The Complete List of the 9 Animals With Big Lips In 2023

Last updated on December 6th, 2023 at 12:18 am

In the vast wilderness, animals with big lips emerge as some of the most captivating creatures. Lips, the soft and fleshy parts of mouths found in nearly all living species, play a pivotal role in the survival and communication of these remarkable beings.

Nature’s ingenuity shines through as various species employ big lips for practical purposes. Hippos utilize theirs for efficient eating, belugas employ them for communication, and camels rely on their substantial lips to handle tough desert plants. Each adaptation reflects nature’s bespoke design, providing animals with precisely what they need to thrive.

While animals with big lips may be relatively rare, they undeniably exist, with primates (including humans) showcasing this unique trait. In this exploration, we’ll delve into a few other species that share this distinctive feature, celebrating the diversity and ingenuity of the animal kingdom.

9 Animals With Big Lips

1. Hippopotamus

Animals With Big Lips

Image Source Pixabay

Hippos, iconic semi-aquatic mammals hailing from Africa, boast an impressive distinction as among Earth’s largest land mammals. Their remarkable 2-foot-long lips play a crucial role, covering and safeguarding their substantial jaws and powerful teeth. These mighty creatures adeptly pull, grip, and chew grasses, showcasing their unique feeding behavior, while their mouths astonishingly open up to 150 degrees.

Facts A hippo’s yawn is not a sign of sleepiness but a display of its formidable teeth, serving as a warning to potential threats or rivals. In confrontations, male hippos use their lips to bite off the heads of competing males.

2. Napoleon Fish

Animals With Big Lips

Image Source Pixabay

The Napoleon fish, with its peculiar appearance featuring a bulbous head and lips seemingly in a perpetual pout, presents an almost constant smiling expression. Despite its odd looks, this shy and gentle creature primarily resides in the deep waters, up to 200 feet below the surface, making human observation challenging in its natural habitat.

Weighing an impressive 370 pounds, this fish, found along Africa’s east coast and the mouth of the Red Sea, occasionally ventures into the Indian Ocean and Pacific. Renowned for having the largest lips among fish species, the Napoleon fish’s lip function remains unconfirmed, though there’s suspicion they may be used for sucking up smaller fish.

Facts This species undergoes a gender change, transitioning from female to male during its lifetime—a phenomenon known as protogyny.

Read Also: Long Necks Animals

3. Beluga Whales

Animals With Big Lips

Residing in the Arctic, particularly around Greenland and Russia, with smaller populations in Alaska, Canada, and Norway, beluga whales showcase more than just a striking appearance.

Their versatile lips serve not only for grabbing and chewing but also for expressing emotions and generating an array of sounds. For instance, these marine marvels can form their lips in an ‘O’ shape, akin to the human expression when pronouncing the word ‘wow.’ Despite being among the smallest whales, belugas can grow up to approximately 30 feet long and weigh up to 1.7 tons, underscoring their remarkable adaptability in oceanic habitats.

Facts With distinctive globular heads, these whales employ echolocation to pinpoint and locate their food.

4. Camels

Animals With Big Lips

Image Source Pixabay

Camels, widely recognized even by those who haven’t seen them in person, are often linked with the Middle East due to their desert habitat and unique anatomy for surviving harsh conditions. Notably, their large, thick lips are a distinctive feature, with the top lip splitting in half to enable them to graze and consume food more efficiently, including the most prickly plants without harm.

Facts In 2018, a significant incident unfolded when twelve camels had their lips injected with Botox for a competition, highlighting the importance of these features. Camels survive in the desert with a thick fur coat for temperature resilience and a social structure involving herds led by one dominant male and trailing female.

5. Big-lip Damselfish

Animals With Big Lips

Dwelling in the depths of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, the big-lip damselfish is a petite yet brilliantly colored creature, unmistakable for its standout feature—large, robust lips. These lips, nearly as sizable as its face, prove indispensable during feeding, making this fish a striking presence in its oceanic habitat.

Facts The robust lips of big-lip damselfish not only aid in feeding but also provide protection from sharp corals abundant in their environment. At maturity, these small yet resilient creatures can reach lengths of up to 3 inches.

6. Orangutans

Image Source Pixabay

Orangutans, renowned for their distinctive features, boast shaggy red-brown fur, long limbs, and notably, large bottom lips that play a pivotal role in their communication. These intelligent primates effectively use their lips to sense the texture of food and convey emotions through exaggerated facial gestures.

Orangutans, among the world’s largest primates, possess substantial lips. Weighing between 60 and 100 kgs, they are approximately half the weight of a gorilla, with adult males averaging around 2 meters in height.

Facts Orangutans rely solely on their lips for communication, making them the most similar animals to humans in the use of their mouths.

Read Also: Animals With Red Eyes

7. Flowerhorns

Ever witnessed a fish with sizable lips? If not, meet the flowerhorn—a freshwater species native to Central America, celebrated for its prominent bump and endearing large lips. Contrary to common belief, these lips aren’t for attracting mates but serve a practical purpose—they help the fish vacuum up food from river or lake bottoms. Complementing their distinctive lips, flowerhorns showcase vibrant scales, often donning hues of red, orange, or yellow.

Originating not in the wild but through development by fish breeders in Southeast Asia, flowerhorns have gained popularity as captivating pets for fish enthusiasts.

Fact The flowerhorn, characterized by its large head and distinctive big lips, can grow anywhere between 12 to 16 inches in length.

8. Proboscis Monkeys

Image Source Pixabay

The proboscis monkey, native to Borneo, stands out with its long nose and unusually large lips. These distinctive features serve practical purposes—amplifying calls for better communication in dense jungle surroundings and aiding in grasping leaves and fruit, primary food sources. While their appearance may seem unusual to us, these functional adaptations enhance their survival in specific environments. Not conventionally “attractive,” their big lips are undeniably intriguing.

Facts The male Proboscis Monkey’s oversized nose is thought to amplify vocalizations, making calls louder and more resonant. This distinctive feature plays a role in attracting potential mates and asserting dominance.

9. Moose

Image Source Pixabay

The Moose, towering above other deer species, is a majestic resident of northern forests in North America and northern Eurasia. Its distinctive overhanging upper lip, known as a “dewlap” or “bell,” is complemented by a highly mobile and sensitive prehensile upper lip. This unique feature enables the moose to selectively pick and consume a diverse range of vegetation, showcasing its adaptability in foraging from aquatic plants to shrubs.

Facts The hanging flap of skin and hair on a moose’s throat is called a “bell.” Though its precise purpose is uncertain, it is speculated to have a role in communication or mating rituals.

Final Words

In conclusion, the world of animals with big lips is a testament to the remarkable diversity and adaptability found in nature. From the formidable jaws of hippos to the expressive lips of orangutans, each species showcases unique features that serve essential functions in their survival and communication.

The exploration of flowerhorns, camels, beluga whales, and other fascinating creatures reveals the intricate ways in which big lips contribute to their respective lifestyles. Whether it’s for feeding, attracting mates, or navigating their environments, these lips are more than mere physical attributes – they represent the nuanced strategies each species has developed over time.


1. Why do some animals have big lips?

Animals with big lips often possess them for functional reasons. These lips aid in tasks such as feeding, communication, or environmental adaptation, showcasing the diversity of strategies in the animal kingdom.

2. What is the monkey with big lips called?

Proboscis Monkeys

3. What is the name of the fish with big lips?

Napoleon Fish


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