Jul 14, 2013

Horned fighting frogs!!

The familiar horned toad isn't a toad, but this is really a frog that really has horns, and it knows how to use them. Those nasty spines which are as sharp as a pencil point grow during breeding season and the males use them to fight (and also to "try to stab you a bit when you pick them up" according to the scientist who studied them). The fights happen because the males are protecting their eggs - which the females just lay and go back to the forests where they live the rest of the time. Nice to see that sort of division of labor in a species once in a while, if you ask me.

You can see video of a fight and read more at this link.

Jul 12, 2013

Giant cuddly isopod

Are you a fan of the giant tongue-eating isopod? You read this blog, so of course you are. So you will be soooo jealous of the lucky people who got one of these stuffed ones from an aquarium in Japan. Reportedly when it was introduced, the entire stock of 140 sold out immediately, even at about 60 dollars apiece.  Here's another photo with a guy from the Numazu Deep Sea Aquarium for scale:

Jun 23, 2013

What is the world coming to?

This is the World's Ugliest Dog? This is really the best we can do?

Update: look at this pug that could have won instead!

Jun 5, 2013

Ugly animal news roundup

Proof of what we always suspected: Who you calling ugly? Zoos prefer cute animals to less attractive species, research shows.

"Selection of species into world zoos is determined by decisions made by humans, and intelligent and beautiful animals seem to be favoured," the researchers say.

More than seven million animals are kept in 872 zoos and aquariums worldwide. Zoologists from Prague's Charles University investigated the range of mammals kept and which were left out. Out of 5,334 mammalian species, only 1,048 of them, or 16 per cent, were found in the world zoo collection. The team used data on brain size and attractiveness to humans to see why some species were being left out in the cold.

But! Much more cheerful news: Zoo showcasing 'five evil animals' ahead of Dragon Boat Festival

An exhibition featuring animals traditionally mislabeled as sinister symbols is currently on display at Taipei Zoo to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival, seen as a time when evil spirits are awakened, zoo officials said Tuesday.

Snakes, scorpions, centipedes, toads and geckos -- also known as the "five poisons" -- were believed in ancient Chinese culture to be evil and their spirits were thought to "possess" unfortunate human beings during the festival.

But zoo official Lin Hui-chen said the zoo hopes its exhibition, which runs until June 30, can help break the myth and raise awareness of animal protection.
Building on the momentum of the "Year of the Snake," Lin said, some of the creatures most feared by human beings will have a chance to show their true colors.

(Lovely and not at all evil Asian common toad from Wikipedia.)

May 30, 2013

Synchronized skipping

A trio of absolutely stunning mudskippers from the Japan Times. And some good news for a change: there are actually more of them than there used to be!

Apr 27, 2013

Happy World Tapir Day

Hey, why wasn't I invited to this party? After all the times I've posted about tapirs!

From the Facebook page of Zoo de Cordoba, Argentina.

Apr 22, 2013

Apr 11, 2013

New ugdorable bat

Courtesy of Wired, where they're falling all over themselves coming up with different ways of describing this new species from South Sudan: "looks like a tiny flying bulldog," "manages to simultaneously resemble a badger and bulldog. With black-and-cream coloring reminiscent of a frothy stout," and "striking, panda-like bicolored patches." We sympathize with their enthusiasm.

Apr 2, 2013

New Giant Tarantula Discovered in Sri Lanka

New giant tarantula discovered in Sri Lanka. With an eight inch leg span. Not much else needs to be said about that except maybe "Whoa, cool!" 

Mar 11, 2013

Your Monday ugdorable

This is a new book about baby sloths. Of course, all of us liked sloths before sloths were cool. (I wrote a book with a sloth on the cover way before this one.) But it's not their fault they're popular, you know? So I'm betting you still want a book full of baby sloths. You can read more about it here.

Mar 6, 2013

Saving an ugly orphan

Here's something you don't see every day: a baby pangolin drinking from a bottle. This orphan named Fikile is being raised by the Tikki Hywood Trust in Zimbabwe (photo from their Facebook page).

Feb 16, 2013

World Pangolin Day

It's World Pangolin Day! Check out the official website for depressing info about the threats facing these unique scaly mammals, adorable video of a baby sticking out its tongue, and facts that even I didn't know, like that there are eight species of pangolin.

Feb 6, 2013


I recommend that you check out my article for the Associated Press on pet insects. It is highly relevant to our interests.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Feb 4, 2013

An ugly animal treat

Readers of this blog are no doubt familiar with the Marabou stork and as much as you love ugly animals, I'm going to guess that you don't find that that photo gives you a healthy appetite.

So imagine my surprise when I was recently given this bar of chocolate, a souvenir from Norway:

The bird is even reproduced on the chocolate itself:

According to the blog's Norway correspondent, this link explains that the company held a competition to design a logo in 1907 and they just liked the drawing. You have to wonder if they didn't see an actual photo of a Marabou stork till it was too late... or if they were just really our kind of people.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Jan 27, 2013

Your early Monday ugdorable

A baby sifaka from the Duke Lemur Center! They're the only place that's ever successfully bred the Coquerel's sifaka. There are only 56 of these lemurs in captivity and like probably everything on Madagascar they're endangered in the wild. And aren't they amazing little gremlin babies?

Jan 16, 2013

Sloth Attack

Had to post this one...

Jan 13, 2013


More Year of the Snake awesomeness

From Eataku via Archie McPhee's Geyser of Awesome.

Jan 7, 2013

Ugly duckling

Want to know more about why this duck is so ugly? Read this informative post all about caruncles.

Jan 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

This coming year will be the Year of the Snake. These cute snakes are being sold at a market in Japan, which, as we've seen before, is a country that really appreciates its ugly animals.