The jungle is a wild place where it’s a dog-eat-dog situation. There is a complete cycle of food like the hungry wild mouse grasping the grasshopper, the scorpion eating the mouse, the meerkat feeding on the scorpion for lunch and the jackal used to have a meerkat. This is how wild animals survive. There are many animals that defend themselves from their predators, either by running away or by attacking the predator back. However, the rest of the animals use to be more original in their choice of defence. In this article, we have provided a list of 11 animals with odd and funny defences. These animals may not be the fittest or the largest ones but they have got creative ways of defending themselves from their predators. So, let’s see how they prevent themselves from becoming a part of the food chain.
This little bad boy is not easy to handle! It is a bizarre, spiny, ant-eating lizard. It is very different from the ordinary lizard. This animal possesses many defence mechanisms to avoid the predation such as camouflage, puffing out its body or running in short bursts in order to confuse its enemy. The weirdest defence mechanism that this lizard uses is when the lizard guards itself by squirting blood from its own eye at attackers. This is done by the lizard by building high pressure in its sinus cavities until blood vessels in its eyes burst which allows it to spray blood at the predator. The precision of spraying the blood is like that of a sniper rifle! Is it disgusting or amazing? What do you say?
Hagfish are elongated creatures that live under the water. This animal has an eel-like body. When hagfish is attacked by the predator, it starts oozing profuse quantities of a fibrous, sticky slime which turns into a thick gel when combined with water. After that, they clean themselves off in a wringing motion by twisting themselves into a knot. This knot works its way from the head to the tail of the animal, hence removing the slime present. In this way, they get out of the mouth of the attackers. The slime that they excrete is very suffocating so it distracts the enemy. Moreover, this slime also envelops the smaller ones into a mass of jelly-like goo, thus stifling them to death. An adult hagfish has the capacity of secreting enough slime to turn a 20-litre bucket of water into goo within a few minutes. In about one secretion, the hagfish produces about a milk-jug worth of slime. You can imagine what a mess it creates.
Have you seen that liquid-metal bad guy in Terminator 2? He has the ability to mould himself into any shape without breaking. It can also flow under doorways. Is not it cool? Here, we have got something cooler than that for you. Sea cucumbers have the ability to change their body states and morph themselves from solid to liquid and vice versa in milliseconds when the predators attack them. Apart from that, they also have the ability to scatter their bodies into a soppy goo, seep through fissures and cracks and then reassemble into small lumps. The best part of their defence mechanism is that they knack for turning themselves inside out so that their toxic digestive juices poison and kill their enemies. Cooler than terminator man right?
Baby Potato Beetle
Can you guess the animal by clues? It is soft, juicy, tasty-looking and unprotected by a hard covering. Yes! It’s a potato beetle larva. The hungry birds and grasshoppers use to feed on it. The babies do not develop a hard outer coating or shell until they become adults. So, you would be thinking that how they protect themselves. Well, they safeguard themselves by making themselves less appealing. They do this by covering themselves with their own poo! The faeces are poisonous, gross, smelly and extremely toxic so if the animals eat it, they die most probably. Ain’t it a perfect shield?
Many of the readers might not hear about this animal ever. But the short description is that it is a poisonous primate. Well, you will be thinking that how is it possible that poisonous and primate are together? Be patient. We will explain it!
As the name of the animal suggests, the Slow Loris is a painfully slow-moving creature thus making it a vulnerable prey. This slowness is inherited in slow loris so in order to make up for it; the slow loris has got an amazing defence kit. The Slow Loris has poison glands on its elbows! Now, the next odd thing is that it keeps its enemy away by licking its elbows and coating the poison all over itself so that the enemy cannot attack it. Slow Loris also uses this technique for the offspring before leaving them to search for food. Another technique that makes it more poisonous is its snake-like ability to lick and suck the poison into its mouth and bite the venom into its enemy. This causes the enemy to go into anaphylactic shock or simply die. This was so cool. If not, then try to lick our elbow.
Dormice are so cute and adorable. I don’t understand why anyone will try to hurt them. These tiny creatures have got a very creative defending mechanism so they have the ability to protect themselves from the enemy. In most cases, these little creatures try to escape their predators by fleeing or biting but when all else fails, they also have got a Plan B. They have the ability to lose a body part as a defence mechanism, a phenomenon known as autonomy. What happens is that the skin in the tail of the dormouse is very loose, and in case a predator catches the tiny little dormouse by the tail, the skin comes off so the dormouse can escape. Ain’t it amazing? But there is a certain limitation. This trick can be used by the dormouse once in a lifetime. After the skin is gone, the remaining bone is either gnawed off by the rodent itself or left to fall off naturally.
Malaysian ants are members of the class Insecta. These ants are very protective of their colonies. You will be amazed to listen that what they do. They actually commit suicide and blow themselves up into a thousand bits of organic dust, if they feel that there is some threat. So, they do not kill themselves only but also their enemies. You may not consider it a smart act but these tiny and must be appreciated for their devotion towards their little tribe. Here, we have explained how this devotion works. Malaysian ants have large glands that are full of poison inside their bodies. When they sense that any attacker is approaching their colonies, they contract their abs, and release their glandular contents from the head causing it to spontaneously combust, explode and spray poison everywhere! In this way, they kill themselves along with their enemy.
Do you remember the wolverine and his famous claws? Many people think that he looks so cool when he standing in his signature pose. His claws get pierced through the skin between his knuckles. This defies all logic of human physiology. However, when this is done by a hairy frog, people consider it scary. When the hairy frog senses that there is any danger, it breaks its own bones to produce the claws that puncture their way out of the toe pads of the frog. According to the studies, the tip of the leg bone is shaped like a sharp claw and is connected to a muscle. So, when this muscle is contracted, it pulls the claw downwards and breaks it away from the rest of the bone and emerges from the underside of the toe pad.
Crested Porcupines are little naughty creatures who have given a new meaning to the term ‘acupuncture’. Their defending technique is very interesting. When they are under attack, the African crested porcupines raise and rattle their quills in order to make themselves look bigger and scare the attacker away. If this attempt fails, then they will charge backwards or sideways to stab the quills into the predator. Or in many cases, it may stop suddenly which causes the predator to run into the quills. These quills of the porcupine break off easily and once they enter the predator’s body, the tiny barbs that are present on the tip actually pull them deeper into the wound rupturing blood vessels and even internal organs. It seems so hurting! They have the ability to kill lions, leopards, hyenas, and even humans with these attacks. Here is an interesting fact: these porcupines have also got natural antibiotics in their body. These antibiotics prevent them from developing an infection if they fall from trees or any other higher place and accidentally stab themselves!
This animal looks like a soft, furry creature and has got a seemingly harmless exterior. But beware of it! These furballs are very creative when it comes to their self-defence. The opossum has the ability to react to an attacker by feigning death; it falls to the ground and foams at the mouth t show that as if it was very ill, and then remains stock-still for some time, with its mouth open, teeth bared. It also starts producing a rancid-smelling green liquid from its anal glands. The weirdest thing about its defence mechanism is that it is a subconscious, psychological response to danger and not a conscious one. The attackers usually want to kill their own prey rather than feed on a dead one, so they leave them. A very clever mechanism!
Do you know of any other animals with weird, funny or unusual defences? If you do why not tell u about them in the comments below so we can all lear together.