Cute baby photos of ugly animals

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If you've ever read Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Ugly Duckling," then you know that some animals can be a little bit, shall we say, unfortunate-looking when they're babies, only to grow up into majestic and beautiful creatures. Some animals, like cats and dogs, start off really adorable but remain snuggly and sweet well into adulthood, and others, like naked mole rats - bless their hearts - are ugly from cradle to grave. But certain animals have the misfortune of being simply adorable when they're babies but downright unsightly when they're adults. We tracked down 30 of them, so sit back, relax and check out these impossibly adorable baby photos of animals that most people consider to be pretty ugly.


The Western Hemisphere's largest marsupial, adult possums can be downright creepy-looking, especially when you catch them rummaging through your trash. We'd gladly hug a baby one, though.

Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images/TAT


If you were one of the millions of people who followed the saga of the Cincinnati Zoo's adorable baby hippo Fiona, then you already know this: Baby hippopotamuses are adorable little chunkers.

Brendon Thorne/Getty Images/TAT

Giant anteater

Giant anteaters can grow to be over 7 feet long and are best identified by their ridiculously long snout and tongue, the better for scooping up lots of tasty ants. They also have 4-inch-long claws, which make them one of the most dangerous animals on earth. As adults, they look like furry invaders from another planet, but we're kind of obsessed with baby ones.

Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images/TAT


Not everyone is going to agree with us on this one, but baby alligators (called hatchlings) are super cute, in a prehistoric kind of way. Just look at those big eyes!

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images/TAT


Hyenas are simply terrifying creatures, doglike in their ferocity but otherwise completely different from them. (Strangely, they're more closely related evolutionarily to cats than dogs.) We'll just be over here checking out their cubs.

Csaba Segesvari/AFP/Getty Images/TAT


Fact: Chickens are really ugly (but delicious) creatures. Also fact: Baby chicks are cute and yellow and you can't resist wanting to pet them!

Michael Kappeler/AFP/Getty Images/TAT


When fully grown, pigs can be pretty unfortunate looking. Little piglets, however, are among the absolute cutest creatures on the face of the earth.

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images/TAT


Emus are awkward, gangly flightless birds that you really don't want to annoy. But look at this little one in the grass! No awkwardness here.



We don't care if they're spiky, we're figuring out a way to get one of these things as a pet. Fun fact: Dating back 15 million years (and relatively unchanged since then), hedgehogs are among the oldest mammals on earth.



Donkeys' features get more exaggerated as they get older, making them the butt of many jokes. But, look at this furry little guy!



That fuzzy fur, those buggy eyes - We had no idea that baby camels could be so cute, but we're glad we know now.

Jens Buttner/AFP/Getty Images/TAT


Adult warthogs are some of the ugliest beasts on earth, but it's hard not to find the babies (called piglets), with their funny snouts and bags under their eyes, insanely adorable.



Tapirs are really odd creatures; they kind of look like a pig with half an elephant's trunk, but they're actually closely related to the horse and rhinoceros. Adults can be pretty strange-looking, but the babies are so cute. Look at that little proboscis!



The world's largest living rodent is a funny creature, and it's friendly and gentle with humans, so much so that some people even keep them as pets. And after seeing what they look like as pups, we just want to hug one!



Like the emu, the ostrich is an awkward, goofy-looking animal. Those features may not work so well on adults, but they result in a very cute chick.



After you finish reading this, look up "baby elephant" on YouTube. You're welcome.



Echidnas and platypuses are the only egg-laying mammals on Earth, and when fully grown, they resemble porcupines with elongated snouts. Baby echidnas, called puggles(!), resemble adorable little aliens, with a belly that we definitely want to poke.

Courtesy of Guy Dickson/ Taronga Zoo


Look at this adorable little guy, making his way to the sea right after hatching. Go, turtle, go!



We're pretty sure this baby sable antelope is the definition of "doe-eyed."

Sean Gallup/Getty Images/TAT


We're just going to come out and say it: No baby birds are more adorable than baby owls. And they're called owlets, which makes them even more adorable.



Moose are huge, majestic creatures, but nobody really considers them to be cute. When they're little, though, they're definitely cuties.


Flying fox

Flying foxes are actually giant bats, and they're mammals that are about as smart as domestic dogs. They're not actually related to foxes, but their faces do in fact resemble them, especially when they're little babies all wrapped up in swaddling. We're going to forget that when they're adult, hanging upside down and spreading their gigantic skin-wings, they can be absolutely terrifying.

David Hardenberg/Getty Images/TAT

Tasmanian devil

The Tasmanian devil is an endangered carnivorous marsupial that can only be found on the beautiful island of Tasmania. When fully grown, they have a terrifying screech, eat absolutely ferociously and stink to high heaven. Look at the little baby, though!



Caribou, which you might also know as reindeer, have massive horns and are powerful enough to carry a sled straight across the globe. When those horns are just little nubs, though, they're super cute.



Baby armadillos are pretty adorable, in a prehistoric alien kind of way.



Baby porcupines (called porcupettes) are born with very soft quills that become firmer with age. This adorable little guy is taking some time to smell the flowers.



If we're noticing any trends here, it's that the more awkward and ungainly the adult is, the more adorable the baby is.



We wouldn't risk petting this furry little guy, but it sure is tempting.



Buffalo calves are orange or light brown at birth, and they apparently also have very soft fur on their heads.



Scaly, oddly shaped pangolins look like some sort of prehistoric creature, and they are in fact the only mammals on Earth that are completely scale-covered. They may be one of the strangest animals in the world, but the babies are undeniably cute.



We're sorry, but adult bulldogs are slobbery, ugly wrinkly beasts. (Okay, we'll admit they're still pretty cute in their own way.) But as puppies, though, just look at that sweet face and floppy ears! On second thought, we're heading to the shelter.

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