10 Animals With Big Lips

The hippopotamus, Napoleon fish, beluga whale, camel, big-lip damselfish, and proboscis monkey are just some of the animals known for their notably large lips. Their lips serve important functions like feeding and communication.

Big lips help these animals in simple, practical ways: hippos use theirs to eat, belugas to talk, and camels to handle tough desert plants. It’s nature’s way of giving each animal what it needs to live and thrive.

1. Hippopotamus

Hippos are some of the largest land mammals on Earth and they have lips that are sufficiently large to cover and shield their large jaws and powerful teeth. They pull and grip grasses with their lips before chewing them, and they can even open their mouths up to 150 degrees!

2. Napoleon Fish

The Napoleon fish is an unusual looking creature, to say the least. It has a bulbous head and lips that seem to be permanently pursed in a pout. Even stranger is the fact that this fish is almost always smiling.

While its appearance may be odd, the Napoleon fish is actually quite shy and gentle. It predominantly inhabits deep waters up to 200 feet, making it difficult for humans to observe in its natural habitat.

3. Beluga Whales

The beluga whale is a white whale that is easily recognized by its round head and prominent melon. But if you take a closer look, you’ll notice something else that makes the beluga unique: its big lips.

While most whales have thin, wrinkled lips, the Beluga’s lips are thick and fleshy. This allows the beluga to create a variety of facial expressions, which is thought to play an important role in producing sounds used for communication.

4. Camels

Most people are familiar with camels, even if they’ve never seen one in person. These desert-dwelling creatures are often associated with the Middle East, and they have a unique anatomy that helps them to survive in harsh conditions.

One of the most distinctive features of a camel is its big lips. They have quite large, thick lips. To allow them to graze and consume their food more efficiently, their top lip splits in half. They can consume the most prickly plants without getting hurt.

5. Big-lip Damselfish

Another creature from the deep sea, the big-lip damselfish is a small but brightly colored fish. As its name suggests, the most distinctive feature of this fish is its large lips. 

The polyps of Acropora corals, which have a spiky skeleton, are a source of food for the big-lip damselfish. This fish has robust lips that provide significant protection against slicing and scratching.

6. Orangutans

Orangutans are one of the most distinctive and well-known apes, thanks in part to their striking physical features. They have shaggy red-brown fur, long arms, and legs, and their bodies are typically covered in wrinkles.

They also have large bottom lips, and they communicate effectively by using them. In addition to exaggerated facial gestures for communication, orangutans use their lips to sense the texture of food before chomping into it.

7. Flowerhorns

Have you ever seen a fish with big lips? If not, then you probably haven’t seen a flowerhorn. Flowerhorns are a type of freshwater fish that is native to Central America. They are known for their big bump and their cute but large lips.

Some people believe that the lips are used to attract mates, but they are actually used for feeding. The lips help the fish vacuum up food from the bottom of the river or lake. Flowerhorns are also known for their brightly colored scales, which can commonly be red, orange, or yellow.

8. Elephants

Elephants are some of the most iconic animals on the planet. They are the largest land mammals, and they are known for their trunks, their big ears, and their large tusks. But did you know that elephants also have big lips?

The lips of an elephant play an important role in its eating habits. African elephants have two lips—one on top and one on bottom—attached to the ends of their trunks. Asian elephants, on the other hand, only have a single lip attached to their trunks.

9. Manatees

The manatee is a large, gentle mammal that lives in warm coastal waters around the world. These animals are often called “sea cows,” and they are known for their slow movements and their large size. But manatees also have big lips.

The lips of a manatee help it to eat its food, which consists mostly of aquatic plants. The lips are prehensile, meaning that they can grasp and hold onto objects. This allows the manatee to tear off pieces of plants and then bring them to its mouth.

10. Proboscis Monkeys

The proboscis monkey is a type of Old World monkey that is native to the island of Borneo. The extra-long nose helps amplify the monkey’s calls, making it easier for potential mates to connect with one another in the dense jungle foliage.

In addition, the proboscis monkey’s lips are also unusually large. This is thought to help the monkey better grasp leaves and fruit – two of its main food sources.

These animals have adapted to their environments in order to survive. Though they may look a bit odd to us, their large lips are actually a functional adaptation that helps them to eat and to communicate. Their big lips may not be considered traditionally “attractive,” but they are certainly interesting!