Not every animal is as cuddly as a giant panda or as flashy as a peacock, but every animal has its duty to perform, and every organism is significant.
As they say, beauty is just skin deep. For the sake of these 10 ugliest animals, let’s hope that the same may be said about ugliness.
1. California Condor
One of the world’s rarest birds and North America’s most giant flying land birds, the California condor is elegant when soaring high above the canyons and deserts of the American West Coast.
Up close, though, this bird isn’t so photogenic. Its bald head is an adaptation for its lifestyle as a scavenger as a feathered head would get clogged with blood when the bird feeds on huge carrion.
Condors reached the threshold of extinction in the late 1970s when just a few dozen of them lived. Scientists initiated a captive breeding program, and as of February 2012, around 213 California condors exist in the wild.
Perhaps it’s harsh to evaluate a fish out of the water, but the blobfish appears more like a ball of slime than a live thing.
Blobfish dwell deep in the water where pressures are extreme. In truth, the blobfish’s gelatinous look is really a remarkable adaptation — its gooey, pudding-like flesh permits it to remain buoyant at depths where gaseous bladders can’t operate.
The visually challenged blobfish was previously chosen the world’s ugliest animal in an online survey held by the British-based Ugly Animal Preservation Society, earning it the group’s official symbol.
3. Naked Mole-Rat
It must be tough to keep a positive self-image if you’re a bald rodent, but it’s not a problem for the naked mole-rat. It’s undoubtedly beneficial that they are almost blind. These creatures dwell underground in insect-like colonies and have minimal need for solid vision. Their virtually hairless bodies are also an adaptation for their subterranean habitat.
Surprisingly, naked mole rats are more closely related to porcupines, chinchillas, and guinea pigs than they are to either moles or rats. Also, contrary to their name, they really do have some hair. There are roughly 100 fine hairs on their bodies that behave like whiskers to help them sense what’s around them, plus hairs between their toes to assist them in moving earth behind them while digging tunnels.
Interestingly, naked mole rats are also among the longest surviving of any rodents considering their size – they may live for about 30 years. Additionally, they have excellent resistance against cancer.
4. Proboscis Monkey
A person may flee for safety with this nose, but the more significant the nose, the proboscis monkey, the better. It turns out that nothing turns on a female proboscis monkey more than a giant, bulbous schnoz. Scientists think that the vast nose impacts a male probosci’s monkey’s vocalizations that attract females and intimidate competition males.
These curious-looking monkeys are actually outstanding swimmers because of their webbed feet and hands. In fact, they’re so adept that they can frequently swim faster than crocodiles. They jump from trees into the sea, striking with a spectacular belly flop.
As feral members of the pig family, warthogs feature the classic pig snout, tusks protruding from their mouths, a wart-like curvature to their cheeks, and a nappy mane of hair that falls down their bottom. They really have two pairs of tusks: the top tusks protrude from their snouts, creating a semi-circle, while their lower tusks are positioned at the base of the other set.
Warthogs’ bodies are coated in bristles, and they’re recognizable by their abnormally enormous heads and the wart-like pads that give protection.
They don’t create a picture of beauty, but these physical traits make warthogs well-adapted to their savanna and grassland environments and the caves they prefer to inhabit.
6. Star-Nosed Mole
The star-nosed mole could have the oddest nose in the animal world. Their unusual whiffets are characterized by 22 fleshy appendages that behave more like ultra-sensitive fingers than a nose. These snouts are lined with more than 25,000-minute sense receptors that let the mole navigate its way around its underground burrow.
All of those sensory receptors make this mole’s nose one of the most sensitive in the whole animal world. That results in the star-nosed mole being an extremely adept hunter. The outside tentacles probe for a prospective meal, and then the internal sensors assess whether the prey is edible.
This gremlin-looking species, named an aye-aye, is a primate found in Madagascar.
Aye-ayes have a lot of odd features, including long, bony, witch-like middle fingers that they use to pull insects and grubs off tree trunks. This permits them to fulfill a biological niche, just as a woodpecker could. They are likewise nocturnal, only come out at night.
Additionally, aye-ayes have incisors that continue to develop, unique for primates, and exceptionally enormous ears. As it moves along a branch, the aye-aye taps it with its skeleton middle finger. It cups its big ear forward, listening for the echoes coming from the tree. When it realizes it is above a bug tunnel, it chops off portions of the tree with its vast teeth so it can reveal the tunnel and feast on the insects inside.
These unappetizing, freaky-looking fish are a frequent culinary delicacy, but people didn’t want to eat the fish for years because it was so ugly. Chefs ultimately learned that its appearances were misleading, and today it appears upon the menus of all types of fancy restaurants.
With mottled skin, an unattractive overbite, and a strange form, monkfish are obviously ugly. But because of their large heads loaded with razor-like teeth, they seem very menacing as well.
9. Marabou Stork
Standing over five feet tall with a wingspan of more than 10 feet, the marabou stork is a scavenger of huge carrion, which is why it has a featherless head. These African birds also devour other birds and have even been known to ingest flamingos.
The marabou stork does have some ugly behaviors. They defecate all over their legs and feet, for instance. This gives their appendages a gorgeous white sheen and also helps them control their body temperature.
Marabou storks aren’t especially active; in fact, they are pretty sluggish. They stand about most of the time and frequently pant excessively when they are hot.
10. Elephant Seal
Baby elephant seals and female elephant seals are pleasant-looking. Males, meanwhile, begin acquiring a big nose when they reach sexual maturity, probably around three to five years. The giant schnoz is wholly formed by 7 to 9 years old, giving the seal the appearance of its namesake elephant with a big, floppy trunk. Much to the proboscis monkey, an elephant seal’s huge nose plays a role in mating since it helps emit loud roars that ward off competing males.
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