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9 of the Ugliest Animals On Earth

Updated on August 30, 2011

The title alone of this hub inspires your curiosity, doesn't it?

Animals are amazing be-ings, similar to us and yet quite different. In them, we see snippets of our own behavior and even our own looks, to some degree. Some are beautiful, majestic and we love to watch them. And then there are the ones that give you the creeps and they are down-right ugly. Besides their looks, I find all animals quite fascinating. From their living habits, to what they eat and where they live. We have similarities as habitants on earth and have much to learn from them.

I have compiled here some animals that are not only fascinating but they are intriguing because of their looks. Listed below is where these ugly beasts live, what they eat, and their social interaction within their species.

Aye-Aye (Daubentonia Madagascariensis)

1. Aye-Aye

This little guy is pretty tiny and although I added him to my list of "uglies", he does have something somewhat cute about him. Maybe it's his size?

You are probably wondering what the heck is this thing? It's a lemur! This type of lemur is native to Madagascar, mainly found along the east coast. He prefers to reside amongst the deciduous forest and the rain forest and can be found up to 700 meters above snoozing in his nest built in the tree branches. He is a nocturnal fella and is usually sleeping during the day.

Interestingly, he eats with his sharp, rodent-like teeth and claw-like middle finger that is used in the same way as a wood-pecker uses his beak. In this way, he knocks on the tree and by the sound of his knock is able to find grubs and other goodies to gnaw a hole into the side of the tree and feast.

He is currently classified as "Near Threatened", meaning that he falls under the category of possible threatened extinction in the near future.

Naked Mole Rat

2. Naked Mole Rat

Well, the naked mole rat is a hands-down winner of ugly. Rats on their own can be considered ugly, but this little guy, with his lack of skin-pigment and large front teeth, along with lack of fur, makes him somewhat unpleasant to look at.

Native to east Africa, which are dry, desert-like grasslands. They burrow themselves together, typically in groups of 70-80, but can be as many as 300, naked mole rat families and live in complex tunnels that can stretch for a couple of miles long, if stretched out.

Their diet consists mainly of tubers, which are pieces of root and stem that exists deep beneath the earth, but will also snack on their own poop, yuck! The smaller rats, known as the workers, maintain the tunnels and find the food for the rest of the family. The large females, known as Queens and large males mate and reproduce. A female usually only has one litter per year and nurses her pups for the first month and then is fed feces until they are old enough to eat their traditional diet.

Naked mole rats lack a substance that is found in other animals, known as substance P, that sends the pain signal to the brain, so they basically feel no pain. They also have a very slow metabolism which allows them to live in the dry areas with no food for a time.

Matamata Turtle

3. Matamata Turtle

The matamata turtles appearance is very unusual with his long nose reaching for the surface of the water and knobby and encrusted shell. He looks like he could blend right in with his surroundings. The color of the matamata turtles are usually brown or black in color, and around 18 inches long and weighing in around the 30lb mark, he could easily be mistaken for a fallen branch.

This is a fresh-water turtle that lives primarily in the Amazon and Orinoco basins that are found in South America. He prefers to dwell in low fresh water, stagnant pools of water, swamps and the like, with his snout poking out to breath.

His shell resembles that of bark from a tree, so he is quite camouflaged to his predators and prey. The matamata turtle feeds only on fish and invertebrates. He is able to stay hidden until ready to prey and then opens his mouth large, to suction in the targeted prey, this is called suction feeding.

Males perform for the females by extending his limbs and opening his mouth and lunging at the female, while moving the lateral flaps located on his head.(I don't know how she could resist him) Then shortly thereafter nesting begins located in the Upper Amazon, where she lays 12-28 eggs through October to December of each year.

Elephant Seal

4. Elephant Seal

The elephant seal, though very cute if young or female, get their name from the "Bull" or fully grown male seal with his large snout. The nose actually resembles that of an elephant trunk, only shorter. There are two different species of elephant seals. One species is from the northern Pacific coasts of the U.S. and Canada and the other species is from the southern hemisphere, that being New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and Peninsula Valdes.

Both of these species of seal reach a whopping 16 feet long and up to 6000 lbs for the bulls and the cows are a bit smaller at 10 feet long and 2000 lbs small. They like to feast on ocean delights such as squid, octopi, eels, rays, small sharks and large fish. And its no wonder because they need to maintain a large amounts of blubber to stay warm within the ocean.

They spend up to 80% of their lives in the water.They are able to stay underwater due to their large amount of blood supplies in their bodies, which also carries the oxygen needed during their deep ocean diving. These large blood supplies are stored in large sinuses found in their abdomens and also stored within their muscles. Because of this they can stay underwater for up to 2 hours long!

By the age of four or five years old, the females are ready to begin mating. They will generally only have one pup at a time. The male reaches his maturity around five years, but won't reach alpha status until he reaches eight years of age or older, alpha being the leader of the group. His prime age is between nine and twelve years of age.


5. Llama

The Llama is an interesting fellow, similar in appearance to a camel and spits just the same too. Andean cultures breed llamas for their meat and have since pre-hispanic times. They live mainly in South America but are thought to have originated millions of years ago from North America.

Llamas eat a variety of foods and often, as they are owned, eat a number of commercial or farm based foods, depending on the amount of spending money and nutrition requirements. They often eat bromgrass, corn silage, alfalfa and if they are still growing, may require extra nutrients.

Females reach maturity and are able to mate at 1 year old while the males are ready around the 3 year mark. Llamas mate and then release an egg that is usually fertilized on the first try. They are unique in the way that they do not go into heat or have a fertile period, the mating comes first then fertilization. The gestation time for the female llama is eleven and a half months and they give birth while standing with typically the females of the herd gathered around. They are offering protection from the males and other predators during this time. The female mother nuzzles and hums to her newborn cria (baby in Spanish and also the name used for baby llama).

The undercoat of the llama can be used for crafts and garments while the overcoat can be used for carpeting and wall hangings as it is a rougher material. And because of their easy going demeanor are pleasant to breed and have around. They have also been known for their guarding abilities and can be used amongst other livestock to guard against predators.

Star Nosed Mole

6. Star Nosed Mole

The star nosed mole gets his name for very obvious reasons. He has a very unusual look indeed. Their noses actually contain 25 000 touch receptors known as Eimer's organs and they are used to feel their way around, since he is blind. They have short black water repellent fur, long claws and a long thick tail. They are usually about 6-12 inches long when fully grown.

The star nosed mole comes from wet low areas in Canada and is also found in the north eastern United States. They are also similar to the naked mole rat in that they build tunnels underground, but different that theirs usually leads to water. He is thought to live in a colony, similar to mice or rats.

When he's sniffed out his food, namely worms, insects, mollusks and other crustaceans, he rapidly eats them. He has a reputation for being a fast eater and he can eat as fast as 120 milliseconds (wow), that is to identify and consume what he has found.

They mate in the late winter or early spring each year and will have a litter of 4 or 5 babies in late spring or early summer. They mature by about 10 months of age. Their natural predators are the horned owl, domestic cats, large fish, and skunks.

Proboscis Monkey

7. Proboscis Monkey

What an extraordinary nose! The proboscis monkey, aka long nosed monkey, (we might have a theme going here with noses) originally comes from an island called Borneo, located in southeast Asia. He is mainly brownish red with gray limbs and of course the unusually large nose, which is found on the males. His nose is also thought to amplify the warning calls to others.

He weighs around 53 lbs and the females are much smaller at 26 lbs. This difference is greater than in any other primate. The size of the nose on the male is actually thought to attract the females and can reach up to 7 inches long.

Proboscis monkeys are known to walk upright and in single file, the only mammals other than gibbons and giant pangolins to do so. They live in groups of 10-32 animals at a time but are known to swap amongst the other groups of proboscis monkeys. They usually live in what is known as a harem, or a group of females, little ones and one adult male.

The proboscis monkey eats mainly seeds, leaves and mangrove shoots. They are listed currently on the endangered listed due to habitat loss and hunting in some areas. They are mainly found in protected areas now in Malaysia.

Hairless Cat

8. Hairless Cat

Here is a hairless cat or sphynx. He is actually quite attractive but in some pictures just doesn't look that photogenic. He is known for his lack of hair which reveals what's really underneath, the skin.

The sphynx, also known as the Canadian hairless, started in 1966 when a bald kitten was born and then bred back again with its mother, known as backcrossing. Well after many years of backcrossing and outcrossing and other interesting, but not so interesting details, here we have the hairless cat or Canadian Sphynx.

Although he appears to have no hair, he actually has a fine coat of soft vellus hair, which makes him feel like chamois leather. They are known for being outgoing, having a friendly nature, being intelligent, and very affectionate to their owners. They are also known as being a healthy and robust breed of cats. Reputable breeders will not let their kittens go before 12 weeks of life though because of their susceptibility to respiratory illnesses in the first few weeks of life due to the lack of protective fur coat.

There are other breeds of hairless cats that differ from those that I have described above. Breeders in Europe have been breeding hairless cats since the 1960s as well.

White Down's Syndrome Liger

Actual Ligers
Actual Ligers

9. White Liger?

O.k., I know, I'm grasping for straws here. Well I threw this one in just because I came across it from a recommendation that my daughter gave me. White tigers are actually quite beautiful and majestic, this one looks a little different. His forehead looks too big and teeth somewhat askew, does it remind you of anyone you know? I have seen people that carry this same look, although they do not suffer from Down's Syndrome.

Is there such a thing as a Liger though? Well yes there is and you guessed it right, it's the combination of a male lion and a female tiger. If a male tiger impregnates a female lion, it is actually called tiglon, though this fella doesn't really look like a liger or a tiglon. Below I added a real picture of two ligers.

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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I fell bad for everyone who calls these animals ugly. I mean they can't help it. Like those people with special needs we don't make fun of them do we because they look different they were made like that God created them. And don't say well I will hate my self if I was one of these animals because you wouldn't I guarantee it. You just say that know because you are the one saying that that animal is ugly instead you being the animal being called ugly. And I am an animal lover and I'm only 10.

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 

      6 years ago from The High Seas

      I would not want to wake up looking at any of these critters. A few years ago (when I used to work in an office) I used that photo of the lemur to put a flyer in the break room saying My cat needs a new home. I received no calls.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      that's what happens when you feed the aye aye after midnight .... new york .. new york

    • alahiker28 profile image

      Vicki Parker 

      6 years ago from the Deep South

      You're list is spot on. But you really shouldn't pick on that poor tiger : )

    • profile image

      Ugly Animals 

      8 years ago

      Well, I would say 50% of those animals are ugly yes! but I liked that Elephant Seal and Liger. I love seals in all way. They are the cutest ever!


      Ugly Animals Admin

    • Steph0596 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Ontario

      Lol, thanks mom!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hello, I just wanted to comment that this is an excellent and entertaining hub, thanks!

    • Steph0596 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Ontario

      Hi Esmeol12, You're right, the aye-aye does look like Dobby, I thought he looked! Thanks for the vote!

    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A Johnson 

      8 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      I agree that the naked mole rat is hideously ugly. The Aye-Aye looks like Dobby on Harry Potter. I think llamas are sort of cute. Very interesting hub. Voted up.

    • Steph0596 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Ontario

      You are right Wesman, even though the title says ugly, and in some ways they could be viewed as ugly, these animals are fascinating and not ugly, just different than us. Thanks for dropping by!

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      8 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      You say ugly, but I say its beautiful! :=D


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