Wacky Animal Defences, Part 2
If you couldn't get enough of last week's amazing animals, check out these critters' wacked-out defenses.
If you've ever been so scared you couldn't move, you've had a little taste of how an opossum feels when it's freaked. When an opossum meets a bad guy it first tries to snarl and scare the predator away. If that doesn't work, the opossum flops on its side and plays dead. It has a pretty convincing act. The scared-stiff opossum hangs its tongue out of its mouth, doesn't move a muscle, poos on itself, and releases a gross-smelling green slime from its anus (its butt,) that smells like rotting flesh. Most predators won't eat animals that are already dead so they leave the opossum alone.
This sea creature knows how to put on a mesmerizing show. When the cuttlefish spots its dinner, it gets excited and lights up with flashing colors, kind of like strobe lights. The yellow, red and turquoise flashing lights hypnotize the unsuspecting victim so the cuttlefish can shoot its tentacles out to capture the stunned prey.
These icky fish hang out on the ocean floor and ooze slime out of hundreds of pores when a predator gets too close. The slime surrounds the enemy fish and protects the hagfish. The slime can kill the hagfish's enemy by suffocating it. Sometimes hagfish even kill themselves with their own slime - not a good way to go. When the hagfish thinks it's safe, it ties itself in knots to get rid of the excess goo.
A baby potato beetle (larva) doesn't have a hard shell until it's an adult so it looks mighty tasty to birds and other predators. The larva tries to make itself a little less appetizing by covering itself in it's own toxic poo. The poo is poisonous, not to mention gross, so it acts as a shield against enemies.