By Christina Wilsdon
Animal Defenses (Animal habit)
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Additional info for Animal Defenses (Animal Behavior)
Unlike armadillos, all species of pangolin are able to roll into a tight ball. The scales also stand on edge so that they resemble spikes. If a predator pokes its nose between the scales, the pangolin can move so that the sharp scales pinch. All the while, glands under the pangolin’s tail produce a bad-smelling fluid. 52 AnimAl deFenses Animal armor also includes the bony scales of fish. Fish scales overlap to form a flexible but strong covering. The squared-off bodies of boxfish have scales that link together to make a boxy suit of armor.
It will spray predators that do not heed the warning. poisonous prey A poisonous animal has poison in its body. It does not typically have a special body part, such as a sting, for injecting the poison. Instead, a predator comes in contact with the poison when it seizes or eats the poisonous animal. Sometimes a predator learns its mistake while eating its prey—or even after it has swallowed it. A bird that grabs the poisonous monarch butterfly will get a taste of the poison. This is often enough to make the bird drop the monarch.
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. The prey’s actual eyes may be hidden among stripes or spots. Eyespots like these are common among fish, especially coral-reef species such as butterfly fish. The four-eyed butterfly fish, for example, has false eyes near its tail that look just like its real eyes. The threadfin butterfly fish has a dark spot on a fin toward its rear.