Not all endangered animals can be as tender and photogenic as pandas. Some, like the one you see, are frankly ugly, but no less worthy of attention. Fortunately, the Ugly Animal Preservation Society (UAPS) is the defender of the less favored by Mother Nature, an association born almost as a game that, through television shows involving British comedians and scientists, wants to promote conservation programs even for less animals aesthetically endowed.
One of the last shows has decreed through the vote of the spectators, the new mascot of the company: the winner is this "pesce blob" (Psychrolutes marcidus), a creature that lives off the coasts of south-eastern Australia and Tasmania, including depths between 600 and 1200 meters.
The animal with a gelatinous body with a density slightly higher than that of water (a characteristic that allows it to float on the seabed without moving too much) has won the votes of 10, 000 spectators, surpassing without difficulty the otherwise endowed adversaries: the axolotl, a species of salamander that in life never exceeds the larval state (and that in our opinion is also pretty), the nose, a monkey with a pendulous nose and up to 17 centimeters long (look), and the frog of Lake Titicaca, nicknamed "frog scrotum "for the folds - not really pretty - of his skin, through which the amphibian, with reduced lung capacity, can breathe.
All these species are in danger of disappearing, unless specific protection programs are soon funded: «Our traditional approach to conservation is selfish» explains Simon Watt, president of the association and presenter of the show «we risk protecting only the animals that inspire us with tenderness, like pandas. I have nothing against pandas, but they already have their supporters. Instead, these species need our help. "
The competition of "ugliness" has served, the scientists explain, also to emphasize a lighter and more playful side of the animal protection activities, which otherwise would be reduced every day to the same frustrating question: "So, who disappeared today?".
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