21 Animals Found in Only One Place in the World

CC BY 2.0. Christopher Dorobek/flickr

Thanks to the isolation afforded by island life, these endemic animals are unique to the places where they live.

Living on an island comes with its own set of shaping factors when it comes to animals. The isolation means there won't be a lot of mixing with other species, and the unique pressures of the environment can lead to the evolution of specialized traits suited only for the habitat the animals have adapted to.

These are endemic animals, creatures that are only found naturally in one place – the distinct species of the Galapagos Islands may serve as poster children for these unique animals, but they occur all over the world.

Visit IOM, a travel company for the United Kingdom's Isle of Man – home to the endemic manx cat! – put together this infographic to highlight some of the planet's unique island animals. They note that many creatures featured on the list are worryingly close to extinction, it's hard being so unique. Some were even thought to be extinct before being rediscovered! (We're talking to you, tree lobster, welcome back from non-existance!)

So without further ado, some of the world's most singular critters.

unique island animals