9 ANIMALS WITH FACES ONLY A MOTHER COULD LOVE

A selection of portraits from Photo Ark, a project to document the world's animals before they disappear. (Full story: http://on.natgeo.com/1qimM7d)
  1. Aardvark
    Status: Least Concern The aardvark's outsize snout is tailor-made to house a foot-long, sticky tongue that's the perfect tool for extracting termites from their mound nests. Bush-meat hunters are fond of eating aardvarks, but the “antbear” ("Orycteropus afer") is still relatively common across sub-Saharan Africa. Photographed at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)
  2. Red Bald-Headed Uakari
    Status: Vulnerable This social, intelligent monkey is found only in the Amazon River Basin of Brazil and Peru. Its humanlike face is bright red because of capillaries running under its thin, transparent skin. "Cacajao calvus rubicundus" faces the rapid loss of its flooded rain forest habitat and is also targeted by human hunters. Photographed at the Los Angeles City Zoo. (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)
  3. Dragon-Headed Katydid
    Status: Not Evaluated The primordial forests of Southeast Asia are home to the loftily named dragon-headed katydid ("Eumegalodon blanchardi"). Though rather large for a katydid, this species measures only about three inches long—but it’s plenty fierce enough to prey on other insects when not eating fruits and vegetables. Photographed at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)
  4. Showgirl Chicken
    Status: Not Evaluated These fancy hens ("Gallus gallus domesticus") are bred for their naked necks and silky feathers. The birds’ flamboyant appearance demanded Joel Sartore's attention. “They looked so good, I just couldn't say no to photographing them even though they didn't exactly qualify as ‘wild animals,’” he said. Photographed at the Fort Worth Zoo. (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)
  5. Pig-Nosed Turtle
    Status: Vulnerable The snout of this aptly named reptile isn’t its only unique feature. The pig-nosed turtle (also known as the fly river turtle) is the only freshwater turtle that has flippers like its distant seagoing relatives. "Carettochelys insculpta" is a popular food item in Papua New Guinea and it's also exported for the pet trade, leaving the species vulnerable. Photographed in Oklahoma City. (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)
  6. Damara Mole Rat
    Status: Least Concern The Damara mole rat ("Fukomys damarensis") may resemble the beaver but it lives more like a bee or an ant, which is quite unusual among mammals. Subterranean mole rat colonies revolve around a single breeding queen while the other animals serve as tunnelers, foragers, or caregivers for young. Photographed at the Houston Zoo. (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)
  7. Jungle Nymph Walking Stick
    Status: Not Evaluated Though "Heteropteryx dilatata" looks a bit like an extraterrestrial, it's really just a master of blending into its terrestrial habitat—the forests of the Malay Peninsula. Sticklike appendages and wings that look like leaves help the jungle nymph disappear into the trees. Photographed at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)
  8. Baird's Tapir
    Status: Endangered Perhaps 5,500 "Tapirus bairdii" live in the wilds of Mexico, Central America, Colombia, and Ecuador. IUCN data suggest that the population has been halved during the past three decades and will be halved again during the next 30 years. Habitat loss, hunting, and infectious diseases are the biggest threats to these tapirs. Photographed at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)
  9. Florida Bonneted Bat
    Status: Critically Endangered Only perhaps 250 mature Florida bonneted bats ("Eumops floridanus") survive today, living in a few South Florida counties that make up one of the smallest home ranges of any U.S. bat. Their limited numbers and range make these bats especially vulnerable to localized habitat loss from threats like tree felling and hurricanes. Photographed in Okeechobee, Florida. (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)