So it is said, that the world was made in seven days. Some creatures seem to have remained incomplete or rather, not given a finishing touch by God amongst all the hurrying around. While most of Mother Nature is endowed with freshness, beauty and life in the form of birds, trees, mountains, and rivers, the creation of a life in the form of mammals are not always the most endearing.
Seven days for creation of the world, so you will be introduced to seven ugliest looking mammals on earth. The sight of some of these beasts would stop you in your tracks and just put you in a tizzy. You can bet that you would not be going to the nearest zoo to show off these animals to your children unless you want them to have nightmares. That would be of course quite mean of you to do that!
1. The Mata Mata
The Mata Mata is a fresh water turtle which very closely resembles and ugly looking tortoise with skin disease. This living thing resides in the marshy terrain of South America and would mostly be found lurking around in the swamps of the Amazon and Orinoco basins. When the Mata Mata turtle is relaxing in the grubby waters of the fen you will not be able to decipher it from the fallen leaves around which prove to be a very effective camouflage.
The skin is multi layered with flap over flap on top of each other resembling brown leaves and the shell portion of the turtle is brown and rough like similar to the bark of a tree. The Mata Mata shows good hunting prowess with its ability to disguise itself for catching any fish that has the misfortune of mistaking it to be just some branch of a tree. All it does it snap its head out in a jiffy as soon as the bait gets close enough to catch. The turtle likes to remain in shallow waters for ease of hunting and to be able to come up to shore for catching a breather.
This sedentary turtle can grow up to be at least 15 kilos or 33 pounds so even for the adventurous lot it is not a very easy to accommodate pet.
2. The Hagfish
The Hagfish is a paradox of sorts still awaiting to be resolved by researchers. This hideous form of life which some also call the most “disgusting fish” in the ocean dates back to prehistoric times. There are even fossils found for the hagfish and it is difficult to ascertain which group it would have classified under as a species which is documented to have existed since at least 330 million years.
This fish looks very eel-like and is amongst the only animals to have a skull without a vertebra to support it. The hagfish can grow up to 18 inches long and is said to resemble an eel but it is not actually an eel.
The grossest part about the hagfish is the methodology it uses to protect itself. This ugly mammal emits a poisonous substance which resembles slimy muck to enable it to slither out of the clutches of its capture. This lubricant allows the hagfish to weasel its way out of a bad situation. Once the danger is stalled it coils itself into a large round ring to clean itself up. The hagfish can be very distasteful in regards to polluting their environment with the muck it excretes and can turn 20 litres of fresh clean water into a pond of wet sticky slime. Truly one of the ugliest mammals on the earth!
3. The Star Nosed Mole
This species of mammals is also amongst the ugliest to have walked the face of the earth. If you are living in the wet lowland areas of North America or parts of Canada then when you go trekking the next time you might want to keep your eyes open to see if you could spot a star nosed mole. Not that it would be something which you would regret if you missed out on!
Twenty two mobile, pinkish, flesh tentacles at the end of the stout are its unique characteristic which sets is apart from other moles. This is the part of the body which is used to bring back its victim for satisfying its hunger.
This animal feeds off of tiny scraggly insects, worms and some little animals around the wetland areas it resides in. The star nosed mole can be seen grazing the depths of the streams and ponds with its specialized swimming acumen. It has the habit of digging passages for its hunting expedition in its endeavor to find bait to fill its stomach.
The star nosed mole is quite the adjusting variety of mammal. It just does not rest in peace in the chilly winters nor does the creature excuse itself from hunting during the peak of summer. It can be discovered tunneling itself through frozen rivers or paddling its way through ice covered streams.
4. The Sloth
The Sloth is a “dirty” mammal inhabiting portions of Central and South America. These creatures pry on bugs and little reptiles for sustenance but mostly rely on plants, nimble shoots of trees and leaves as their preferred dietary intake. The people of the South America call them “lazy” due to the laxity they exhibit in their movement caused by their slow metabolism.
A variety of sloth called the ground sloth has become extinct as of present time but was known to have existed in South America for quite some time. Due to increased human activity in its area of residence, this variation of the ugly mammal slowly died off and is not be found in any part of the world.
A disproportionate physiology in the form of a flat head, short snout, long legs, short stemmed tails and bulgy big eyes disseminate it from the likes of a cute looking koala. The sloth’s hair hangs away from it body while it somersaults between treetops. This fur houses many other living organisms creating a means of survival through their inhabitation amongst the hair on the sloth. Needless to say, that the word dirty is well fitted to describe this form of life.
Claws of the sloth are its main equipment for self-defense against the few interested creatures of the jungle which would want to prey on them. The sloth will swipe its claws or imbed them in the skin of a jaguar or hyena trying to victimize it. They are indistinguishable due to their slow yet careful avoidance of the ground swinging amongst the branches of the trees. This poses a danger of electrocution or shock arising from cables or electrical wiring that the sloth would have confused as a means of moving to the next tree.
5. The Axoloti
The Axoloti of Mexican origin is from the Salamander clan of species which looks like it has been thrust into the world without allowing for completion of its formation. These living beings reside in aquatic environments and remain so throughout their lives sustaining themselves on marine organisms.
The Axoloti looks has no lids on its eyes so their eyes resembles buttons. There hands and feet look like they are plagued with a pneumatic condition as they wobble around lifeless with pointy things protruding out (suppose to be fingers). A huge head with pokey shards resembling a side Mohawk greets you when the Axoloti decides to pass your way.
This confused mammal who was meant to be land based and actually turned out to be part of the marina species is slowly gaining popularity as aquarium owners find it a unique addition to their collection of marine life. Firstly, they are easy to take care of as the Axoloti only requires to be fed every two to three days. They can chomp down tadpoles, worms and even some very small fish. Precisely the reason, why you should not put this heinous form of life with other fish! The Axoloti are not very amiable within their own community also so it is not a good idea to put too many of them together in an aquarium, they might just break each other’s legs off. Of course, this species of animal has the unique ability to grow back its lost limbs in a jiffy.
6. The Aye-Aye
The Aye-Aye is an unwelcome inhabitant of Madagascar. Not only does it look evil and gory but legend has it that it contains destructive powers which can cause harm to those who come in their way. Sounds like an animal from a horror movie, eh! Well, if you take a look at it, you would be horrified for sure.
The world’s largest nocturnal primate has a ghastly looking face which looks like a cross between a raccoon and a rodent. It is black or brown in color with fur all over it rodent like physic. The Aye Aye has a different sized middle finger as compared to the rest of the fingers on its limb. The middle finger is long in reference to the rest as it is used for pulling out bugs from limbs of trees leave alone assists in scooping out pulp of various fruits or even a coconut. Trees are where they set up there homes and they live mostly in forests.
The Aye Aye travel in pairs and systematically look after each other’s dietary needs by ensuring they do not work on feeding off the same tree at the same time. One aye aye will be on one tree and the other will always be on the next one. After they finish ravaging the bugs on a particular tree in there own way of communication, one specimen out of the pair will inform the other not to waste their time on the tree already explored and to move on to the next. Now that is called team work!
7. The Naked Mole Rat
You may just feel like running for cover when you spot a naked mole rat. The technical name for this organism is H. glaber. The H. glaber has been defamed due to its hairless body giving it the look of being stark naked with the exception of some thin whiskers and a couple of strands on hair on its tail. These wasps of hair speckled on its body allow the animal to atleast feel its way around its environs without which it would be difficult for the naked mole rat to move about.
Beady eyes which hardly open are a disadvantage as the vision is slurred only allowing distorted figurines of light to be seen. To make up for this handicap, the naked mole rat has twiggy ears which give very high definition listening power. Not only that, they have an acute sense of feel as the creature is able to sense vibrations from a far for any predator approaching.
This mammal can go without getting out of its burrow for days on end due to its non dependence on requirement of light. The naked mole rat can while away ages nicely nested in its inhabitant without worrying about getting out and falling victim to a enemy wanting to eat it up. Snakes are of course a worry as they can easily slither into passages inhabited by the naked mole rat and endanger their life.
Albeit the fact that we must co-exist with some of the ugliest mammals on earth we need not come face to face with them thankfully. No matter how much an animal lover one may be, certain species of mankind will not be of much interest for us to get acquainted with. Take for instance the fact that I rather not look at the pictures available of these creatures for fear of sending a chill up my spine. The earth is vast and every form of life has a purpose in the ecological cycle of life therefore despite being the ugliest mammals on earth their existence would be serving as a spoke in the wheel for something in the world.