Top Ten Strangest Animal Survival Strategies!


Ever wonder how small creatures like beetles and ants can stand up to bigger species? How about frogs and fish? Well take a look at this list of the top ten strangest animal survival strategies.

#1 Porcupinefish (from the family Diodontidae)

Puffer fish
Pufferfish inflated

Predators will have to think twice before messing with this big spiky fish. When the Porcupine or Pufferfish is feeling threatened, it can inflate its body using air and water, extending its sharp points out up to 5 cm (2’’).

#2 Hairy Frog (Trichobatrachus robustus)

hairy frog
Hairy frog. Photo Credit: Gustavocarra

Watch out this animal uses a wolverine style attack! They will poke sharp bones through the skin on their toes and use their spiky feet to keep predators away.

#3 Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

Platypus. Photo Credit: Stefan Kraft

The platypus is high-tech using electro-reception to find its prey. It swims with its head swinging side-to-side in order to sense any changes in the electric field to see where its food is hiding.

#4 Carpenter Ant (Camponotus saundersi)

carpenter ant
Carpenter ant. Photo Credit: Richard Bartz

When the worker ant is under attack and knows it’s going to lose, it explodes! It sucks in the walls of its abdomen so fast and with so much force that the walls burst open spilling out toxins.

Hölldobler, Bert and Edward O. Wilson. The Ants: Volume 2; Volume 514.  Harvard University Press, 1990: 243. Available online at Google books:

#5 Wood Frog (Rana Sylvatica)

wood frog
Wood frog. Photo Credit: Ontley

Meet the incredible self-freezing frog! In winter 35-45% of the frog’s body may freeze and turn to ice. The Wood frog pulls off this trick by storing glucose in its liver, which gets released while its  ‘playing dead’. The glucose acts as antifreeze, working to keep this little guy alive while staying still. As the temperature drops the Wood frog will stop moving and breathing, its blood stops flowing and even its heart stops! Once things warm up a bit the frog comes back to life (so-to-speak) and returns to normal.

#6 Bombardier Beetle (Stenaptinus insignis)

bombardier beetle
Bombardier beetle. Photo Credit Patrich Coin

This beetle knows just how to keep enemies away hot liquid eek! The beetle collects chemicals in a special chamber then when it’s under attack it heats this liquid up and sprays it from the end of its abdomen.

#7 Electric Eel (Electrophorus electricus)

electric el
Electric eel. Photo Credit: Steven G Johnson

The electric eel uses 2 types of electricity; the first kind is for electro location (figuring out what’s in the environment) the other is for keeping predators away. For electro location the eel uses a low voltage discharge (about 10 V and reaching about 25 Hz) but the eel soups-up its discharge to high voltage (about 500 V and reaching several hundred Hz) to keep predators away.

#8 Archerfish (Toxotes jaculatrix)

Archerfish. Photo credit: Trisha Hears

This fish loves water fights, which can come in handy when it’s looking for a tasty insect to snack on. The Archerfish shoots down insects by spitting beads of water at them! This fish can spit water with such force that it can knock a bug off of a plant that’s up to 150 cm away.

#9 African Termite (Marcrotermes bellicosus)

african termite mound
African Termite Mound

These termites build amazing homes that help them survive by keeping the temperature inside perfect, even if the world outside is too hot or cold. These mounds are so well designed that we have started to take a closer look at them to try and help us build better homes that don’t need as much energy to keep them the right temperature. Termite mounds can reach up to 9 meters high, are water resistant and use ventilation ducts too keep them at a constant 30 degrees Celsius.

#10 Cantor’s Giant Softshell Turtle (Pelochelys cantorii)

cantors giant softshell turtle
Cantors Giant Softshell Turtle

Unlike most turtles this endangered species has a soft shell that is flexible. Its shell is made up of bones under its skin that gives it a protective plate. This turtle’s flat body helps it hide which is key for it to find food because this guy’s an ambush feeder! This turtle will lay in wait then jump into action with fast movements of its neck and head to grab some of the speediest and most agile prey, like a tasty fish.

Earth Rangers is a non-profit organization that works to inspire and educate children about the environment. At kids can play games, discover amazing facts, meet animal ambassadors and fundraise to protect biodiversity.