Animals have developed numerous remarkable defenses to keep from being devoured by their enemies. Grazing animals will feed in herds. The deer, buffalo, and zebra fall in this category. They will scatter when attacked, confusing their pursuers.
Some change their behavior. The opossum will play dead. Some beetles and millipedes will also fake death. The meadowlark pretends it has a broken wing.
Many animals have a keen sense of hearing, smell, and sight. They survive by running or flying away. The crow is one of the best at sensing danger. Some creatures have horns or antlers that they will use to fend off predators.
There is a whole category of animals, such as garden snails, tortoises, crabs, and clams that are covered by a hard shell. Clams close up their shell. The tortoise or turtle can pull in its head and legs for greater protection.
Porcupines and starfish have needles or spines to ward off enemies. The sting of poison protects wasps, scorpions, centipedes, and some snakes.
Animals can change their color to match their surroundings. The arctic fox has grey fur in spring and summer. As fall and winter approaches, the fur changes to a white to go with the snow color. The chameleon and iguana change skin color to match its background. Camouflage is a powerful tool in the animal kingdom.
Tigers, raccoons, and bears have extremely sharp claws and teeth that discourage others from messing with them.
The daddy long-legs spider has a long, thin body that looks like a stick or twig. Its color blends in with trees and branches. Leaf insects are hard to sport as they merge in with the green leaf.
A few creatures don’t taste good to their foe. Many of these have bright colors to let their enemies know that they are not worth eating. Sea slugs are a prime example.
Squids emit a black ink to hide themselves in the water. The skunk smells bad. Some animals don’t hang around in the same place. Some migrate, others hibernate. Some stay close to home and can dart underground when danger lurks. The gopher and prairie dogs are examples.
Animals that find ways to protect themselves and live long enough to have families will survive. Creatures that do not find such means will be killed off by their enemies. It’s a cruel world out there!
When all the animals of any kind are easily killed by their enemies, or by cold, heat, or lack of food, that type of animal becomes extinct.
Sources: www.nature.com and http://www.greenwing.org