August 4, 2011

African Rat Weaponizes Plant Toxin

Emma Brennand, Cosmos Magazine

Kevin Deacon/Wiki Commons

BRISTOL: The African crested rat has been revealed as the first known mammal to use plant poison to defend itself, using the toxins as a weapon against would-be predators.

The peculiar East African rodent, Lophiomys imhausi, uses saliva to transport the toxin, Ouabain, from gnawed branches of the Poison-arrow trees onto its unique wick-like fur.

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TAGGED: Toxins, Rats, Plants


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