Dec 30, 2011

Year-End Reviews: Whose side are you on?


You have a choice. You could look at more of photographer Alex Wild's favorites from the past year on his blog Myrmecos, like the photo above. That's a type of army ant biting the photographer - getting a grip like that makes it easier for the ant to use her stinger at the other end.

Or you could look at The Telegraph's Review of the Cutest Animals Pictures of 2011. After all it does contain ugdorable babies like this orphaned wombat in a teacup:

Only you can decide what's right.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Dec 27, 2011

Life imitates art


I'm not sure the lined leaf-tailed gecko counts as ugly, especially compared to some of its creepy-looking relatives that we have seen on this blog. But it sure is the opposite of warm and furry - in fact it looks almost exactly like a carved wooden animal:

Apparently this is its way of trying not to be seen in the bamboo forests where it lives, like so:

That's not bad, but I think it might be even better off trying to hide in a gift shop full of wooden souvenirs... except I would probably buy him and take him home.

Thanks for our friends at Archie McPhee's Geyser of Awesome for introducing me to this gecko and for photos, to Flickr user David d'O and Wikispecies.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Dec 21, 2011

Holiday baking inspiration... or not


Distracted by my urge to post pictures of my pugs in Christmas outfits, I was finding it a bit of a challenge to come up with a respectable idea for a holiday-themed post about ugly animals.

But then I realized - of course! For many people, the holiday season is all about baking those Christmas cookies, so why not the cookie cutter shark?

The cookie cutter shark uses the impressive teeth in that picture to gouge nice round pieces out of the flesh of large prey. And in fact, there's some recent cookie-cutter-shark news that I neglected to report on: in November, a paper was published documenting the first recorded attack of a cookie cutter shark on a HUMAN. The critter took a chunk out of the leg of a guy who was attempting a long-distance swim from Hawaii and Maui.

This was actually fairly widely reported, but for the first hand account, check out this interview at Deep Sea News. It's complete with a clear photo of the actual wound which may spoil your appetite for those Christmas cookies for a while.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Dec 15, 2011

Up close and personal with ugly creatures


According to The Telegraph, "Senior invertebrate keeper Evan Armstrong is adorned in various species of stick insects to celebrate the opening of the Bugs Garden habitat at Wild Life Sydney." Do YOU love ugly animals that much?

And while I've got your attention: a shark-themed gift guide from our friends at Southern Fried Science.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Dec 13, 2011

Hairy germ-eating sea life


I'm sure you all remember the yeti crab, an amazing creature that was first discovered only in 2006. It's a deep-sea species that lives around methane-belching hydrothermal vents, and to top it off, it's got all kinds of bacteria growing in those hairlike filaments all over its legs.

Now the existence of a second species of yeti crab has been announced
. It's actually somewhat less hairy than the first, making it more authentically ugly - the silky-looking hair on the original species would really be attractive, if only it weren't on a crab.

And even better, scientists have discovered something new about that hair-bacteria as well. It's the crab's main source of food, and the crab even seems to actively "farm" it by waving its arms around (you can see videos here). "This 'dance' is extraordinary and comical," says one scientist, but it's not just good for a laugh: the behavior exposes the bacteria in the "hair" to the oxygen and sulphide that it needs to grow.

Another appreciative scientist commented, "The original yeti crab was charismatic. This one is even more so."

-Wombat (No Relation)

Dec 12, 2011

Your Monday ugdorable


This is a trailer for a show about the baby sloth orphanage at the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica, to air this coming Saturday. Check out Slothville.com for more info, or just watch this and be careful your head doesn't explode from the onslaught of ugdorable.

Dec 7, 2011

Ugly rebel baby


We've seen echidna babies on this blog before: from one that's younger and creepily hairless, to one that's old enough to have reached the ugdorable stage. But this one... even knowing that baby echidnas have the cute name of "puggle" isn't enough to make this anything but hideous.

Its ugly childhood is actually far from the most notable feature of the echidna: it's an egg-laying mammal. The egg hatchs after about two weeks and then the mother carries the puggle in her pouch for about two months. Then, says the Perth Zoo where this one was born, “Once the puggle’s spines started to emerge the mother deposited it in the nursery burrow.” Ouch.

Along with the platypus, echidnas belong to a group called monotremes that thinks it's too special to obey the rules that everyone else has to follow to join the mammal club. I suppose the echidna figures that as long as it doesn't have a duck's bill, it's still less of a radical than its closest relative.

Thanks to Zooborns for the tip.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Dec 4, 2011

Ugly holiday shopping


I've been researching a holiday shopping guide for my other blog and came across a couple of T-shirts that might be of interest to all of you lovers of less-lovable animals. The shirt above is available at TopatoCo. Maybe if we buy enough of them we can encourage them to have a whole line: personally I'm dreaming of "Saiga Antelope Are Cute Too."

I'm also particularly fond of this three-banded armadillo shirt by Kevin Sherry at Squidfire. Just so you know: that's NOT a tail:

(And hey, if you like his drawings, he illustrated the Animals Behaving Badly book, which I think is also an excellent holiday shopping choice. But you knew I'd say that.)

And if you want something other than a T-shirt, I feel confident that you're all exactly the sort of people who'd enjoy sticking worms in your ears to listen to music:

Available from the fine people at Archie McPhee.

-Happy shopping,
Wombat (No Relation)

Dec 1, 2011

The stuff of nightmares


You may be trying to comfort yourself that that is a child's hand and a baby carrot. It is not.

That's the largest specimen ever found of an insect called the weta, and has been declared the largest insect in the world in terms of weight. It has a wingspan of 7 inches and weighs 71g, which I am not going to translate into a weight system that I understand because I am afraid of the answer.

You can read more about it here, if you dare. You can also read more about Mark Moffett, who discovered it, here. The news coverage refers to him oddly as a "nature-lover" and "former park ranger," but he's actually a rather famous naturalist, explorer, and photographer.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Nov 28, 2011

Your Monday ugdorable


Do you know what that animal is? If you do, pat yourself on the back. That's a baby Malayan tapir that was born at the Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in England. If you ever want to have a good time, stand in front of a tapir exhibit at the zoo and watch people try to guess what it is. (For some reason zoo visitors never read the signs.) The tapir has been described as looking "like the result of a night of passion involving a pig and an anteater," but it's not closely related to either. Prehistoric tapirs ranged all over Europe, Asia, and the Americas, but the only species left are this one in Asia and four in South America. Their closest living relative isn't any of the things you'll hear those zoo visitors guess - it's actually the rhinoceros.

The Malayan tapir is extremely threatened by habitat destruction, so any captive births are good news. Aside from the baby, the coverage of this birth included some truly excellent photos of the mom. We've posted some pretty darn good tapir snouts on this blog before, but I don't think I've ever seen such a good shot of it actually in use:


And check out that first link to Port Lympne for an adorable video clip of the baby whistling and wiggling its snout.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Nov 23, 2011

Happy - and Ugly - Thanksgiving


Sure, turkeys are delicious. But let's not forget how ugly they are.

And read more about their ugly behavior at my other blog.

Giving thanks to Flickr users Drome and Mark Coleman.

Nov 21, 2011

Ugdorable mutant


Is this the legendary chupacabra, finally captured alive? Wow, it's a lot cuter than I expected.

No, it's a hairless raccoon, found last week in Vero Beach, Florida. An officer of the local humane society says that the animal doesn't have mange or any other signs of illness. Apparently it's just a natural mutation, like the Sphynx cat or those hairless guinea pigs. And like those, isn't there something strangely appealing about it?

This wrinkled boy was found trapped in a trash can by sanitation workers, who called animal control to rescue him. There'll be no more dumpster-diving for this guy: From here on in it's room service, at a wildlife sanctuary located in the town of Jupiter. Seems like a fitting destination for this alien-looking critter.

You can see more pictures here.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Nov 18, 2011

Slimy and ugdorable hellbabies!


Today I met these young hellbenders. Aren't they cute? Look at their beady eyes and wrinkles! Look at their tiny little toesies!

These guys are about two years old and maybe eight inches long. I'm not sure, I was too busy squealing to measure them. Adult hellbenders are about two feet long and look a lot like miniature Japanese giant salamanders, but live in the eastern United States. And they're colloquially called "snot otters." It doesn't get any better than that, right?

When you're done cooing and squealing, read more at Hellbenders.org.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Nov 15, 2011

Ugly transformed


That is a Hispanolian solenodon. There are only two species of solenodon, and we haven't seen them nearly often enough here. This is another animal that doesn't stop at being ugly to look at. That rubbery nose has got a ball-and-socket joint inside it for extra mobility. And if that's not weird enough for you, this is a mammal that is venomous. They've got toxic saliva that's delivered through grooves in their lower incisors when they bite their prey.

But as we know well on this blog, there's no animal that is so ugly that someone doesn't love it. And since this guy is highly endangered, its fans are hoping to spread that love so that people will help protect it. To this end, one conservation group has designed cuddly solenodons:



They clean up pretty nice, don't they? At least when you knit them out of wool with little t-shirts on them. Hey, if that's what it takes, I'm not going to argue.

If they've captured your ugly-loving heart and you want to know more, you can read the blog and website of the group The Last Survivors for more about how they're trying to save the solenodon, and follow naturalist (and photographer of the above) Jose Nunez who tweets as Solenondon_Joe.

- Wombat (No Relation)

Nov 8, 2011

Make your travel plans now!


Usually when I learn of an ugly animal event, I make a note to post when the day comes around. But there's no way I can wait till March to tell you about the Annual Return of the Buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio.

Since the 1950s, ugly animal lovers have been gathering on March 15 to greet the buzzards returning to the Buzzard Roost in Hinckley Reservation. According to the official website:

In 1957, Walter Nawalaniec, ranger for Cleveland Metropolitan Park System (now known as Cleveland Metroparks), told a newspaper reporter that on March 15 he had witnessed for six straight years the turkey vultures returning to Hinckley Reservation. The Cleveland Press printed the story on February 15, 1957, and one month later on March 15 at 2 p.m. the first buzzard was spotted by 9,000 buzzard enthusiasts. Since then, over a hundred-thousand visitors have witnessed the return of the buzzards to Hinckley Reservation.

The event has developed into an entire ugly bird festival, with nature hikes, presentations, live music, an Official Buzzard Spotter in charge and a big Buzzard Scoreboard. Sounds like spring break to me!

Go for it!
-Wombat (No Relation)


Photo from the 2008 event by Flickr user rcoss2001. Check out his photostream for many pictures of the patience and devotion of ugly animal lovers on a cold foggy morning.

Nov 2, 2011

Be careful what you ask for


A commentor on the Hagfish Day post lamented that the photos of this animal never did it justice. I think we may have finally gotten one, don't you agree?

That photo accompanied the announcement of some research out of New Zealand: researchers have filmed for the first time how the hagfish uses its slime to defend itself. You can see how the attacking shark's mouth is filled with a cloud of slime almost instantaneously, and it leaves in disgust:


Other footage gathered by the scientists showed that hagfish, usually thought of as scavengers, are pretty nasty predators too. Yes, as we've noted before, they swim inside of carcasses and eat their way out, actually absorbing nutrients through their skin. But they also hunt, using those retracting dental plates in the photo to grab and start swallowing prey, then waiting for it to die before they finish. They might use their slime to suffocate it to hurry the process along, too.

The researchers also found that hunting technique also explains another curious hagfish ability: it can tie itself in a knot. One thing this behavior does is help give the hagfish leverage when pulling prey from a burrow. (Check out the pictures here.)

Join me in saluting the brave souls who can spend enough time with hagfish to discover all those astonishingly repulsive facts.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Oct 28, 2011

Animals Behaving Badly

Our own Linda Lombardi, known to us as simply Wombat, has written a book, and you must read it. She has long been a contributor to Ugly Overload, in addition to running her own blog, Animals Behaving Badly. That is the title of her newest book.


I've read this book, and I can unreservedly recommend it to all Ugly Overload readers. It is fantastic, and that's me giving an honest opinion, not just me sidling up to a published author to ride her coat tails. It's full of articles, facts, and statistics, all of which are organized and designed to give us a grim, but humorous look at the dark underbelly of the animal world. You'll walk away from this book (which could almost be a bathroom reader) thinking very differently about dolphins, chimpanzees, and hummingbirds. I guarantee laughs and cringes.

Buy it on Amazon and spread the word.

-

Oct 19, 2011

Happy Hagfish Day!


It's tough to keep up with all the ugly animal holidays this week, but we can't let Hagfish Day go without notice. At Whale Times, you can celebrate with a variety of craft activities, including (I am not making this up) a Hagfish Bouquet and Make Your Own Slime. Or if you're more the literary type, why not write your own Hagfish Haiku?

By the way, that's a photo of a whole bagfull o' hagfish dripping slime by Flickr user dirtsailor2003.

Oct 18, 2011

Naked News


The naked mole rat has made many appearances on this blog, as is only proper. But there's nothing better than a news story that justifies revisiting these wrinkled, bucktoothed, grotesque creatures, and I've got two of them.

One is the announcement last week that scientists have published the entire genome of the naked mole rat. It took a team of 36 scientists on three continents, and you might wonder, why bother? But as this story from the Washington Post summarizes perfectly, their appearance is not the only thing that's unusual about these animals:

The upside is you live a ridiculously long and healthy life, can’t develop cancer, feel very little pain, never get lonely and have great skin right to the end.

The downside is you breathe stinky air, rarely go outside, tend to get cold, don’t see well, live in a monarchy and can’t count on having sex. (Also, you’re a naked mole rat.)

Scientists hope that information about how the mole rat works at a genetic level will be valuable for solving human health problems. (At least that's what they tell the newspapers; I'm willing to bet that they mostly did it because this animal is so incredibly freaking cool.)

The other bit of naked mole rat news is that today is the 20th anniversary of the arrival of naked mole rats at the National Zoo. I'm tickled to salute these particular mole rats since I have known them personally, but also because I realized that we have never posted a link to the National Zoo Naked Mole Rat Cam. I'm pleased to rectify that omission.

Check out more anniversary photos at the National Zoo's Flickr page.

-In increasingly wrinkly solidarity,
Wombat (No Relation)

Oct 16, 2011

Cause for Celebration



We've met the maned sloth before, but here's another photo (via wikipedia) to announce that this coming Saturday is International Sloth Day. You can read more from the sponsoring organization (in Spanish) here or visit their Facebook page here, but really, what more do you need to know? Plan a party! You have plenty of time, even if you move reaaally sloooowly.

planning a little nap first,
-Wombat (No Relation)

Oct 10, 2011

Invasion of the Slime Monsters


As a lover of the ugly, I am rather fond of snails and slugs. As long as you don't mind that they are slimy, boneless, eyeless, ruin the garden and infest your fishtank, what's not to love?

Well now I know what's not to love after reading in the Wall Street Journal about the GIANT AFRICAN LAND SNAIL INVASION OF FLORIDA!!!

Not everyone sees these snails as a menace. Some keep them as pets, like Flickr user VenturaB. who took the reasonably attractive photo above. What you can't tell from that photo is exactly how HUGE they are:


They seem to have included that quarter for scale, but really, isn't the guy's arm indication enough?

Of course, just being big isn't so horrible. Here's what's so horrible: they "chew through plants, plaster and stucco, and sometimes carry a parasite that can infect humans with a nonlethal strain of meningitis," and "they eat so ravenously that they leave trails of excrement on walls and the ground."

There's an effort in progress to eradicate these enormous non-native gastropods, but it's no easy battle, since they reportedly can lay 1,200 eggs a year. Another less than encouraging fact: this isn't their first invasion. They were first introduced in the 1960s and were wiped out after a decade of effort in a campaign that cost a million dollars.

Wish the warriors luck, because innocent bystanders can't take much more. One woman quoted in the Wall Street Journal story was so disturbed at the sight of a mere five-inch specimen (they can grow to eight inches long) that she had to go lie down with a migraine, and, her husband said, "She's so panicked that she doesn't want to go out anymore."

-Wombat (No Relation)

Oct 4, 2011

Tackiness at sea, ahoy!



Cuttlefish are totally cool. They can change the color and even the texture of their skin, using the patterns to communicate with one another and to disguise themselves.

They're obviously not conventionally attractive if you think an animal is supposed to be cute and furry, but I've never thought of them as ugly until I saw this species on a Japanese television show. It's the Flamboyant Cuttlefish, and it seems to favor clashing combinations and tasteless colors like magenta. And get a load of all the crazy bits sticking out, rather than the discreet little bumps and ridges on the skin of more familiar species:


You can check out a bunch more photos of this species and its relatives here. Just don't go there for fashion advice, OK?

Your appalled friend,
-Wombat (No Relation)

Sep 27, 2011

Happy Banana Slug Day!


The city of Santa Cruz, California, has declared today Official Day of the UCSC Banana Slug, in honor of the ugliest, slimiest creature ever chosen as a college sports mascot.

The banana slug has been the official mascot for the teams of the University of California at Santa Cruz for 25 years, ever since determined ugly animal lovers won their campaign against the boring alternative, the sea lion. Read about it at the official website here, including a link to a song written in the slug's honor. And you can buy t-shirts and other slug gifts at their online store. They even sell plush slugs, which seems wrong somehow, but it's nice that there's apparently no end to their enthusiasm.

Bonelessly,
-Wombat (No Relation)

Sep 19, 2011

Ugly aftermath


Hurricane Irene resulted in evacuations, massive flooding, and nonstop news coverage. It also introduced a lot of people to an animal so ugly, they didn't even guess it was an animal.

The gray blobs, summed up accurately by one observer as "pretty disgusting looking,” were reported from New York to Virginia. They also caused a disgusting smell in some places, for example in New Jersey where thousands floated ashore and rotted.

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science got so many calls that they finally issued a press release identifying the repulsive globs. While guesses ranged from tar balls to sewage to ambergris from whales, they really are animals: potato sponges.

The potato sponge normally lives attached to the sea floor where we can't see it (thank goodness), but is sometimes dislodged by large storms. Then they get clogged with debris and, no longer able to filter feed, starve to death and rot, causing the lovely odor complained of in some places.

The sponges, which can grow to the size of a soccer ball, are harmless aside from the aesthetic damage. However, because the glassy appendages they use to anchor themselves can irritate the skin, you're warned not to touch them - if you're crazy and strong-stomached enough to contemplate such a thing.

queasily,
-Wombat (No Relation)

Sep 13, 2011

Zombie caterpillars rain death from treetops!


That's the headline (well, without the exclamation point) from Live Science. It's a report of some research that apparently has significance if you care about the specifics of how genes work. But it's also full of riches if what you're interested in is ugly animals and ugly animal behavior.

That's a close up of the face of a gypsy moth. Lovely, right? Also badly behaved. As an invasive species introduced to North America, gypsy moths eat the heck out of our trees.

But when you're mad at gypsy moths, you can take pleasure in thinking about a horrific virus that infects them. It changes their behavior, making them climb to the treetops when they'd normally be hiding in a protected spot. It also stops them from molting, so they'll still eat and grow bigger. Soon they die, and that's when the fun really starts: their bodies liquefy, spewing virus-laden goo all over the tree and through the air to infect more moth victims.

Foresters hope that understanding this virus may help them to control the invasive moths. But it may have implications for us as well:

"Who knew that a virus could change the behavior of its host?" study author Jim Slavicek, of the U.S. Forest Service, said in a statement. "Maybe this is why we go to work when we have a cold."


-barring the doors and windows,
Wombat (No Relation)

Sep 7, 2011

A sad anniversary


Today is National Threatened Species Day in Australia. The date is chosen because it's significant to a species that may not be strictly speaking ugly, but it's certainly not conventionally beautiful, and I think it's worth taking note of here: the thylacine.

The last thylacine died 75 years ago today at the Hobart Zoo. Sometimes called the Tasmanian Wolf or Tasmanian Tiger, it was actually a marsupial, unrelated to canines or cats. It was a carnivore, though, and that was at least part of its downfall: it was hunted by humans because farmers thought it was a danger to their sheep. But to make the story even sadder, recent research suggests that it was killed for a crime it didn't commit: its jaws were actually too weak to hunt and kill such large animals.

You can read about the life of the last thylacine at the Thylacine Museum. There's also first-person recollections of an expedition to search for the species in the wild in the 1940s and an amazing amount of other stuff. Check it out.

In marsupial solidarity,
-Wombat (No Relation)

Sep 3, 2011

Happy holiday!


In the United States it's Labor Day weekend, but the heck with that. For ugly animal lovers it's much more important that today is International Vulture Awareness Day.

So here's a couple more vultures to be aware of. And since it's important to indoctrinate youngsters into the cult of ugly as well, check out Vultures Rock, where they're having a vulture poetry contest for kids 8-12.



Your wrinkly friend,
Wombat (No Relation)

King vulture and Egyptian vulture by dracobotanicus and hooded vulture by rainbirder.

Aug 18, 2011

Serengeti Nymph?

Usually, when we get an ID request it is of a bug from someone's backyard. Perhaps the same can be said of the critter below, but Dr. Colin Beale's backyard is the Southern Serengeti, in Tanzania.

Can anyone help us identify this wee beastie? Dr. Beale thinks it might be a cricket nymph. To help with the ID, it might be useful to know that he caught it trying to eat his brains (or else it was just resting on a soap dish with 1 cm ridges so you can know the scale, I can't remember).





















If you would like to follow more of Dr. Beale's adventures in Tanzania (and I think you should), then go to Safari Ecology. It's full of pictures, mostly of creatures that are readily identifiable (and probably never to be found here). Thanks, Colin!

Aug 14, 2011

Ugdorable or Not?


That's the pig-nosed turtle, Carettochelys insculpta. I learned about it from an article at Australian Geographic which told me all kinds of interesting facts about this species: It's the only surviving member of the family carettochelyidae, it's an evolutionary transition between land and water turtles, and it's very tasty and could go extinct if hunting isn't curtailed.

But they couldn't tell me what I really wanted to know: If I posted this, would a whole bunch of you comment "That's not ugly, that's cute!"?

Inquiringly,
-Wombat (No Relation)

Aug 10, 2011

Hydrothermal Horrors

It's because of creatures below that I don't frequent hydrothermal vents in the abyssal depths of the ocean. I've read Dune, and I've seen Tremors, and such encounters rarely play out nicely.

True, this photo was taken with an electron microscope. True, this creature is almost as small as a bacterium, but the point remains. Although, it's never fair to look at a creature too closely. If you put a magnifying glass on my face, oh the porous horrors you'd see (a la Gulliver's time in Brobdingnag).

Photo source: FEI and Philippe Crassous via HuffPo




















Thank you for the hydrothermal worm, Ellen. Our microscopic world just got a bit horrificer.

Aug 9, 2011

Most Beautiful Goat Pageant

Joan brings this one to us. Behold the Damascene goat. This goat, which looks like a sock puppet, has been featured here before. Every year a contest is held in Amman, Jordan, to determine just which of the lucky females will win the title in her category. Here is this year's winner.















Photo source: Ali Jarekji / Reuters via BoingBoing

And we can all see why. If those tube ears weren't enough, then that snout would be. Wasieef is her name, and she'd better get some rest. She'll be making tours of the country, speaking as a guest lecturer at schools, visiting orphanages, making policy statements, etc. Just wait till Donald Trump gets his hands on her.

Thanks, Joan.

Aug 3, 2011

A bad hair life


That's a crested rat, or maned rat, or Lophiomys imhausi to be precise. The species is in the news lately because of some research showing that, in the words of one eminent science blogger, this animal "slobbers poison on its fur, dares predators to bite it."

Yeah, this seems like the kind of behavior that belongs on my other blog. But my first thought was "Whoa, that is a terrible photo! What is wrong with that animal's fur?" Surely the poor thing was unfairly caught on a bad hair day, right?

Well, it turns out that pictures of this animal are rather uncommon on the internet, and I now suspect that that's because it's so ugly that either it hides from photographers or no one wants to take a picture of it. I did find this photo of a taxidermied specimen:

I always think that a taxidermied specimen in good condition like that one is, I'm afraid, pretty damning evidence. If the Smithsonian Institution labored over that animal with all its experience and skill and that's what it came up with, I am sorry, crested rat, but you are one unattractive rodent.

Photos from wikipedia and Flickr user isolethetv.

Jul 17, 2011

Ugly winners


The conservation organization Amphibian Ark just concluded a photography contest for its calendar for next year, and I'm pleased to report that ugly frogs were not entirely overlooked. That's a shovelhead treefrog, a species I was previously unaware of. And our old friend the purple frog of India got an honorable mention:

If it had been an ugly contest instead, that one would deserve a grand prize.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Jul 5, 2011

Ugly self-portraits


That animal's not only ugly, it's a brazen thief, and vain to boot. This crested black macaque in Indonesia stole a photographer's camera, and what did it do with it? Took a bunch of pictures of itself. Most of the hundreds of photos were out of focus, but you can check out a few more good ones at The Telegraph and The Daily Mail.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Jun 30, 2011

WHOA


This is one of those rare cases where I am pretty much struck speechless by the ugliness of an animal, so, just the facts, ma'am:

This is a four day old seriema at Westk├╝stenpark St. Peter-Ording in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

The seriema is supposedly descended from huge, carnivorous, flightless birds that roamed South America 60 million years ago, hacking their prey into bloody chunks with their terrifying beaks. But this one will grow up to eat insects, small animals and even sometimes a side of veggies, so, no worries, except the nightmares you're going to have after seeing this photo.

Thanks (I think ) to The Local.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Jun 26, 2011

World's Ugliest Dog Crowned

It's the event of the year! A 14-year-old, 2-pound Chinese crested and chihuahua mix named Yoda has been crowned world's ugliest dog at the annual contest in Petaluma, California.

Photo source: MSN

After beating dozens of other uglies for the title, Yoda was crowned and sashed (not really) by last year's winner, Princess Abby Francis. Yoda collected the trophy, a check for $1,000, and the adoration of millions. Her owner, Terry Schumacher of Hanford, California, found Yoda abandoned behind an apartment building and at first thought she was a rat.

Photo source: Fox 8

It should surprise no one that Chinese crested + chihuahua is a winning combination. Chinese crested have historically dominated this competition, but chihuahuas and chihuahua mixes are starting to give them a run for their money. Congratulations to Yoda and her owner!