Ugly animals are rarely seen on our screens…until now. Join British naturalist Nigel Marven as he seeks out the ugliest animals in the world. From wrinkled bats to naked mole rats and from ugly bugs to plump toads, we’ll find that appearances can be deceptive. In a world obsessed with beauty, being ugly in the animal world has its advantages. For some animals being ugly makes them more attractive to the opposite sex and in some cases, ugliness can make the difference between life and death.
The warthog is one of Africa’s ugliest animals. With its disproportioned shaped head, the warthog just looks odd. Its tusks, sitting high and low on its face are both formidable weapons and tools that help search for a meal. Its warts – males have four and females have two – are actually tough bits of gristly skin which if utilised in battle can actually save their lives.
The muddy swamps of Southern America are home to an ugly breed of turtle. With the most unattractive mouth, it resembles something quite alien. The States is also home to an unusual breed of mole – the star nosed mole. They are the most sensitive of the underground Earth moving creatures. Its snout, a ring of 22 tentacles, is actually super-sensitive and allows the mole to hunt 14 times faster than other moles.
With their featherless heads, craggy beaks and unattractive folds of skin, vultures would have to be one of the ugliest in the bird world. Their bald heads serve a purpose, preventing blood and gore being imbedded on them during feeding. But there is another bird in Northern India that rivals the vulture for the title of ugliest bird – the rare Asian stork. Like the vulture, they have bald heads also to help with their feeding as they are prone to not only dive for fish but also into mounds of decaying rubbish. With numbers on the decline, the battle to save this unique bird is on.
Sunday, 4 January, 7:30pm