Needles instead of the usual wool cover are not only an amazing “built-in” protective mechanism, but in some cases dangerous weapons. It is almost impossible to reach vulnerable places through an impassable thorny cover, and body parts that are not covered by needles are usually carefully guarded.
Sea urchin is an unusual and very mysterious sea animal. It has a wide variety of colors, but pink and violet shades are predominant.
Sea urchin lives on the bottom of warm seas, where it feeds on algae, scraping them from a hard surface with a strong jaw located in the lower part of the body. With it, the sea urchin can also move in search of food.
A huge number of spikes covering his body, reliably protects the sea urchin from enemies. And he has very few of them, since only a few will decide to try to break the defense of sharp spikes, which are also often poisonous. However, there are those who are not afraid of spikes. So, the main enemies of sea urchins are otters and humans.
Life expectancy under favorable conditions can be up to 200 years.
Crown of thorns
The crown of thorns or acanthaster is a multi-beam starfish, an inhabitant of the deep sea of the Red, Pacific and tropical parts of the Indian Ocean. Color varies from orange to greenish blue. The adult crown of thorns grows to 50 cm and has up to 21 rays.
The body of the starfish is covered with sharp needles 2-3 cm long, which have extremely poisonous glands at their base. Injections with such needles can be very dangerous even for humans and cause serious intoxication of the body.
Armadillo is an animal that we used to call an armadillo. This is a predator found on the sandy plains of Argentina, overgrown with cacti and prickly bushes. It feeds mainly on ants, snails and larvae.
The armadillo spends most of the time underground, breaking through the tunnels. To protect his body from earthen blockages and sharp stones, nature provided the animal with a thick carapace consisting of many hilly plates covering its back and head.
A spiked spider looks like a crab and is widespread in Mexico, Peru, Cuba, Jamaica, on the Costa Rica and in the USA. The animal lives in the wild and prefers to settle in dense, moist thickets on trees and shrubs.
Every day he weaves a new network-trap in the form of a circle on the upper branches and awaits his prey from below. Mostly females hunt, which can reach a size of 30 cm in diameter, males are about three times inferior to them.
The color of individuals varies depending on the habitat: there are bright red, lemon, green shades. Spikes have a contrasting color and give the insect a very threatening appearance, warning predators that it can be dangerous. In fact, a spiked spider is absolutely harmless and can only harm small flying insects, which form the basis of its diet.
Lesser Belt Tail
Lesser Belt-Tail is a species of carnivorous lizard in Africa. The animal grows to 15-21 cm in length. The lizard feeds mainly on small invertebrates, such as crickets and spiders.
There are solid bone plates on the back of the reptile, and the head, neck and limbs are covered with sharp spikes. In case of danger, the belttail is twisted into a ring, capturing its tail with the jaws. Armor made of carapace and spikes also protects the body of the lizard from injuries, since the tailed shell loves to settle in rocky areas, in gorges between the rocks.
The prickly moth is covered with sharp spikes even before its transformation - at the caterpillar stage. It lives in the tropics and feeds on the leaves of trees.
The animal has spikes to protect itself from birds and predators that live in the upper tiers of tropical trees.
The most common and familiar animal from childhood is the common hedgehog, which lives in different parts of the world. These mammals prefer to settle in mixed, coniferous-deciduous forests and in open glades along river valleys.
Despite its harmless appearance, the hedgehog is a predator: it feeds on insects, small rodents, and ravages the nests of birds laying eggs on the ground. The body of the hedgehog “hides” in a thick coat of sharp needles that can protect a small animal from the most formidable predators, such as a wolf and a fox: in case of danger, the hedgehog tightens its paws and turns into a ball, making it look like a prickly ball. Such a defense is too tough for many.
Porcupine is an animal from the genus of rodents of the porcupine family, which lives mainly in the mountains and foothills. It is found in Asia, the Middle East, India, and Transcaucasia.
Porcupine is a herbivore that feeds exclusively on plant foods. Its needles, which are the longest among mammals, can reach a length of 40 cm and a diameter of about 7 mm. But they are necessary for the animal exclusively for defense: in case of danger, the porcupine growls loudly and shakes its needles appallingly, issuing a warning crack. If the enemy does not respond, the fearless porcupine makes a fatal attack and can cause serious injury to the enemy with its sharp flying needles.
Moloch or the "prickly devil" is a reptile that lives in Australia.
His body is covered with small curved spikes of different sizes, the longest and often located of which are on the upper body. In case of danger, the lizard lowers its head, and the spiny outgrowth in the cervical spine forms a kind of “false head” that distracts the attention of the predator from the real one. The similarity of horns directed towards the attacking enemy creates the effect of ostentatious danger and aggressiveness of the moloch, which gives time and the opportunity for a nimble lizard to sneak out.
Spikes also provide the "household needs" of the "prickly devil": through them through the microscopic channels between the scales, the collected moisture enters the mouth of the reptile in the form of dew and precipitation.
Echidna lives in Australia. It is so popular in this country that it is even minted on one of the Australian coins.
It is sometimes called the "Australian Prickly Anteater." This is due to the fact that the echidna has a structure similar to that of an anteater, of a muzzle elongated into a tube, and a long sticky tongue that can get insects from the most secluded corners. Ants and termites form the basis of her diet, digging a hole in the ant shelter with huge claws, at one time the echidna is capable of licking more than 1.5 hundred insects.
Long sharp needles are located on the upper part of the body and on the sides, and the abdomen and paws are echidna covered with hard brown hair. Needles are the only reliable way to protect an animal from attack by predators and birds, since the aureole of echidna is mostly open spaces with moderate and sparse vegetation, where it is difficult to hide or find shelter.