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Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODFARE - JBJ REPORTER

MOST an­i­mals use de­fence mech­a­nisms that are well known, in­clud­ing play­ing dead, us­ing cam­ou­flage to blend into the back­ground or hav­ing eyes on the side of the head to see preda­tors more eas­ily.

Some an­i­mals have evolved unique de­fences to avoid be­com­ing some­one else’s din­ner. Here are a few of them.

Skip­per cater­pil­lar: This wily in­ver­te­brate can shoot poop pel­lets five feet through the air! This is the equiv­a­lent to a 1.8m man throw­ing a ball 73m. Sci­en­tists think skip­per cater­pil­lars do this when threat­ened be­cause wasps are at­tracted to the smell of their drop­pings. This sends the wasps on a wild goose chase giv­ing the cater­pil­lar time to get away.

Horned lizard: There are 15 species of horned lizards in North Amer­ica. Four of them have the abil­ity to squirt blood out of their eyes when threat­ened. Dur­ing an at­tack, the lizard is able to re­duce the flow of blood to the rest of the body. This in­creases the pres­sure in tiny blood ves­sels near the eye, caus­ing them to burst and spew­ing a stream of blood. In ad­di­tion to con­fus­ing a preda­tor, the blood tastes aw­ful.

Malaysian ant: Like other ants, a Malaysian ant colony con­sists of many play­ers: the queen, work­ers, soldiers and drones (the queen’s mates). If a colony is threat­ened, it is a sol­dier’s job to de­fend its com-

GLANDS: When they sense an at­tacker, they con­tract their abs, and re­lease their glan­du­lar con­tents from the head.

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