Photograph by Kimihiro Hoshino, AFP/Getty Images
Published June 28, 2012
The 2012 winner, crowned on June 22, is eight-year-old Mugly, a bald and beady-eyed crested who sports stringy whiskers weirdly reminiscent of dental floss. (See a picture of Miss Ellie, 2009 World's Ugliest Dog.)
"If you see a lot of hairless people, for instance, all of a sudden you're going to start noticing moles and weird skin," Boyko said. "It just makes everything else that's weird stand out more." In the case of the Chinese crested, the crinkly, mottled skin is prominently displayed.Peruvian hairless (picture), are almost certainly man-made.
"Presumably it's just an ancient mutation that happened one time, and breeders liked it and propagated it," Boyko said. "You don't see packs of wild hairless dogs running around." (Read Boyko's thoughts on the roots of semiwild "village" dogs.)
"It's people saying, Yeah, let's have small dogs. Let's have hairless dogs, because we don't want them to shed, or because we live somewhere hot, or, you know, just because they're weird."
How does hairlessness affect the dog?
"We don't really know [of any benefits]. Maybe [the dog] cools off faster," Boyko muses. "But then there's also sunburn. In Peru hairless dogs are almost always wearing sweaters. When you take them off you can see tan lines."
But there may be one advantage: Bragging rights in the ugly dog contest.
It's all hands (and paws) on deck when it comes to the poaching crisis in Africa.
In this new series, writers and photographers from around the world reflect on places that hold special meaning for them.
For Sebastián García Iglesias, the ghosts of his ancestors are stitched to the tapestry of the land they pioneered.
The Future of Food
Food. It's driven nearly everything we've ever done as a species, and yet it's one of the most overlooked aspects of human history.
We've made our magazine's best stories about the future of food available in a free iPad app.