Though the hipster trend is, for better or worse, in full-swing among us humans, quite a few animals have caught onto the trend and have started growing out their own facial hair. And most of these animal beards are just as cool as the ones a Brooklynite or Portlander would wear. Some of the animals on this list even have beards so similar to the ones we sport today that it makes us wonder – who wore it first?
Beards are pretty non-discriminate in the animal kingdom, present on all species of creatures from birds to monkeys to camels to fish. Some animals have thick sideburns (mutton chops); some have curly mustaches; and some have remarkably shaggy beards that makes it look like they haven’t shaved since 2002 (just like some hipsters we know). Some beards are made up of thick, coarse hair while others look like they’ve just had a professional conditioning treatment to prepare for the next GQ (or AQ) photoshoot. From the fuzzy-faced Bactrain camel to the whiskered walrus, a goateed ibex to a bristly bird, see if you have any friends who look like the animals on this list of 25 Animal Beards That Outshine Even the Biggest Hipster.
The bearded saki has, proportionally, one of the largest beards in the animal kingdom. Its thick beard extends from its jaw down onto its chest. This hipster little New World monkey has a tail that’s surprisingly bushier than its impressive hipster beard.
The national animal of Pakistan, the markhor is a wild goat living across south central Asia. The corkscrew-horned animal takes beard growing to the extreme, growing it out on its chin, throat, and chest.
Our notoriously shaggy primate relatives have some of the most varied beards in the animal kingdom. Growing out anything from a small goatee to a long, scraggly beard, orangutans could give any of the guys from Duck Dynasty a run for their money.
Though the camel’s ancestors are believed to have evolved in North America, they are no longer found in the Americas. (That is, besides their relatives, #3.) One particularly hipster camel, the Bactrian camel, goes years without shaving its beard. Its mane and beard can grow up to 10 inches (25 cm) long.
The emperor tamarin is a primate living in the southwest Amazon basin. Though it doesn’t live in a hipster city, it’s a trendsetter when it comes to having a cool beard.
A national symbol in Japan, the Japanese serow is a goat-antelope with incredibly bushy fur. Though it looks to have a mini-Charles Darwin beard, the Japanese serow actually has no mane and the hair is from its body.
Not the prettiest animal in the world, the walrus nonetheless has pretty thick whiskers, mystically known as mystacial vibrissae. Connected to blood and nerves, the walrus’ whiskers are highly sensitive and pretty long at up to a foot (30 cm).
Bornean Bearded Pig
The Bornean bearded pig is a wild animal roaming through Indonesia and Malaysia with its furry chin. Due to their fuzzy faces, Bornean bearded pig’s are popular at zoos around the world.
Living mostly in Arctic regions, the muskox has to have a prolific beard to keep warm. Its top layer of long, coarse hair is so long it nearly reaches the ground. This beast also has a distinctive tuft of hair between its eyes and nose that acts as a secondary trendy mustache.
One of the most beautiful animals on the savanna, the nyala is an antelope with a thick neck-beard that looks like it has given up on shaving entirely.
The stereotypical fish-with-facial-hair, the catfish has whiskers known as barbels which can grow around its nose, chin, and mouth. Trendy in nature, the barbels are sensory organs the fish uses to find food.
Red River Hog
Spread out across western and central Africa, the red river hog is a wild pig known for its red fur, hairy ears, and sideburns.
Iberian lynxes are easily recognizable by their beards which extend out in an upside-down arc. Successful conservation efforts have so far boosted the numbers of this lynx, the most endangered cat species in the world. Now this is a cause fellow hipster bearders can get behind.
The cotton-top tamarin has a pretty distinguishable short mustache, but it’s much better known for its head hair which makes it look like Dustin Hoffman. One of the rarest primates in the world – only 6,000 are still alive – we hope conservation efforts take off to protect this magnificent creature.
Almost wiped out after the Second World War (and completely extinct in their native Belgium), the toy dog Griffon Bruxellois has one of most impressive scraggly beards on man’s best friend.
Related to sheep, the Arabian tahr is the smallest species of tahr but it boasts the most impressive tahr beard. This animal’s mutton chops can rival those on Mr. Gibbs, Jack Sparrow’s right hand pirate. (To see a tahr with an impressive beard, search for the Himalayan tahr, which looks like a lion with a small head.)
No list of impressive animal beards would be complete without the bearded archetype: the lion. Only males (generally) sport the beautiful mane which can change based on temperature and testosterone production. It’s mostly accepted that a healthier lion has a darker and fuller mane.
The most striking goatee on our list of animal beards which outshine even the biggest hipster belongs to the Nubian ibex. Stretching across the Middle East and North Africa, this species of ibex has horns which can reach up to 3.3 feet (1 m). More impressive is its thin, long goatee which, on this ibex, looks like it was sculpted at an animal hair salon.
Some hipsters have a hard time getting their beards to connect, a problem shared by the simple water buffalo. These days, the water buffalo is one of the most important animals on Earth, helping humans more than any other domestic animal.
Whereas most of the animals on this list are firmly hipsters, the black wildebeest is a rebel, sporting long, bristly hair that looks like it’s held together by level 10 hair gel.
One of the most well-recognized aspects of the Himalayas is the yak. This sturdy animal is used by humans in a host of ways, including tilling fields, producing yak butter which makes the famous Tibetan tea, and even being a mount in yak polo. The animal’s distinctive neck-beard stretches down its body all the way to its bushy tail.
Found throughout tropical west Africa, the bearded barbet has a serious of sharp bristles surrounding its bill that could use some beard conditioner.
Descended from camelid ancestors in North America, the alpaca is a common representation of Peru. Smaller than llamas, they were bred specifically for their wool. Alpacas take facial hair to an all new level, skipping the mustache and going straight for massive mutton chops.
Though not terribly sharp, spiny scales on the chin and throat of the bearded dragon are the roughest animal beard on this list. This lizard can turn its “beard” black when stressed or threatened.
Found on the coasts of Peru and Chile, the Inca tern has one of the coolest, most recognizable, and most hipster mustaches on this list. Contrasting with its grey plumage, red bill, and yellow cheeks, the seabird’s white beard curls out and up, sometimes even curling back on itself. We wonder if this is where the original idea for the handlebar mustache came from…