By Christina Wilsdon
Animal Defenses (Animal habit)
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Additional resources for Animal Defenses (Animal Behavior)
Colors, markings, and behaviors that encourage a predator to focus on the wrong end of its prey are called deﬂection displays because they redirect, or deflect, an attack. Deflection displays often make use of eyespots. Unlike eyespots that are flashed to scare a predator, these eyespots show on an animal’s hind end at all times. They draw a predator’s attention away from the prey’s head. As a predator lunges, it focuses on the prominent eyespot at the prey’s tail end instead of on the prey’s head.
It burrows into the ground in less than two minutes. The predator may pull on the armadillo’s tail to yank it out of the burrow. This won’t work because the armadillo hangs on with its claws. Its bony bands also help wedge it in place. A nine-banded armadillo can also hunker down so that its carapace touches the ground. Then it can pull in its nose and feet. Playing dead or leaping abruptly into the air are other defenses. It can also curl its body slightly so that its nose and tail touch, though it cannot roll up into a ball.
Other small animals also give off strong odors when threatened. A daddy longlegs puts out a smelly liquid from glands on its back when its body is grabbed. The liquid spreads across its body and repels attackers, such as ants. Millipedes also give off strong odors if they are disturbed. Just the scent of some millipedes is enough to send ants scurrying ONE WARNING FOR ALL A gazelle that stamps its foot or stots (jumps high into the air) sends two important messages to a predator. First, the gazelle has seen the predator, so the predator has lost its chance to launch a surprise attack.
Animal Defenses (Animal Behavior) by Christina Wilsdon