Anal Teeth, Paralyzing Farts, and Other Weaponized Butts | Summary and Q&A

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March 14, 2021
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Anal Teeth, Paralyzing Farts, and Other Weaponized Butts

TL;DR

Some animals, like dragonfly larvae, scorpions, sea cucumbers, rove beetles, and beaded lacewing larvae, have unique and defensive rear-end adaptations.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How do dragonfly larvae use their rear ends to catch prey?

Dragonfly larvae use hydraulic pressure generated from their rear ends to shoot their mouthparts forward and grab fast-moving prey underwater.

Q: What happens when scorpions break off their tails to escape predators?

When scorpions break off their tails, including their anus, they lose the ability to get rid of waste, leading to fatal constipation.

Q: How do sea cucumbers defend themselves from fish entering their anuses?

Sea cucumbers have spines called anal teeth that prevent pearlfish from swimming into their butts, while still allowing them to breathe.

Q: What unique ability do rove beetles have with their rear ends?

Rove beetles can secrete a hydrophobic liquid from their butts to disrupt water tension, allowing them to stand on water and escape predators.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Dragonfly larvae have a multi-functional rear end that allows them to breathe, digest, poop, and create powerful jets of water to move and catch prey.

  • Certain species of scorpions can break off their tails, including their anus, to escape predators, but this leads to fatal constipation.

  • Sea cucumbers can eviscerate themselves, throwing their intestines out of their anuses to distract predators, and some species have spines called anal teeth to prevent fish from entering.

  • Rove beetles can secrete hydrophobic liquid from their butts to surf on water and escape danger, and there may be a species that uses butt secretions to attract flies.

  • The larvae of beaded lacewings may use farting as a way to paralyze termites and feed on them.

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