The Bahamas is made up of over 700 islands and cays with thousands of animals you will not see anywhere else in the world.
Believe it or not one of the only land mammals, besides the bat, is native to the Bahamas. That animal is called a Bahamian Hutia
. It is a member of the rodent family and is about the size of a small rabbit but gopher like in appearance.
The hutia was at one time thought to be extinct due to the captive environment, natives hunting the animal for its meat and colonists, dogs, cats, raccoons and other carnivore adding to their diminishing population. It wasn't until 1966 when it was discovered that the animals still existed and are now referred to as living fossils.
The Bahamas is also home to many bird species, a few of which are also in danger of extinction. Grand Bahama Island is host to 18 of the 25 native species of birds. These birds are not seen anywhere in the US, Canada or Europe. This is a bird watcher's heaven.
One of these endangered birds is the Bahamian Parrot. You can see this and many other specialty birds at the Rand Nature Center. The Bahamian Parrot is a beautiful dark green bird with a bright orange breast and an unmistakable white mask. At maturity the bird measures twelve to thirteen inches in length.
Although these birds occupied several islands in the past, they are currently abundant on the Abaco and Great Inagua Islands. Their main habitat however is the Abaco National Park.
Now that we've learned about land animals of the Bahamas, we cannot forget about the marine life found there. In addition to be beautiful array of tropical fish and coral reefs, there is one little known event that would amaze any visitor. It is the March of Spiny Lobsters seen on the banks of Great and Little Bahamas.
The catalyst for these marches is the first storms of autumn sometime in late October or early November. The lobsters have been congregating under ledges and overhangs and the storms are a signal for them to head out to sea. What is interesting about these marches is that the lobsters move in single file. This is a defense mechanism they use in the event that the lead lobster perishes; the next lobster in line assumes the lead position. You can observe this phenomenon quite easily as the water is always crystal clear when these spiny creatures start their march.
So for any nature buff visiting The Bahamas these are some interesting creatures to seek out. Don't forget your camera!