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Animals With Unusual Defense Mechanisms

The rule of the jungle is “eat, or be eaten”, but it fails to take into account the most extraordinary methods some animals employ to avoid being eaten. Some of these methods can be quite extreme or even disgusting, but they are all intriguing nonetheless.

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1. Slow Loris

Defense Mechanisms

These adorable-looking primates are very slow, making them easy prey for predators. As a response, these tiny creatures developed poison glands, located near the armpits. A threatened Loris will coat itself with the poison, as well as cover its teeth with it. The poison is very powerful and can send predators into anaphylactic shock.

2. The Dormouse

Defense Mechanisms

Dormice are tiny rodents that, similarly to geckos, can sacrifice part of their tail to escape predators. The skin of the dormouse’ tail is very loose, so if they’re caught by the tail, it can still escape. However, unlike the gecko – the dormouse can only do this once, as the skin doesn’t grow back, and the tail falls off.

3. African Crested Porcupines

Defense Mechanisms

Unlike their North American cousins, the African porcupines have much longer quills, capable of causing serious harm to predators. When threatened, these guys will run backward at an attacker, trying to impale them on the quills. If chased, they will abruptly stop, forcing the predator onto their spiky backs.

4. Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillars

Defense Mechanisms

If threatened, the elephant hawk caterpillars change their appearance to resemble a snake.

5. Pygmy Sperm Whales

Defense Mechanisms

These are some of the smallest species of whale, making them potentially easy prey. To escape danger, a threatened whale will release an anal “syrup” and stir it in the water to create a cloud of foul-smelling and tasting feces, which it then uses as cover.

6. Cuttlefish

Defense Mechanisms

Cuttlefish have some of the most effective camouflage abilities in nature. They can quickly change the color and even texture of their skin to resemble its environment.

7. Texas Horned Lizards

Defense Mechanisms

The spikes on its body are not the lizard’s primary defense mechanism – When attacked, these lizards pressure the sinus cavities in their eyes, forcing the blood vessels to burst. The lizard will then shoot a stream of blood at the attacker, from its eyes.

8. Motyxia Sequoiae

Defense Mechanisms

One may not notice these millipedes in daylight, but at night, they will use bioluminescence to warn predators away. If the light show doesn’t work, they secrete cyanide from pores along its body.

9. Skunks

Defense Mechanisms

With one of the most famous defense mechanisms in the world, skunks have quite a reputation. A threatened individual will spray a mix of sulfur and other chemicals at its attacker. The powerful mix wards off even bears and may cause temporary blindness.

10. Eurasian Roller Bird and Northern Fulmars

Defense Mechanisms

Young, flightless chicks can vomit a foul-smelling liquid at attackers.

11. Bombardier Beetles

Defense Mechanisms

Potential predators of the bombardier beetle can be in for a painful surprise. Attacked beetles spray a mixture of enzymes, hydroquinone, and hydrogen peroxide. When the liquid encounters the air, it will catalyze and reach burning temperatures of nearly 100°c (212°f).

12. HairyFrogs

Defense Mechanisms

If attacked, the hairy frog will literally break the bones in its toes, forcing them through the skin to be used as claws. When the danger has passed, researchers believe that the bones retract back to place and begin healing.

13. Iberian Ribbed Newts

Defense Mechanisms

A threatened Iberian Newt will push its ribs through its chest, covering them in highly toxic poison and using them to fight the attacker back.

14. Stick Insects

Defense Mechanisms

When camouflage fails them, some stick insects can spray a liquid that is both foul-smelling as well as a powerful irritant.

15. Sea Cucumbers

Defense Mechanisms

Armed with two defense mechanisms, the sea cucumber can go both on offense and defense. When attacked, they can release a powerful and sticky toxin. Alternatively, a sea cucumber will contract its muscles, forcing part of its internal organs out, making it seem like it is already dead.

16. Octopoteuthis Deletron

Defense Mechanisms

Besides squirting ink, the Octopoteuthis deletron can also rip off one of its tentacles to allow it time to escape while the predator devours it.

17. Malaysian Exploding Ants

Defense Mechanisms

When predators attack these ants, they spray them with a corrosive venom that they store in specialized glands in their abdomen.

18. Opossum

Defense Mechanisms

The saying “playing possum” refers to the Opossum’s behavior when it is threatened – it will fall into a temporary comatose-state, making it seems like it is already dead. In addition, they can also spray a foul-smelling green liquid that can deter most predators.

19. Boxer Crabs

Defense Mechanisms

Boxer crabs carry small sea anemones in their pincers, making them look like tiny cheerleaders. Don’t let it fool you, the anemones are highly toxic.

20. Potato Beetle Larvae

Defense Mechanisms

The larvae of the potato beetle cover themselves with their own feces, which is both malodorous and toxic.

21. Hagfish

Defense Mechanisms

Hagfish have been around for nearly 300 million years. They survived thanks to their ability to expel a substance that, when mixed with water becomes sticky, clogging the gills of potential predators and effectively choking them.

22. Flying Fish

Defense Mechanisms

The flying fish has one of the most unique ways to avoid predators – it swims at high speeds (37mph) and then jumps out of the water, spreading its large fins and using them as gliders. A glide can be as long as 200 meters (656ft).

H/T: list25.com
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