9 Most Dangerous Animal Defense Systems
9. Puffer fish toxins
Most puffer fish species have an interesting defense mechanism on which they rely to evade predators. The puffer fish is highly maneuverable as it moves by combining its dorsal anal pectoral and caudal fins. It can be quite slow which would make it an easy target for predators.
One of its defensive behaviors involves filling it’s very elastic stomach with air or water achieving an almost spherical shape that’s considerably larger in size. As it expands, it’s pointed spines become visible and in this way would-be predators face a large bowl with spines all over it.
Swallowing the puffer fish may result in choking or death by poisoning because these creatures have tetrodotoxin in their liver, skin, and intestines. Tetrodotoxin is a potent neurotoxin that can kill humans as well as some of the puffer fish predators.
8. Cheetahs acceleration
A natural defense, running is often the best defense when it comes to land animals. No other creature on Earth is capable of the Cheetahs acceleration or top speed. It typically uses its advanced running ability to take down fast-moving prey like antelope, gazelle, zebras, and even ostriches.
Cheetahs share their environment with other animals which are bigger and stronger such as lions and leopards. Fleeing is sometimes essential for survival. Unlike other big cats, cheetahs have a lighter and more streamlined body which is perfectly adapted for rapid acceleration.
Cheetahs are capable of an explosive burst of speed as well as extreme changes in direction while moving at high velocity. Cheetahs can go from 0 to 47 miles per hour in just under two seconds and without a doubt, the fastest land animal having been clocked at over 70 miles per hour. Their strides while running are also remarkable as they can cover an average 22 feet.
While it’s a phenomenal sprinter, the cheetah, like many other animals, tends to fall short when it comes to long distance running.
Interestingly enough, humans are among the best long-distance runners in the animal kingdom due to the springy muscles and tendons in our legs and our numerous sweat glands which enable us to run and keep cool at the same time.
7. Skunks spray
Having one of the most famous animal defense system, Skunks are generally regarded as foul-smelling creatures due to the defensive behavior they adopt when feeling threatened.
Skunks have glands at their rear that produce a mixture of sulfuric chemicals which have an offensive odor. When threatened, a Skunk contracts the muscles next to the glands which then can spray with great accuracy for up to 10 feet away. The spray is strong enough to ward off beers and other large predators and can be detected by a human nose from up to three and a half miles downwind.
It’s a highly efficient defense mechanism but one that the skunk only uses as a last resort. The glands only have enough for five to six sprays but takes ten days for the glands to refill.
6. Electric Eel shock
The electric eel’s entire body consists of pairs of abdominal organs that can produce electricity. These specialized organs are made up of modified muscles or nerve cells capable of generating strong bioelectric fields which the electric eel can use to attack prey or to defend itself from predators.
When it hunts, the electric eel will generate lower electric discharges which stuns its prey. High electric discharges are typically generated for defense.
For about two milliseconds the shock can carry up to one ampere of current and 860 volts. it’s highly unlikely that it will kill a human being mostly because the duration is very short however it’s still quite painful and people have compared it to being shot by a stun gun
5. Armadillo armor
These armored mammals have developed a rather unique defensive behavior. The underside of an armadillo’s body is covered in fur and soft skin while the upper side is armored with plates of dermal bone. Most species have rigid shells over their hips and shoulders in bands separated by flexible skin. The tail, upper limbs, and the top of its head are also covered by armor.
Some species roll into a ball whenever they feel threatened exposing only their armor while protecting their vulnerable parts. The giant armadillo, which is the largest species, can’t fully roll into a ball because of its size. However, they possess huge front claws which are proportionately the largest in the animal kingdom. It uses its claws to dig burrows and to rip into termite mounds.
4. Cyanide millipedes
The cyanide millipedes dark colored body contrasted by yellow at the tip of its keels serves as a warning to would-be predators. This is known as a spur somatic coloration and there are a number of other animals like venomous frogs or snakes which display warning colors also. they usually consist of bright hues or pronounced contrasts as a warning to other creatures that the animal in question is dangerous.
The Cyanide millipede is capable of secreting hydrogen cyanide when it feels threatened killing anything that comes into contact.
This means that aside from a few beetle species,, the deadly cyanide millipede has few predators.
3. Bombardier Beetle Blast
Bombardier beetles have earned their common name from a defensive mechanism that consists of blasting their target with a hot noxious spray.
In it’s abdomen, the beetle has two reservoirs containing hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone. The two chemicals react with each other in the generating enough heat that the mixture almost reaches the boiling point of water. This produces gas and pressure which drive the ejection of the spray. The beetles will usually turn their body to direct the jet with remarkable accuracy.
The main chemical components of the jet is commonly known as paraquinone,, an irritant for the eyes and respiratory systems of vertebrates . Coupled with the heat of the spray, it can be lethal.
2. Wolverine frog
This central African frog species owns defensive weaponry straight out of a comic book and rather unique in the animal kingdom.
Known as the hairy frog because breeding males have hair like structures on its thighs and flanks. These structures contained arteries and they’re believed to aid the Frog in absorbing more oxygen when it’s out of the water.
The species is also commonly referred to as the wolverine frog after the character from the X-men because it possesses retractable claw-like bones which emerge from its skin. These claws are sheathed in a bony nodule in the tissue beyond the frog’s fingertips and whenever the Wolverine frog feels threatened, it breaks the nodule forcing its sharpened bones out of its skin.
A retraction mechanism hasn’t been determined but it’s believed that the Frog retracts its bones passively while regenerating the damaged tissue.
1. Asian Cobra bite
The Asian Cobra is found throughout most of the Indian subcontinent where it’s among the most dangerous snakes. It’s also known as the Indian or Spectacled Cobra because it often has hood markers in the form of two false eyes connected by a curved line.
When cornered the Asian cobra’s most dangerous animal defense is delivered in it’s highly venomous bite. The bite could be fatal for humans in cases where victims don’t receive anti-venom and proper medical treatment quickly.
The mortality rate is varied and also depends on how much venom injected from the bite. The average venom yield is between 160 and 250 milligrams.
The Asian cobra’s venom is highly potent as it contains cardiotoxin as well as a powerful post synaptic neurotoxin. Here is the description according to Wikipedia. This means that it attacks that synaptic spaces of the nerves which leads to muscle paralysis and in severe cases cardiac arrest or respiratory failure and death.
There are the 9 most dangerous animal defenses.