|[wikipedia- credit: U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration]|
But he isn't offensive. In a fight vs. flight dilemma, this fish literally chooses flight. Let's go from this fish, which is kind of beautiful, to something considerably less so. Time to up the disgusting factor.
How does it protect itself? Well, have you ever caught an eel when you were fishing? Ever been slimed by an eel? Well, as gross as that is, it is NOTHING compared to the sliming capabilities of a hagfish. You've gotta see it to believe it...
I KNOW! Isn't that wild? (I wonder if scientists have discovered any useful applications for that stuff yet?)
|[wikimedia- credit: David Perry]|
Check out this guy. He's an Iberian ribbed newt, indigenous to the Iberian peninsula (ergo his name) and Morocco. See those little bumps down his side? They're ribs. When he's being threatened, he actually pushes his ribs right through the skin so he can use them as weapons. As if having his own built-in weapons weren't enough, the exposed bones are also covered with poison.
|[wikimedia- credit: Gustavocavia]|
Here's another critter who uses his own bones as weapons. This hairy frog from Central Africa cracks his toe bones and pushes them through the skin to form sharp claws for fighting off attackers.
|[wikipedia- credit: Piekfrosch]|
We're all familiar with porcupines, and what an impressive shield of defense their quills provide, but they aren't the only critters with built-in suits of armor. Meet the pangolin, who makes his home throughout parts of Africa and Asia. His whole body is covered with large scales, making him look kinda like a big ol' pine cone. It's fairly tough, too, which is why some ancient warriors actually used them to make their own suits of armor. You can't really tell in the picture, but the pangolin has very large powerful claws, which they mostly use to get at insects, but rarely as weapons. As a last resort, they can use their tail as a weapon, or they can spray out a smelly goo from their anus. But their first means of self-defense...?
|[wikipedia- credit: Sandup Kumer]|
They roll up into a tight little ball. Think the lions are fooled?
They can roll, too. I read that one was seen rolling down a hill at a high rate of speed in Sumatra, which must have been a hoot, but I couldn't find any video of it. Too bad.
|[wikimedia- credit: Chris Stubbs]|
|[wikipedia- credit: French Avatar]|
Believe it or not, this is a 3-banded armadillo. Looks like a melon, doesn't it?
Or maybe it looks like a ... ball?
Check this video out for a laugh.
These two posts barely scratch the surface of the amazing ways animals defend themselves, but I'd much rather pique your interest than bore you to tears. I hope, no matter how disgusting you found some of this to be, you've also gained a bit more of an appreciation for the resiliency and self-defense mechanisms found within the animal kingdom.
Humor is a great defense, and an offense, too. Usually the recipient isn't too happy about it, but the people around are laughing. [Robin Williams]
Do you think animals have a sense of humor? I'd read some accounts indicating that they do, and that some of them laugh and like to be tickled. But whether or not they have a sense of humor, I have a feeling this video will make YOU laugh. Some animals enjoy fermented beverages, too, and they also have to pay the piper, so to speak...
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.