Ugly animals get their day in the spotlight

Slimy, scaly or darn right ugly animals don't draw visitors to zoos and they physical characteristics make it tough to rally support to protect these critters from extinction.

WASHINGTON – They’re not as cute as the giant pandas at the National Zoo. And they may not have their own webcam.

But the Zoological Society of London is trying to bring attention to distinct and endangered animals like the olm, a translucent cave amphibian that can live 100 years, and western long-beaked echidnas, which are mammals that lay eggs.

Neither are cute or cuddly. In fact, you might call them ugly. The BBC spotlights five of these critters, based on lists put together by the zoological society.

The society ranks endangered mammals, amphibians and birds based on their evolutionary distinct characteristics in order to raise awareness and to begin conservation programs.

Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)