This May Be The World's Ugliest Animal, But There's A Scientific Reason Why
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This May Be The World's Ugliest Animal, But There's A Scientific Reason Why

Ever heard of the phrase, a face only a mother can love? That applies to the proboscis monkeys — well at least the males. Some have dubbed them the world's ugliest animal. You see, the male proboscis monkey has a huge honker, meaning it has a very large and irregularly shaped nose.

Far from just being odd look, researchers believe there's an actual evolutionary function for the nose. According to researchers at Australian National University, male proboscis monkeys use their big noses to well, uh, attract females. Guess size does matter even in the animal kingdom.

These ugly animals prove that beauty are in the eye of the beholder. Researchers began studying the nasal cavities of the monkeys. The large noses allow for a deeper roar. This helps males woo perspective females.

"We wanted to understand why male proboscis monkeys' noses are so big, and whether their nasal cavities have a distinctive shape," said Dr Katharine Balolia, who led the study, via Daily Mail. Being able to emit louder and deeper calls thanks to a longer and larger nasal cavity helps male monkeys to assert their health and dominance. This helps the male monkeys attract females and ward off other males."

World's Ugliest Animal Evolved That Way

As such, male proboscis monkey evolved to have larger noses.

She continued, "The more females a male can attract, the more it allows him to father more offspring. So having a large nose and being able to more easily emit honks and nasal roars due to a uniquely shaped nasal cavity really helps males show off their quality and status to prospective female partners."

Likewise, much of their environment is covered by foilage. These monkeys need loud screeches to be able to communicate since they often can't see one another.

"Proboscis monkeys live in coastal mangroves and forested environments and often can't see each other through the trees," she said. "So loud, nasalized calls are important to communicate with each other, especially amongst males. The fleshy nose tissue likely got bigger over time as it enhanced their ability to let out nasal honks and roars. Proboscis monkeys rigidly straighten their noses when giving these calls."

She continued, "Females may have then started to find large noses visually attractive for selecting a mate as it was an honest signal of health and dominance. The scans also revealed that the nasal cavity gets bigger with age, which explains why older males have larger noses. This coincides with when they achieve dominance status among other male monkeys, allowing them to scare off other males and attract a lot of females who are ready to breed."

So who is the world's ugliest animal?