The world is full of beautiful creatures, each perfectly designed to take advantage of their environmental niche. However, every once in a while evolution has thrown a curve ball in the 'looks' department. And while every animal has an important its role to play in the grand scheme of things, some of them would perhaps be better off fulfilling their role in the dark.

Be that as it may, check out my list of the world's ugliest animals, but beware! Some of these animals have truly been beaten by the ugly stick!

The World's Ugliest Animals

In the swamps of Southern United States of America there is one creature that most will find absolutely grotesque.

It is the Alligator snapping turtle, and while it may not be the prettiest, it is by far the largest freshwater turtle in America - weighing up to 300lbs.

Perhaps worse than its face is the 'creepy' specialised organ that wriggles inside its mouth! This is a lure which is used to attract fish within striking distance.

The budget frog from south America looks as though it has come straight out of a jelly mold and not quite set properly. However,its unusual looks are a case of function over form as the Budgets frogs loose fitting folds of skin help it to survive dry conditions by becoming dormant. Instead of breathing, it absorbs minute traces of oxygen from the dwindling pools!

The star nosed mole is the world's weirdest earth mover. However, this creature holds the world record for having the best sense of touch of any animal on the planet. The secret of the 'star' of the star nosed mole is its 20 super-sensitive tentacles which ring the snout. These fleshy fingers on his nose may seem unsightly but there are the secret to the star nosed moles success.

The unprepossessing protuberances allow the star nosed mole to hunt 14 times faster than other moles. Smell and hearing first alert the mole to a meal. Once close the mole will turn to the touch sensitive tentacles. Gripping like separate fingers they drag the prey into the moles mouth.

Most people will agree that the warthog is the ugliest mammal in Africa. However, it's strange, disproportionate head is very useful for is survival. The warthogs mussel is shaped like a shovel which it uses to turn over hard earth in order to dig up tasty bulbs and roots.

Its tusks are formidable weapons which it uses to defend itself, and the four warts on the face - from which the warthog gets its name - are strategically placed in order to protect the face and eyes from the jabbing tusks of other challenging males.

In most people's mind, the most grotesque bird of all is the vulture. Many birds have a thick coating of feathers upon their head and neck, but why are vulture so wanting?

Vultures can't preen their own heads and any feathers in this area would become heavily matted with blood and gore. These bald looks therefore help vultures to stay clean when the going get tough.

There are some creatures that many people think that only a mother could love and a prime example of this is the northern elephant seal. Its enormous proboscis can reach over two feet long, but where big is good, bigger is better - especially when it come to attracting prospective females!

A male can have a harem of up to 50 females. In the breeding season, the male shows off his nose by using it to create a loud, bellowing bark which can be heard up to a mile away. A big nose enhances not only sound but the owners status so challengers beware!

For related articles click onto the following links:
THE MATA MATA TURTLE - Chelus fimbriata
THE WORLD'S UGLIEST FLOWER - Aristolochia cymbifera 'Domingos Martins'

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