Giant Rat Kills Predators with Poisonous Hair
by Jennifer Welsh
By utilizing the same plants that African tribesmen use to poison their arrows, the furry fury known as the African crested rat can incapacitate and even kill predators many times its size, researchers have found.
“This is the first mammal that is borrowing a deadly poison from a plant and slathering it on itself without dying,” said study researcher Jonathan Kingdon, of Oxford University in England. “This is an extraordinary thing to have evolved.”
Growing up in Africa, Kingdon was frequently exposed to these rats, even keeping one (very cautiously) as a pet. He had heard this animal was poisonous, but it took 30 years for him to figure out how and why this special animal kills and sickens its predators…
(read more: Live Science)