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Scientists have solved the mystery of the "ugliest animals in the world": why they have such giant noses. Photo

Anna BoklajukNews
Proboscis monkeys are among the strangest creatures in the animal kingdom

Scientists from the Australian National University have discovered why male proboscis monkeys have large phallic noses. The researchers believe that their large noses are not just protection from eye damage, but are crucial for mating success.

While female monkeys have sharp noses, males have large, rather phallic noses, which has earned them the title of "the ugliest animals in the world." Scientists have been studying the bony nasal cavity inside the skulls of proboscis monkeys and found that their large noses actually have several important advantages, especially when it comes to attracting potential mates, MailOnline writes.

Scientists have solved the mystery of the ''ugliest animals in the world'': why they have such giant noses. Photo

During the study, the team used 3D scans of monkey skulls to understand the size and shape of the internal structure of their nasal cavity. The scans revealed how the shape of the nasal cavity has evolved to allow males to produce louder and deeper hoots and roars.

"We wanted to understand why the noses of male proboscis monkeys are so large and whether their nasal cavities have a characteristic shape. We found that males have much larger nasal cavities than female monkeys, and their nasal cavities are also shaped differently compared to females," commented Dr. Kathryn Balolia, who led the study.

The ability to produce louder and deeper cries due to a longer and larger nasal cavity helps male monkeys assert their health and dominance. The more females a male can attract, the more offspring he can have. Thus, having a large nose and being able to produce nasal beeps and roars more easily due to the unique shape of the nasal cavity really helps males demonstrate their qualities and status to potential mates.

Scientists have solved the mystery of the ''ugliest animals in the world'': why they have such giant noses. Photo

"Proboscis monkeys live in coastal mangroves and forests and often cannot see each other through the trees. The fleshy nasal tissue has probably become larger over time because it has improved their ability to produce nasal horns and roars. During these cries, proboscis monkeys rigidly straighten their noses," the researcher explained.

Scientists have solved the mystery of the ''ugliest animals in the world'': why they have such giant noses. Photo

The scan also showed that the nasal cavity increases with age, which explains why elderly monkeys have even larger noses.

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