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Lecture 3

BIOL 1902 Lecture 3: Physical/ Chemical Defences (Animal)

by Lia

Course Code
BIOL 1902
Michael Runtz

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Class 3
Eyespots can be startle patterns if revealed suddenly, or in the case of eyes always being on
the animal on display, make the animal appear larger than it is.
Distraction/Deflection Patterns
Startle patterns have a second function - to deflect the attack of the animal to a non-vital part.
- Fake antennae / heads:
- Some butterflies have ‘tails’ that look like the head of the animal to deflect the attack of
the predator to a non-vital part of their body
- Hairstreak butterflies have the tiny thick antenna (tail) to deflect the attack
- Canadian Tiger Swallowtail butterflies have it as well
- Giant Swallowtail have it as well
- Autotomy is having body parts that can be discarded and grown back, typically for
- Five lined Skinks have tails that disconnect upon contact and move around a
few seconds to distract the predator, allowing the skink to escape (grows back,
but not as long), this is Autotomy
Body Armor
Some animals have body armor for defense making it hard to bite into them and such
Hard Defenses
- Millipedes (Narceus) have body armor
- Snails have shells made of Calcium which is a form of body armor
- Clams (Bivalves) (Calcium used to make shell) have shells that protect them
- Turtles pull their heads inside their shells to protect themselves
- Blanding’s Turtles have the ability to party close their shells like a bridge, they
can partly close the shell (both bottom and top sides)
- Snapping Turtles snap (attack) for defense because they cannot pull
themselves into their shell (hence being more aggressive)
Soft Defenses
- Soft Hairs is a defense where if the body is hairy, predators will avoid eating them
- Hard Hairs (modified hairs) are hairs that translate into hard spines
- Wooly Bears have spines for hair, they roll up to protect themselves
- Porcupines have quills that are modified hairs (called guard hairs)
- Porcupines CANNOT shoot these hairs contrary to popular belief
- Eastern Tent Caterpillars make a big silk tent around themselves to protect them, they
also have hair on their body because birds do not like eating hair.
- Fall Webworm also spin silk tents, they use this tent for defense and also for eating, the
tent has leaves
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