The gelatinous deep-sea Blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) has been voted the ugliest animal on the planet.
The poll to find the world's most visually unappealing animal was part of an online competition conducted by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, which is dedicated to raising the profile of some of Mother Nature’s more aesthetically-challenged endangered creatures. It reckons pandas get too much attention!
The inedible Blobfish is often caught as bycatch in the nets of bottom fishing trawlers and scientists fear this may result in the fish becoming endangered.
The Blobfish won by almost 10,000 votes to beat the Kakapo (a flightless parrot from New Zealand), the Axolotl — which came third — and the rather interestingly-named Scrotum frog, and will now become the official mascot of the Society. All the animals on the shortlist face threats to their habitats.
Biologist and TV presenter Simon Watt, who is the president of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, told BBC News he hoped the campaign would draw attention to the threats facing these weird and wonderful creatures and also highlight the fact that conservation should focus on protecting habitats rather than specific species.
"If extinction threats are as bad as they seem, then focusing just on very charismatic megafauna is completely missing the point," he said.
"I have nothing against pandas, but they have their supporters. These species need help."
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