Palau is home to many different kinds of unique and interesting types of wildlife that thrive in the tropical climates of its rock islands. From the semi-domesticated dogs that roam freely due to the lack of any type of animal control system, to the dangerous, yet rarely fatal, saltwater crocodiles, this country has an astoundingly diverse animal population.
There are some species that can only be found in Palau and a few neighboring countries. The Mariana fruit bat is a great example of this. These bats are also called "flying foxes" because of their superficial similarities to canines, such as their large eyes and curved ears. Though they are endangered, their meat is considered a delicacy by the local people of the country and they're frequently poached.
Another creature that is found specifically in Palau and other Micronesian islands is the Coconut Crab, whose name comes from its love of coconuts and its ability to crack them with incredibly large, powerful pincers. This notoriously strong arthropod is also known as the robber crab, courtesy of its magpie-like tendency to take or "steal" shiny objects. Despite also being endangered, the Coconut Crab is hunted extensively for it's much sought after meat.
Though there are many amazing land dwelling animals on the islands of Palau, there is a stunning array of marine life below the surrounding seawater. With its hypnotic pattern of distinct sapphire blue and orange stripes, the Mandarin fish is one-of-a-kind. The Bicolor Parrotfish
, however, is equally startling in its beauty. The lack of a distinct separation of colors is what makes this beautiful fish so stunning. It's nearly impossible to distinguish where its gentle turquoise fades into the brilliant magenta that spackles its sides and colors the tip of its tail fin. The schools of fresh tuna are also incredible to behold, as hundreds of shimmering, sleek, silver fish
swim just below the surface of the clear ocean water.
The islands of Palau are well known for their breathtaking beaches and serene waters. Less is known about their habitat of equally captivating creatures. They're one of its best-kept secrets.