Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Stinky As They Wanna Be - World's Smelliest Animals

Animals have to rely on their sense of smell far more often than humans to survive, find food, and mate. Though skunks are among the smelliest animals, many other creatures can easily compete with them. Experts note that animals frequently produce odors to warn other animals that they're entering claimed territory or to protect themselves from attacks. Bombardier Beetle sprays a boiling-hot, noxious fluid when under treat. So, check out the list of the 7th smelliest animals in the world.

01. Striped Polecat- Zorilla
The Striped Polecat is a member of the Mustelidae family (weasels) which somewhat resembles a skunk. It is found in savannahs and open country in sub-saharan Africa excluding the Congo basin and west Africa. It has several means of avoiding predators - including the ability to emit foul-smelling secretions from its anal glands, playing dead and climbing trees. The Guinness Book of Animal Records claims a zorilla once kept nine lions at bay while it was scavenging their kill, to illustrate the claim it is indeed the worst-smelling animal.

02. Tasmanian Devil
Tasmanian Devil is characterised by its stocky and muscular build, black fur, pungent odour, extremely loud and disturbing screech, keen sense of smell, and ferocity when feeding. According to some who have encountered it in the wild its stench can never be forgotten. It’s said to reek of death which, along with its ghastly cries and vicious feeding behavior, may have given it its reputation as a fearsome creature. In reality, the devil is shy and solitary and doesn’t generally go around stinking up the joint.

03. Skunk
Skunks are mammals best known for their ability to secrete a liquid with a strong, foul odor. The most notorious feature of skunks is their anal scent glands, which they can use as a defensive weapon. Skunks have two glands, one on each side of the anus. These glands produce a mixture of sulfur-containing chemicals such as methyl and butyl thiols traditionally called mercaptans, which have a highly offensive smell that can be described as a combination of the odors of rotten eggs, garlic, and burnt rubber. The odor of the fluid is strong enough to ward off bears and other potential attackers and can be difficult to remove from clothing.

04. Stinky Bugs
Stinky Bugs produce a stinky substance in their thorax, between the first and second pairs of legs. The smelly liquid is actually very similar to pheromones in its chemical makeup, but the small changes make a world of difference. Very few bugs are going to be drawn to the stink bugs’ secretions in hope of a little nookie.

05. Musk Ox
The Musk Ox is an Arctic mammal of the family Bovidae, noted for its thick coat and for the strong odor emitted by males, from which its name derives. This musky odor is used to attract females during mating season. Muskoxen primarily live in Arctic North America and Greenland, with small introduced populations in Sweden, Siberia and Norway. When the musk ox marks its territory, a lot of the smelly urine gets matted into the hairy belly of the animal. This accounts for its generally gross smell.

06. Wolverines
The wolverine is a stocky and muscular carnivore, more closely resembling a small bear than other mustelids. The wolverine has a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size, with the documented ability to kill prey many times its size. Like many other mustelids, it has potent anal scent glands used for marking territory and sexual signaling. The pungent odor has given rise to the nicknames "skunk bear" and "nasty cat."

07. Bombardier Beetle
Bombardier beetles are ground beetles. When disturbed, the beetle ejects a noxious chemical spray in a rapid burst of pulses from special glands in its abdomen. The ejection is accompanied with a popping sound. A bombardier beetle produces and stores two reactant chemical compounds, hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide, in separate reservoirs in the rear tip of its abdomen. When threatened, the beetle contracts muscles that force the two reactants through valved tubes into a mixing chamber containing water and a mixture of catalytic enzymes. When combined, the reactants undergo a violent exothermic chemical reaction, raising the temperature to near the boiling point of water.

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