We see them at the zoo, on TV, in books, and sometimes in movies: swans and giraffes with graceful, long, necks; big cats with powerful legs and fierce faces; cute cuddly pandas and bears, etc. Did you know that in this big, big world there are actually some animals who would probably NOT make the most good-looking animals list? Want to know who they are? If you are curious, here are 15 of the ugliest animals on earth and some little info about each of them.
1) The warthog may be the pig’s cousin, but they don’t share looks. Warthogs have protective warts on their flat heads, thick hair on their body and four sharp tusks.
2) The sloth is more popular for its slowness than its appearance. (Remember Flash from Zootopia‘s Department of Mammal Vehicles?)
3) The red-lipped batfish lives in the waters of the Galápagos Islands and is popular for its bright red lips and for “walking” on the ocean floor, instead of swimming.
4) The proboscis-monkey or long-nosed monkey actually attracts females with their noses. They usually stay near the rivers of the jungles in Borneo.
5) The naked mole rat, also called the sand puppy, is a hairless rodent that does not grow old.
6) The komondor may look like a pet covered with by a mop, but it is actually a Hungarian sheepdog. It has the heaviest fur among all the dogs in the world.
7) From head to body, the aye-aye is roughly a little longer than a ruler. They may look like rats at first glance, but they are actually primates and live only in Madagascar.
8) You might say that the red Irish lord fish is the chameleon of the ocean. It changes its color to avoid predators and when it hunts its food.
9) The Philippine tarsier is the second smallest primate in the world; its 6-inch body can fit in the palm of your hand. They may be cute, but they are hunters and very territorial.
10) The matamata turtle has a wide mouth and long snout. And, no, they did not come from New Zealand’s hobbit town Matamata, but from South America.
11) Little lorikeets are the smallest lorikeets in Australia and have beautiful bright colors. You won’t be able tell how pretty they are as babies, though. The ones in this picture are 12 days old.
12) The frilled shark is one of the oldest – think Tyrannosaures rex and triceratops (yes!) – living animals on earth. It has 300 sharp teeth and a snake-like body and head.
13) The flying fox, also known as mega-bats, are the only mammals that can fly. You can find them in Australia feeding on nectar, pollen, and fruits of native forest trees.
14) The baird’s tapir is the largest mammal from Central America. They have a nose that looks like a shortened elephant’s trunk. These animals have been roaming the earth for the past 35 million years and are considered “living fossils.”
15) The Cuban almiqui is a creature with poisonous saliva. It also has a long nose and long, scaly tail.
These animals may not be the prettiest or nicest ones to look, but their presence on earth is very important. Some of them help maintain the balance in nature. Others, like the frilled shark and the baird’ tapir, give us an idea of the creatures that probably roamed the earth when there was only animals living on earth. Whatever animals look like, they are all part of our world and it is our duty to help keep these animals safe.