Big lips may be a trait associated mostly with primates, but there are other species who have them too! You might be surprised to learn that in the animal kingdom, animals sporting large and full lips exist – from elephants to warthogs. Though you will find many variations in the size and shape of lips within species, animals with big lips definitely exist! Let us take a look at some animals with big lips.
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The humphead wrasse is a distinct species of fish native to tropical waters around the world. It has been given its name due to its large head, resembling that of a camel, along with its habit of bumping into other fish. It is found in many places on the same longitude such as Australia, New Zealand, India, and Vietnam. In addition, it can also be located in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. What makes this fish an oddity are its big lips and huge size; they can grow up to 1.5 meters long and weigh up to 10 kg.
The Red-lipped batfish is a rare and unique species that can only be found in the Galapagos Islands. It has an extraordinary appearance, featuring exaggerated red lips, which adds to its mysteriousness. Interestingly enough, the fish are harmless to humans and their lips are actually meant for mating. Scientists believe these bright red lips may help the fish distinguish members of its own species and even spark romantic attraction.
White rhinos are some of the mightiest animals roaming Africa. These impressive creatures are the second largest land mammal in all of the continent, and inhabit African grass plains to survive. Their most recognizable feature is the broad, squared lip they have, which serves the same purpose as those of camels: grabbing and pulling vegetation from the ground while grazing. Since these animals feed mostly on low-lying vegetation, their lips can come in very handy indeed. Alongside their mouth, these lips are also a key factor that helps to distinguish white rhinos from black rhinos, due to their pointed shape.
These colourful fish with their friendly demeanour and intelligence make them a popular choice for aquariums. Yet, many people remain unaware of their other peculiar characteristics. Gouramis are equipped with protruding lips which enable them to filter out food from the water when feeding but it gets more interesting than that – male gouramis also deploy their big lips to kiss each other mouth-to-mouth! This is done as an indication of aggressiveness usually during a battle for mates or territory.
Triggerfish are some of the most interesting creatures in the underwater world. They are known for their iconic triangular bodies and their ability to puff up like a balloon when startled. But one of their most remarkable features is undoubtedly their large lips. These robust lips allow triggerfish to shovel through and scavenge through sandy ocean floors looking for prey, while also allowing them to pick up hard shells and crush them open with crushing strength.
Flowerhorn cichlids are memorable for more than just their inflated forehead – their lips can also inflate to remarkable sizes due to a disorder called duck lips. While this condition is distressing for the fish as it causes swelling of the lips, curious aquarium visitors are fascinated by the transformation from regular fish to one that appears to have puffed-up lips. Thankfully, duck lips can usually be resolved and the flower horn’s health will return.
Orangutans are fascinating creatures with distinct traits, particularly when it comes to their lips. Their bottom lip is most notable, being much larger than average and covered with a beard-like fuzz. It’s not just for show either; orangutans use these luscious lips in a remarkable way. They produce calls via sucking air through them, as well as other vocalisations such as grunts and squeaks! In fact, they’re probably the most similar animal (other than humans) when it comes to communication through the mouth.
Proboscis monkeys are truly a sight to behold. With their human-like features, they can be somewhat uncanny in appearance. Of particular note is the large, pear-shaped nose which hangs down and seemingly masks their lips. But these lips are still important for the primates; it helps them feed and communicate with one another just like humans do.
Star Sapphires an endangered species of fish endemic to Lake Malawi in Tanzania, are a sight to behold. But what makes them so distinct is their large upper lip. Because of the strain, they face in the wild due to environmental pressures, there are now more of these fish held in captivity than living freely in the lake. One variation of this species, called Mdoka or White Lip, stands out even more with its brightly coloured and oversized lips! These features prove striking when compared to the fact that these fish aren’t even 6 inches long, making for a truly unique sight.
The huge and mysterious fish found on the east coast of Africa is an awe-inspiring creature that can weigh up to 370 pounds. Its incredible size isn’t its only feature as it also has the biggest lips of any fish. Though there isn’t a definite answer as to what these big lips are used for, experts suspect they are used to suck up smaller fish. However, this species is sadly now considered endangered due to its rapid population decline in recent years. Despite its looming threat of extinction, it still remains one of the most extraordinary animals living in the waters near Africa’s shoreline.
The big-lip damselfish is an impressive creature! Found predominately in the Indian Ocean and Pacific, its huge lips are impossible to miss. This fish’s famously large lips are almost as wide as its face and this comes in handy for feasting on hard corals like Acropora which have a sharp skeleton that could otherwise cause injury. The strong lips of the damselfish provide a level of protection from cutting or scratching while it grazes. While the big-lip damselfish is known for having particularly large lips, many other fishes share this trait too.
Beluga whales are remarkable creatures and unlike any other sea animals, they have developed highly useful and expressive lips! Indeed, besides using them for grabbing and eating food, the belugas use their lips to produce an amazing array of facial expressions. For example, they often form an ‘O’ shape with them to signify different emotions – quite similar to how humans tend to pronounce the word ‘wow’. Additionally, their forehead or melon also moves when they communicate.
Scientific name: Hippopotamus amphibius
Hippos are some of the largest land animals in the world, so it is not surprising that they would have large lips to make manoeuvring their environment easier. In fact, those lips have evolved to become extremely tough and durably – they are certainly not soft like human lips. This trait has become essential in their ability to grab onto and rip out hard plants from the ground; their massive teeth only require protection from their even bigger lips. They use these big mouths to grasp and pull on grasses before chewing them down with their teeth.
Scientific name (genus): Camelus
Camels are incredibly unique animals, and they have some features that even the most experienced animal lovers might not be aware of! Camels possess a seemingly puzzling adaptation – two lips that are slit in two. This gives them three workable lips instead of just one and they’re so thick and hardy that camels can easily graze on any type of food, even the thorniest vegetation. What’s more, in camel shows, judges focus heavily on the lips, to the point where a certain scandal broke out when it was discovered that twelve camels had their lips injected with Botox prior to competition back in 2018!
Which animal has lips?
Believe it or not, mammals, such as humans and other animals like sheep, chimpanzees, and even cats and dogs all have lips. Lips serve a variety of essential functions from controlling food intake to providing protection from the elements.
What is the monkey with big lips called?
What is the name of the fish with big lips?
Why do camels have big lips?
A camel’s long, rubbery lips can close tightly around objects to pick them up without damaging or wasting them, allowing camel herds to survive where otherwise their food would have been inaccessible.
Do dogs have lips?
The answer is a resounding yes! While it might not seem so judging from their faces, dogs actually have all the same facial parts as humans, including lips.
Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.