Just the way you instinctively move your head when someone’s hand seems to come in the direction of your face, animals have several tactics to avoid their predators. While some of these animals’ defense mechanisms are creative and impressive, other mechanisms are downright out-of-the-box. This article is about five animals with the most bizarre defense tactics.
The Hairy Frog
We aren’t surprised that this frog is often called the “wolverine” frog. When threatened, its main defense is to crack its finger bones, pierce them through the skin of its toe pads, and use them as claws. Doesn’t that sound like Wolverine from “X-Men”?
How is this possible? Its bone is connected to its claws with collagen. There is a muscle on the other end of the bone that the frog can contract to break a sharp fragment of bone. Then, it pushes the sharp bone fragment through the toe pad.
The Slow Loris
The slow loris, a nocturnal primate native to southern Asia, isn’t just a cute animal. Its defense against predators like orangutans, birds of prey, and snakes, is to imitate the defensive tactic of a cobra.
It rears up with its hands on its head, creating the diamond shape, and hisses. The poison it excretes from its armpits gives it another option. If it feels even more threatened, it can suck the poison and give its attacker a deadly bite.
The Texas Horned Lizard
Also known as the horny toad, the Texas horned lizard can be quite scary. This lizard defends itself against predators like hawks, lizards, and coyotes by squirting blood from the corners of its eyes. What brings about the ‘blood flood’ in the eyes of this lizard?
It squirts blood by rupturing its sinus membranes. It has muscles that line the veins surrounding its eyes, which cut off blood flow to the heart and flood the ocular sinuses. The lizards can contract the muscles further, making the blood shoot four feet from their eyes.
Suicide Bomber Ants
Known as exploding ants, about 15 species native to Southeast Asia defend their colonies by doing what a suicide bomber would. These ants have large glands filled with poison running through their bodies. When they feel threatened, they poison themselves.
To protect the colony, these ants will violently contract their abdominal muscles to blow themselves up by spraying a sticky poison. As a result, this corrosive chemical irritant immobilizes or kills the attacker. Unfortunately, the poison kills the ant.
The Iberian Ribbed Newt
The Iberian ribbed newt has an unbelievably weird way of evading predators. When it feels threatened, the newt pushes its ribs forward through its stretched skin to create a spiky body armor. Here’s the real danger– the spikes are very poisonous.
The spiky armor secretes a milky substance that seeps into the newt’s skin; the poisonous substance can cause the predator severe pain or possibly even death. The newt, on the other hand, doesn’t experience any harm. It can repeat the process several times as it heals itself easily.