Jul 20, 2010

All kingdoms, phyla, classes and orders welcome

I woke up this morning hearing the ugly mammals calling: "What about us?"

I feel guilty for posting about sea creatures twice a row. It's just too easy. I could probably post a picture of some astonishingly ugly aquatic animal every day without breaking a sweat.

But that wouldn't be fair. The farther an animal gets from furry and cuddly, the easier it is for them to be ugly. It's probably an instinctive reaction - the more different things are from us, the more likely we are to find them ugly.

So fish and invertebrates have a big head start. Mammals have to work so much harder to be ugly, since they start with the disadvantage of being warm, four-limbed, and at least somewhat furry.

But when they make the effort, they really can pull out all the stops, like the saiga antelope above, and this lovely rhino:

Mammals tend to dominate my other blog with their bad behavior, but they equally deserve to be honored here for their bad looks - and just as often as our squishy, scaly, cold-blooded friends.

Thanks to the Guardian UK and their fantastic weekly photo galleries for helping us recognize the efforts of the rhino and saiga antelope.

In solidarity with the homeothermic ugly,
-Wombat (No Relation)


Anonymous said...

That antelope is definitely ugly; more like the Jimmy Durante of antelopes.

But that rhino is ugly because it appears to have had its horns cut back to protect it from poachers. Rhino's with intact horns may not be the prettiest things on Earth, but I don't think they necessarily look ugly. I would say they look more or less awesome, like an armored Humvee or a modern battle tank.

wombat said...

If it makes that rhino feel better to believe that it was cute before its horns were trimmed, I'm not going to hurt its feelings by saying different, but I will say just between us that I put my fingers over the horns and decided that it was qualified for this blog either way.

Chris Ogunlowo said...

Wow, funny antelope.

Mike B. said...

Is that antelope deformed? That can't be real!