Snake "Steals" Toad Toxins for Defense Against Predators
A new study shows that some snakes can store toxins from toads they eat and use the debilitating chemicals as a defense mechanism.
The toads make the toxins to protect themselves against predators, which learn not to eat the deadly amphibians.
But the Asian snake Rhabdophis tigrinus has evolved a way to consume the toxic meal safely. Instead, the snake stores the toad toxins in glands in its neck, making it too poisonous to eat.
These snakes even taunt enemies to attack, according to the new research. The snakes also pass the toxins on to their offspring to protect them while they are too young to eat toads themselves.
Link & Image: National Geographic
Tags: Snake | Reptile | Toxin | Nature