Defence Mechanisms

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Defense Mechanism 1 - Run away, run away


Apparently, the vampire bat is the only bat known to run. From Science News:

(Researcher Daniel Riskin) placed each bat inside a cage about the size of an elongated shoe box with a customized treadmill as the floor. At first, the bats strolled along. When Riskin sped up the treadmill to more than 0.5 meter per second, he was startled to find that bats started bounding, pushing off with their powerful forearms. The maximum speed clocked was 1.2 m/s.

Running like a bat out of hell

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Defense Mechanism 2 - Hide


National Geographic reports on the annual World Beard and Moustache Championships that will take place this October in Berlin:

Another top contender is Jürgen Burkhardt (See Hairy Man 1 - Chester), a 48-year-old photographer from Leinfelden, near Stuttgart, who sports a curled mustache/muttonchop combo about the size of a boomerang.

Left unstyled, Burkhardt's mustache has a wingspan that stretches five feet (one and a half meters) from tip to tip.

Hairy Man 1 - Curled moustache and muttonchop combo

Hairy Man 2 - Extreme Handlebar

Click thumbnails below to appreciate full extent of hairiness.

Hairy Man 3 - Freestylin'

Hairy Man 4 - Mr Burns

Hairy Men 5 - The Free Stooges: Moe, Moe and Moe

Hairy Man 6 - The Flycatcher

Hairy Man 7 - Horny

Hairy Link 1 - Follow links at the bottom of the page for lots more hairiness

" target="_blank">Hairy Link 2 - Includes beard and moustache categories for those planning on competing

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Defense Mechanism 3 - Run away and hide


Nature reports on findings that octopusses like to pretend to be sea coconuts or pose like hunks of coral and tiptoe around on two of their legs like Wile E Coyote pretending to be a shrub.

Video of Cocopus

Video of Octocoral

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So what are your favorite defense mechanisms? Running away and hiding definitely top my list. Putting people on the don't exist list, and drugs and alcohol also rank highly. If those options aren't available, then I'll start pumping out the heavy duty vibe. The one that says "there's a possibility I might just be capable of murder, so keep your distance." But I find the older I get, the more that one takes out of me. Flight is definitely preferable to fight these days. Unfortunately I've never mastered the art of disguising myself as a sea coconut.


  • Reply 1 of 2
    curiousuburbcuriousuburb Posts: 3,325member
    Erector Pili and inflatable flesh are pretty odd.

    "Puffing up to look bigger" is one thing if you're furry, another if you're one of those fan-neck lizards, but quite a pain if you're a puffer fish.

    Natural shielding (not just turtle, but perhaps armadillo/hedgehog) and "horns out" formation defense (rhinos, elephants, etc) might technically be different categories due to group interaction in the formations case.

    Porcupines, skunks, cobras, etc can actively shoot at you by expelling needles/chemicals/toxins/venom from several meters away in some cases. Nasty.

    But the cephalopods probably win the all around trophy... running, hiding (better camoflague than chameleons since octopi can do texture as well as colour shifts), inky cloud, and the ability to squeeze through anything larger than their beak. Some at slashdot disagree, apparently.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    marcukmarcuk Posts: 4,442member
    I think the preferred defence mechanism is education. People don't talk shit when they're educated.

    Not sure if I mean that sarcastically.
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