Ugly animals get their day in the spotlight

The Chinese pangolin has a long sticky tongue and powerful claws. Its meat is a delicacy in China. (University of California at Berkeley)
The bactrian camel is a two-humped camel native to the Gobi Desert in Asia. (Miami University)
Darwin's frogs are set apart from other amphibians by their parental habits. Male frogs will keep the developing eggs in their mouths and later vomit out the tiny tadpoles. (San Francisco State University)
A black lion tamarin is a squirrel-sized monkey with a mane around its face and survives in Brazil. (Luiz Claudio Marigo)
An Asian tapir is found in Malaysia today but formerly ranged across Southeast Asia. (University of Texas)

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.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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