Dwarf and pygmy sperm whales un­leash a dif­fer­ent kind of smoke­screen from their anus in or­der to hide from their en­e­mies

World of Animals - - How To Avoid Getting Eaten -

If you can’t run then per­haps you can hide. A num­ber of an­i­mals have de­vised in­ge­nious ways of mak­ing sure they can’t be seen by a preda­tor. One ex­po­nent of this sim­ple but ef­fec­tive method is the Texas horned lizard, which builds pres­sure up in its head be­fore re­leas­ing a stream of blood from its eyes, which it aims at the eyes of its at­tacker. How­ever, the art of hiding isn’t lim­ited to terra firma.

The vam­pire squid lives deep in the ocean where no nat­u­ral light oc­curs. While this may sound like a risky place to be when try­ing to evade preda­tors, this squid has learnt to use the dark­ness to its ad­van­tage. Should a hunter ap­proach, the squid will turn its ‘cloak’ in­side out be­fore light­ing its two largest pho­tophores (light­pro­duc­ing or­gans). It will then nar­row these strips of light, giv­ing the by now con­fused preda­tor the im­pres­sion that the squid is rapidly mov­ing off into the dis­tance and is no longer a vi­able meal, al­low­ing the squid to get away safely.

Fel­low ocean dwellers, pygmy and dwarf sperm whales also need to rely on de­cep­tion when threat­ened, but they take a slightly messier ap­proach. A sac con­tain­ing a red­dish-brown fluid sits near their anus. When es­cap­ing a preda­tor, they re­lease this and swoosh it around with their tail, cre­at­ing a huge, dense red cloud – per­fect cover to es­cape in. What’s more, they can do this re­peat­edly, es­sen­tially poop­ing out smoke bomb af­ter smoke bomb to evade a preda­tor.

Be­low A threat­ened pygmy sperm whale can re­lease a cloud of thick, syrupy fluid to hide from at­tack­ers

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