There was an outpouring of grief and respect at the passing of giant Galapagos tortoise Lonesome George, earlier this week.
The 100-year-old, believed to be the last of his subspecies, was known as one of the rarest animals in the world, and earned his moniker after failing to mate throughout his lengthy life.
Now and then an animal wiggles its ways into the collective hearts and consciousness of the world, whether in a haze of cuteness, for its extreme talents or peculiar appearance.
Who will ever forget Knut, the gorgeous baby polar bear who melted hearts across the planet after his birth at a German zoo in 2006. Or Punxsutawney Phil, the weather-predicting groundhog immortalised in the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day?
Dead or alive, here are some of the most famous animals on the planet.
Boo, the self-styled 'world's cutest dog'
Boo The Dog was discovered by Khloe Kardashian on Facebook in 2010. Since sharing her discovery, the Pomeranian's popularity has exploded. He has more than 2 million Facebook 'likes' on his page, several dedicated fan sites and even his own book, Boo: The Life Of The World's Cutest Dog.
Paul, the 'psychic' octopus
Paul, a brilliant German octopus, who impressed fans worldwide with his uncanny ability to correctly predict the outcome of Germany's World Cup games by choosing between two savory snacks. He died of natural causes in 2010.
Heidi the 'psychic' opossum (RIP)
Heidi, a cross-eyed opossum who garnered hundreds of thousands of Facebook fans, inspiring a line of stuffed dolls and even earning an invitation to the Oscars. She died in 2011 at the age of three-and-a-half.
The Artist's Uggie
The Artist star Uggie cemented his position as Hollywood's top dog as he was honoured with a pawprint ceremony outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The ten-year-old Jack Russell sported a bow-tie as he marked his retirement from the film industry by becoming the first dog to place his paws outside the Los Angeles landmark.
Lonesome George (RIP)
The cause of Lonesome George's death is unknown. Officials at Galapagos National Park said they may embalm his body to show "we must be more responsible keeping the environment in which we live, our planet."
Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil
Punxsutawney Phil makes an annual weather prediction in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Knut the polar bear (RIP)
Berlin's beloved polar bear Knut, who rose to stardom when he was hand-raised by zoo keepers after being rejected by his mother rejected at birth, died in 2011.