Gross out your at­tacker

Po­tato bee­tles col­lect their poo on their backs to re­volt any would-be as­sailants

World of Animals - - How To Avoid Getting Eaten -

As much as the main point of eat­ing is to stay alive, you also want to en­joy your food. There­fore, mak­ing your­self as dis­gust­ing as you pos­si­bly can is a great way to make preda­tors look else­where for some­thing a lit­tle tastier to eat.

Few an­i­mals em­body this bet­ter than the rather aptly named hoopoe bird, which rubs a fluid se­creted from a gland near its anus all over its plumage, thereby de­ter­ring most preda­tors as the sub­stance the bird is cov­ered in reeks of rot­ting flesh. Ful­mar birds have a sim­i­lar method, spit­ting an oil at their at­tack­ers that smells vile and doesn’t come off, com­pletely putting the preda­tor off its lunch. It also sticks an en­emy bird’s feath­ers to­gether, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to fly and un­likely to bother a ful­mar bird again.

The po­tato bee­tle is an­other keen re­cy­cler of its own fae­cal mat­ter – hold­ing up its own poop as a shield. This not only tastes aw­ful but can also be poi­sonous if the bee­tle has eaten deadly night­shade or a sim­i­lar toxic plant.

“The bee­tle holds up its own poop as a shield. This tastes aw­ful but can also be poi­sonous

if it’s eaten deadly night­shade”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.