Friday, August 21, 2009

Animal Weapon News

In some bizarre coincidence, the BBC had two stories today about weird natural defenses from two unrelated species.

The first is a type of newt that has this eldrich defense mechanism involving it's ribs.  Apparently, it has these pointy tips on the end of it's ribs.  When threatened, it forces it's ribs through it's own skin, ripping through it's own body!  The rib/spears pick up a bit of poison that the newt secretes from it's skin and can kill an animal attempting to bite the newt.  Freaky.

Second, this entirely new species of deep sea worms was discovered.  Apart from looking really cool, these guys have little photo luminescent "bombs" that they drop from their bodies to confuse predators.  Almost like flares on an airplane to confuse heat-seeking missiles.  Awesome!

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