While we’re still on the hunt for shaggy cetaceans, other amazing curl-sporting creatures like pigs, rats and even birds shouldn’t be brushed off so easily.
(image via: Rocketnews24/Toychan.net)
A Chinese farmer from Henan province walked into his barnyard one morning and saw something that made his hair curl… only one of his chickens had beat him to the punch! Following its first molt, the regal-looking rooster rocked a feathery hairdo we humans pay big bucks for and the bird’s bouffant didn’t require harsh chemicals, curlers or a hairdryer.
As only one of the farmer’s chickens became as curly as one of The Three Stooges (Larry, in this case), we’ll have to chalk up its odd appearance to environmental factors. Being that the bird was born in China, that’s as good a guess as any.
(image via: Rex Rats/Larry Ferris)
Among rat fanciers (yes, there is such a term), curly-coated rodents bred for show are known as “Rex” rats and the curliest of the bunch are Agouti Rexes. One of the most outstanding when it comes to curly-coatedness is GH Rusty (above), an adult male Agouti Rex rat owned and bred by Geri Hauser. Should we really be breeding rats to enhance certain notable traits? Has no one seen Ben or Willard?
This isn’t the pebble-grained pigskin you were looking for, Tony Romo, though using a flaxen-haired football might improve your 4th quarter accuracy. The most popular curly-coated pig raised these days is the Mangalitza, a shaggy porker from Hungary whose wooly coat helped its ancestors withstand harsh winter weather.
(image via: England Yesterday and Today)
The poster kid for curly-haired pigs, however, has to be the now-extinct Lincolnshire Curly Coat from Great Britain. Like the Mangalitza, these large and lop-eared swine were wooly as a response to local winter weather conditions. Though the Lincolnshire Curly Coat became less popular after the Second World War and was finally lost in the 1970s, efforts are being made to re-create the breed using hybrid Mangalitza pigs that have some British ancestry.