Deadliest Animals
Deadliest Animals
Lifestyle

Deadliest Animals And Their Defense Mechanisms

A Predator adopts the defence mechanism while hunting for its prey. Sometimes this mechanism, when adopted by the prey, gives an advantage over its enemy or predator that may be one of deadliest animals. There is a very famous adage “Looks are deceptive”.

Similarly, we might get deceived by the outward appearance of an animal in the animal kingdom. A furry cute creature might turn out to be a prolific killer like a raccoon or a coyote.

So we really need to bear this in mind as we go through the list of The World’s Most Deadliest Animals.

Defence Mechanisms Of Deadliest Animals

1. Physical Combat

This defence mechanism may be physical combat as in the case if a Porcupine or chemical combat as in the Dart Frog. In Physical combat the deadliest animals make themselves look very undesirable to its enemy making it very difficult for its predators to prey on them.

Eg. Porcupine with the sharp quills intimidates and wards off its enemies and predators.

2. Chemical Defense

Chemical defence is also called “aposematic colouration”, it is prevalent more so among the insects and amphibians. In Chemical combat, the chemical features can be equally effective. Some animals like Skunk release a not so pleasant aroma when scared or confronted by humans, that you can never get over.

Another dangerous animal the Dart Frog releases chemicals, i.e poison from the surface of its skin that is lethal, to deter its attackers. This chemical is potent enough to kill its enemy and any animal that eats this dart frog is likely to get sick and die.

3. Camouflage

This mechanism offers protective colouration and helps the deadliest animals to blend with its environment and thereby mask its identity. Most dangerous animals adopt this mechanism to avoid being detected while catching its prey or in human encounters.

You need the eyes of a hawk to spot some venomous snakes that camouflage as dry leaves in hopes of finding its lunch. A variety of snake called Copperhead found in Eastern North-America is a cute but venomous snake.

  • Frogfish

frog-fish

The frogfish resembles a sponge and small fish that swim nearby gets engulfed in its enormous mouth.

  • Butterfly Fish

butterfly-fish

The Butterfly Fish uses deceptive markings. It has a large spot near its tail resembling an eye. When predators get fooled by this eye and attack from the wrong end, this fish swims away in the other direction.

  • Walking Stick

The Walking Stick insect is aptly made walking stick where it uses cryptic colouration to pretend to be a twig to escape and ward off its predator or avoid being seen by a bird.

4. Playing Dead

The Hognose snake designs its own murder?! Unbelievable yet true!! This snake is venomous but sadly its small fangs are located at the back of its mouth.

To compensate for this cruel twist of fate, it stages its own murder with so much care that it would deceive us. The hognose snake would convulse wildly flip over and lie motionless even when prodded.

The snake will then spew vomit or even blood from its open mouth. Finally, it will secrete faecal matter and foul-smelling musk from its tail. This dangerous animal perceives humans as a threat to its habitat.

5. Mimicry

There are two kinds of mimicry Batesian mimicry and Mullerian mimicry.

  • Batesian Mimicry

An example of Batesian mimicry is the Scarlet king snake, a non-poisonous snake that mimics the extremely venomous coral snake.  Thus some not so dangerous animals use these deceptive defensive mechanisms to appear most dangerous animals.

  • Locust Borer

locust-borer

Another example of this mimicry is the Locust Borer, an insect that not only appears like a bee or a wasp but makes a sound like them too!

  • Mullerian mimicry

This happens two or more poisonous or offensive organisms resemble each other and predator that avoid one of these will shun the other too!

Why do Animals Become Dangerous?

The conflict between animals and humans have always garnered huge media attention but the underlying fact that is ignored is that this is as a result of inappropriate human behaviour.

1. Fear Factor

There is always the fear factor in the animals which spurs them to attack humans in close human encounters, as a defence mechanism. The wildland visitors perceive that animals would display gestures or warning signals of an impending attack, thus giving them time to retreat to safety.

But this is a grave misconception. Animal behaviour is unpredictable and certain animals with a calm and friendly demeanour might strike you suddenly,  out of the blue thus catching you unawares.

Animals perceived a threat in close encounters with humans and a simple thing like the sound of a horn, the excited cry of a baby or the barking sound of a dog can trigger violent behaviour in animals.

Animals like Tiger and Lion are predators, constantly updating their knowledge of their prey habits. When they are constantly in a proximity of humans for eg. Guides or Rangers in a safari, they lose their fear of man and eventually he turns its easy prey.

2. Territory

Another reason is when humans encroach upon its territory, a classic example are Hippos.  They are responsible for killing more people than any other wild animal.

The Hippos are unpredictable, making it the most dangerous animal in Africa they are surprised by human encounters and attack out of fear when you get between them and the water. They also turn aggressive to shield their babies from the human encounter.

3. Anger

Another notable reason is anger, a good example would be when male elephants go into season called “must when they have a huge amount of testosterone pumping through them and will go into the attacking mode.

Thus the African Elephant tops the list of the deadliest animals ever seen and also the most amazing land mammals found in the world.

4. Safeguard its Young Ones

Another reason would be to protect and safeguard its young ones. The best way to save ourselves would be to literally back off quickly!! 

5. Anxiety

Some wild animals attack humans in a fit of anxiety; an old, sick or an injured animal may be left with no other alternative than to go for an easy prey, such as people in human encounters.

The Tsavo Lion from Kenya is by far the most dangerous animal known for their aggressive nature and their willingness to attack humans as a source of food.