Saturday, March 1, 2008

Weapons of Animals


Claws, Teeth, Horns and Hoofs All Come In Handy at Times

Many animals, including both those that kill and those that are killed, are endowed with special means of offensive and defensive combat. The latter are often furnished with weapons of effective value, such as the horns of cattle and goats and the hoofs of horses.

Even some of the largest animals which are not carnivorous and may be said to have no enemies possess special organs that they can use for inflicting wounds. Such are the tusks of elephants, the horn of the rhinoceros and the antlers of the moose. Their primary purpose, however, is to aid in procuring food and in cleaving a way through forest and jungle.

With beasts and birds of prey weapons of attack are indispensable. Among the most highly developed are the retractile claws of the cat family, the cutting and tearing teeth of the wolf family and the talons of eagles and hawks. Even in lower forms of life we find highly specialized weapons, chief among which are the fangs of venomous serpents and the stings of bees, wasps and hornets, rendered far more effective by the presence of a powerful and sometimes deadly poison. — Philadelphia Times.

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