Montana is home to an astounding array of wildlife. Along with the breathtaking landscape Montana offers, nature's creatures draw so many to the state throughout the year. Horses, deer, eagles, grizzlies, mountain lions, wolves, and more make up so much of the open range of Big Sky Country. Then there is the existence of animals in Montana that might not necessarily come to mind in the big picture, but are considered TOP EXTREME ANIMALS in the world. Not all animals on this list are predators, but instead ones that have been declared EXTREME due to their unusual or bizarre instincts and abilities in a study conducted by Popular Mechanics. The list is below.

First on the list of top extreme animals found in Montana are OWLS. These incredible birds can swivel their heads practically in a full circle. The reason is that their heads are connected by only one socket pivot. However, don't get it "twisted" so to speak. Owls do a lot more than twist their heads in a cute or creepy way. They are considered top predators of mammals, reptiles, and small birds, which helps qualify them for the "top extreme animals in the world" list. As documented by, fifteen owl species have been found in Montana, including the Western Screech Owl, Snowy Owl, and Great Gray Owl.

Good ol' BEAVERS are also on the list of top extreme animals in the world that roam Montana. Apparently, a beaver's teeth never stop growing. They continually chew through wood and other viable materials to keep them at a particular length. Studies have shown that beavers have teeth enamel made with iron, which keeps them durable and robust. Plus, they genuinely are nature's architects. At various dams and creeks, you can occasionally view their amazing woodwork resulting from some serious chomping and gnawing.

The DUNG BEETLE is on the list due to their strength and, uh, something else yet to be revealed. First off, they are considered the strongest insect on Earth. They can push an object or insect 200 times their body weight! Oh, and here's the clincher and part of why Dung beetles have made the list; their central dietary intake is animal dung (feces), hence the name Dung beetle. Moving along...

Here's an interesting one that made the list; MALE PIGEONS. They have made the list because they are so helpful to their mates. Aww, such nice guys. Male pigeons are known to help incubate eggs laid by their female sweethearts from mid-morning to late afternoon. Female pigeons then pick up the slack in the late afternoon and into the wee hours of the evening. Pigeons can mate for life and share the responsibility of feeding their young. No divorce papers needed anytime soon for this species.

Next up, MOSQUITOS. Not only are they irritating, but they have proven to be deadly. As part of the animal kingdom, these drastic insects have made the list for this very reason. While mosquitoes found in Montana cannot transmit the Zika virus, they can transmit the West Nile Virus. Mosquitos also have fatally infected horses in Montana. All the while, birds serve as culprits by spreading disease to mosquitos. When a mosquito bites a bird and then goes on to bite a human, then that is how viruses spread.

Last but not least, FROGS have made the list, and for good "ribbit"...I mean reason. Frogs do not use their "regular" eyelids to sleep, which means they hibernate with their eyes open. Luckily, membranes keep debris from bothering their eyelids even though it seems like they're staring at you while they sleep. Another feature that keeps them on the extreme list is their giant eyeballs. It turns out frogs can see 360 degrees around them with those babies, a nice added feature to help keep predators away. Species of frogs in Montana include Columbia Spotted, Northern Leopard, Rocky Mountain Tailed, and Pacific Tree.

Wildlife is amazing and a topic that never gets old. What animals do you see as extreme in Montana and across the globe?

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