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Unique Animal Defence Mechanisms

Unique Animal Defence Mechanisms

19th August 2011
Skunk

Successful defence from predators is a critical thing for any animal to have to ensure that they have the chance to continue their species. Away from the large claws or enormously tough bodies of some of our more iconic species, numerous animals have had to evolve more unique methods of defending themselves or their community when they feel under threat.

Skunk
Mephitidae
Found throughout North America, parts of South America and on a number of islands in Indonesia and the Philippines, Skunks are best known for the foul liquid odour that they release when under threat. Glands located in the anus are able to accurately spray this chemical defence as far as 3 meters.


Malaysian Exploding Ant

Malaysian Exploding Ant
Camponotus saundersi
A species of Carpenter Ant that is found in Malaysia and Brunei, the Malaysian Exploding Ant actually self-destructs when faced with the ultimate danger. This act of defence means that anything in the immediate area will be covered by this chemical irritant.


Horned Lizard

Horned Lizard
Phrynosoma
The fourteen different species of Horned Lizard found throughout North America have varying methods of defence, but four of them are able to squirt a stream of blood out of the corners of their eyes. Travelling up 1.5 meters, this stream of blood both confuses predators and tastes unpleasant to many mammals.

Bombardier Beetle

Bombardier Beetle
Carabidae
This large family of ground beetles are found on almost every continent on Earth with the exception of Asia and Antarctica. Named for their defence, these beetles eject an accurate stream of nasty chemicals in the direction of their attacker to immobilise it.


Hairy Frog

Hairy Frog
Trichobatrachus robustus
The Hairy Frog is a medium sized species of hairy-skinned frog that is natively found on the forest floor in Central Africa. When attacked they are known to break their toe bones that then push through their skin, giving this amphibian sharp claws to fight with to try and protect itself.


Pacific Hagfish

Pacific Hagfish
Eptatretus stoutii
Found in the Pacific close to the ocean floor, they are also known as the Slime Eel as they are able to ooze slime from glands in their skin when under threat. The Pacific Hagfish coats itself in a mass a slime that not only often deters predators but is also very unappetising for them.

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