.
  • CatDog has Lola, a whip-poor-will.
  • Creature Comforts:
    • The original 1989 short featured a South American cougar and a tarsier.
    • The cartoon series included an angler, blue pearl shrimp, pileated woodpeckers, pill bugs, walking stick insects, dung beetles, corgis, meerkats, tapirs, and spotted hyenas.

  • Walking with Dinosaurs and its continuations have several hundred tons of these.
    • The original WWD featured Coelophysis, Postosuchus, Placerias, Thrinaxodon, Peteinosaurus, Ornitholestes, Anurognathus, Dryosaurus, Ophthalmosaurus, Liopleurodon, Eustreptospondylus, Cryptoclidus, Hybodus, Perisphinctes, Tropeognathus (referred to as Ornithocheirus), Utahraptor, Tapejara (referred to as Tupandactylus), Polacanthus, Iberomesornis, Leaellynasaura, Muttaburasaurus, Koolasuchus, coatimundis, Torosaurus, Dromaeosaurus, Didelphodon, Deinosuchus, and Dinilysia.
    • The Ballad of Big Al had Dryosaurus, Ornitholestes, Anurognathus, and Othnielia.
    • Walking with Beasts has Leptictidium, Gastornis, Ambulocetus, Propalaeotherium, Godinotia, Titanomyrmia, Basilosaurus, Andrewsarchus, Embolotherium, Dorudon, Moeritherium, Apidium, Physogaleus, Paraceratherium, Hyaenodon, Chalicotherium, Cynodictis, Australopithecus, Dinofelis, Ancylotherium, Deinotherium, Macrauchenia, Megatherium, Phorusrhacos, Doedicurus, Megaloceros, woolly rhinos, and European lions.
    • The Lost World has Epanterias, Hypsilophodon, entelodonts, and Java man.
    • Chased by Dinosaurs has Argentinosaurus, Sarcosuchus, Giganotosaurus, Ornithocheirus, Macrogryphosaurus, Saurolophus, Mononykus, Tarbosaurus, Therizinosaurus, and Azdarcho.
    • Sea Monsters has Cameroceras, Megalograspis, Astraspis, Isotelus, Peteinosaurus, Nothosaurus, Tanystropheus, Cymbospondylus, Liliensternus, Bothriolepis, Stethacanthus, Dunkleosteus, Arsinoitherium, Dorudon, Basilosaurus, Odobenocetops, Cetotherium, Leedsichthys, Metriorhynchus, Hybodus, Liopleurodon, Hesperornis, Squalicorax, Xiphactinus, Halisaurus, Archelon, and Tylosaurus.
    • Walking with Cavemen has Australopithecus, Ancylotherium, Deinotherium, Paranthropus, Homo habilis, Dinofelis, Deinotherium, Ancylotherium, Homo rudolfensis, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Gigantopithecus, Homo heidelbergensis, and Megaloceros.
    • Walking with Monsters has trilobites, Anomalocaris, Haikouichthys, Cephalaspis, Brontoscorpio, Pterygotus, Cameroceras, sponges, sea urchins, Hynerpeton, Hyneria, Stethacanthus, Mesothelae, Petrolacosaurus, Meganeura, Arthropleura, Proterogyrinus, Edaphosaurus, Seymouria, Gorgonops, Diictodon, Rhinesuchus, Scutosaurus, Lystrosaurus, Euparkeria, Proterosuchus, and Euchambersia.
    • The Arena Spectacular has Liliensternus, Ornithocheirus, Plateosaurus, Torosaurus, and Utahraptor.
    • Prehistoric Park has Nyctosaurus, cave bears, Elasmotherium, cave hyenas, Borealosaurus, Eosipterus, Incisivosaurus, Mei long, Phorusrhacos, Toxodon, Arthropleura, Crassigyrinus, Meganeura, Pulmonoscorpius, Albertosaurus, and Deinosuchus.
    • The 3D film has Pachyrhinosaurus, Alexornis, Gorgosaurus, Edmontonia, Chirostenotes, Parksosaurus, Hesperonychus, and Alphadon.
  • Weird n' Wild Creatures, a series of children's fact & trading cards that originally ran from 2003-2006, loved this trope. Gigantophis, Dapedium, Budgett's frogs, genets, hooded pitohuis, hellbenders, predatory tunicates, stoplight loosejaws, toe-biters, red-backed shrikes, pichiciegos, Javan wart snakes… and that's not even scratching the surface. This even extended to the series' coverage of mythical creatures; while not species in the literal sense, it included several beasts (Baital, Cetus, Mngwa, the Thetis Lake monster, etc.) that are rarely acknowledged in fiction.
  • The mascots for the Sydney 2000 Olympics were a kookaburra, echidna and platypus - chosen in part to provide a Land, Sea, Sky combination and in part because Australian organisers thought kangaroos and koalas were overused.

Alternative Title(s): Lesser Seen Species