Mar 18

The animal kingdom is full of silly schnozzles, bizarre beaks and nutty noses so in recognition of Red Nose Day today here in the UK, ARKive presents its top ten hilarious hooters! 

When pigs…swim?

What a nose! It is more suited to a pig than a reptile! The pig-nosed turtle’s nose acts as a snorkel, whilst the body remains underwater and out of sight. With a face like that, it’s probably a good thing!

Photo of a pig-nosed turtle

A well-adapted schnozzle

The saiga antelope’s enlarged conk is used to warm up cool air in the freezing winters of its range, and filter out dust during the dry summer migrations. Impressive for a large nose!

Photo of a saiga antelope

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

This enlarged hooter may be used in sexual selection. Larger noses produce stronger vocalisations therefore, the male proboscis monkey with the largest nose is thought to be more attractive to females.

Male proboscis monkey photo

Looking at this nose leaves you starry-eyed!

The star-nosed mole’s extraordinary muzzle is covered with sensory receptors, used to detect its food underground. Talk about sniffing out lunch! 

Star-nosed mole photo

I think I need a dentist!

This unusual snout looks rather painful! The Sulawesi babirusa’s top tusks are actually its upper canines, that have pushed through the skin of the snout. Imagine your canines pushing through your upper lip!

Photo of a male Sulawesi babirusa

Does my bill look big in this?

From just taking a glance at the shoebill, it is easy to tell that this is a well adapted predator. The large, powerful beak is tipped with a sharp spike, handy when grasping slippery morsels.

Shoebill photo


This peculiar, elongated snout either acts as a sensory organ, or helps to channel plankton into the mouth. The paddlefish as a filter feeder is unusual, because it is found in freshwater.

Paddlefish photo

Who you calling funny looking?

Doing his part for Comic Relief, the mandrill is dedicated to Red Nose Day, sporting a bright red sniffer all year round!

Photo of a male mandrill

Oh my neck!

The rhinoceros hornbill must get neck-ache holding that weighty beak and appendage up!

Photo of a male rhinoceros hornbill

Is there something on my face?

When the male hooded seal displays to females, a strange balloon-like membrane pops out of one nostril. Very attractive don’t you think ladies?!

Photo of a male hooded seal

Ben Morris, ARKive Species Text Author Intern