Rats. You either love ’em or hate ’em. I quite enjoy them, but would never push them on anyone. I’ve recently learned about a type of rat that I DEFINITELY wouldn’t push on anyone…for their safety.
It has recently been discovered by scientists in Oxford that the African crested rat (Lophiomys imhausi) uses plant toxins as a defense mechanism. This isn’t uncommon in insects, reptiles, amphibians, and even mammals. However, a mammal having the ability to kill with these defenses was unheard of – until now.
Lots of animals are able to incorporate toxins from plants and other animals, usually insects, either into their bodies or onto their skin and fur. For example, hedgehogs often spread poison acquired from toads onto their quills. One bite of that awful taste sends predators running. Capuchin monkeys ward off bothersome mosquitos and ticks by rubbing extracts from millipedes and ants on themselves.
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