A fight between a toad and a bombardier beetle might not look fair at a first glance. However, even if the toad is bigger, can swallow almost anything in an instant and have that huge tongue, these beetles have a weapon of their own. Using their back ends, they can shoot dangerous chemicals and hot steam. This is why a pair of scientists from the Kobe University in Japan wanted to get a closer look at these fascinating creatures. So, they organized a laboratory face-off and found out that 43% of the bombardier beetles involved in fights walked out alive after toads swallowed them.
It seems that the toads vomited them up and they lived to see another day, unscathed. One of the 16 beetles brought back into the world even went on to live another 562 days. According to the pair of experts, the blasts that the beetles produced were essential when it came to the toads vomiting them. They also made some of the beetles consume all of their defense chemicals and then fed them to toads. In this case, none of the insects survived.
The interesting defense mechanism of bombardier beetles
This bombardier group of beetles are fascinating for experts because of their chemical defense. So, in order to make sure that they get out of a stinky situation alive, they mix up two substances in their abdomens. After obtaining the explosive reaction, they shoot this mixture our of their back sides. It can even reach a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius. Usually, these beetles live in Eastern Asia.
Other scientists agree that this experiment was not an easy one at all. Toads are tough creatures and it’s not a walk in the park to make them vomit their lunch. It seems that the feeling of swallowing a bombardier beetles is similar with having a bomb go off inside your stomach. Not pleasant at all.
Image source: flickr