Animals and self-destructing are probably two terms you never thought you would hear in the same sentence. But Mother Nature sure does have a track record of being surprising. You may be thinking, how on earth can an animal self-destruct? Well, here is a list of 12 incredible animals that can do just that, proving that sometimes science fiction does hold some truth after all.
1.Physocarpus Lineatus Spider
First up on the list is the Physocarpus Lineatus Spider. These little creatures (more so the mother) self-destruct them the moment they reproduce. This is because when the mother reproduces, they gain a significant increase of digestive enzymes, which in turn, allows her to eat more prey to stock up on necessary nutrients for her offspring. However, the drawback to this is that those same enzymes that helped her are also killing her. Those same enzymes start to digest all of her organs. By the time the babies are born, and the mother regurgitates her couple of weeks of stocked nutrients, her body is already 95% digested. Once the mother dies, the babies will eat her too.
When it comes to these ants, they feature two mandibular glands (which run along the full length of the ant's body), and they are filled with poison. When it comes down to battling a predator, and they have determined that they will not survive the fight, they will contract their stomach muscles, bursting those mandibular glands. This results in a sticky secretion to spray out its head and onto the predator, making the predator become immobilized. Though it is excellent at stopping more colony harm, the ant that did this behavior does not survive.
Pacific Salmon only has one mission in life, and that is to spawn. However, the process of returning from the ocean to the freshwater streams takes a massive toll on them. From the upward swimming against the down flowing water, it is not an easy task. With the lack of energy to repeat spawning, they only partake in this action once. Then shortly after they reproduce, they die due to exhaustion and the DNA switches that occur once they are full growth that results in them deteriorating quickly.
4.Male Australian Red Back Spider
This highly venomous spider sacrifices itself to its female counterpart part as a survival tactic for the young. The male spider positions himself in front of the female, exposing his stomach, allowing the female to eat him. This allows for better fertilization of the eggs due to the increased nutrients.
Some of these spiders, however, do not like the idea of death. This is why some are mating with immature females who are too young to eat them, storing their insemination in them until they are full-grown and able to reproduce.
Those little critters that may live in your attic or walls are actually really good at self-destructing. The majority of the time, mice will run away from things that are dangerous to them (like cats), but when a mouse is a host for the parasite Toxoplasma Gondii, it can turn off their fear senses completely. This results in them not running away and subjecting themselves to threats that could kill them. What is severe about this is that when a house cat kills an infected mouse, the cat can become infected as well and even transfer it to humans.
Termites are able to use a chemically toxic weapon as a way of defense. However, this results in their death. When termites are threatened, they self-rupture their glands that protrude a sticky and toxic substance made up of crystals, saliva, and hemolymph that ultimately kills their predator and themselves at the same time.
Grasshoppers may look like an innocent little bug, and most of the time they are. But there are times when these creatures will submerge themselves into water and drown, willingly. This happens when a grasshopper is infected with a parasite called the hairworm. In the early stages, the grasshopper will go about its business, but as the hairworm matures, it can manipulate the grasshopper to seek water. Hairworms need water to survive when they mature and can take over the grasshopper's body to jump into the water so it can release itself from the host and swim away.
Praying Mantis's both males and females often die soon after mating. For instance, during breeding, the female is regularly praying on the male, biting off its head when she has finished her end of the reproduction mission. This is for her own protection because it stops the male from breading any further. Then, once the female lays her eggs, she usually dies shortly after as well.
9.Exploding Ant of Borneo
The exploding arts of Borneo have a unique way of self-defense. These ants are very rare, live in trees, and do not possess venom or biting protection like other species. Because of this, these ants use their own biological defense, and that is to attach to their enemies and not letting go. While doing this, they will burst themselves open, covering the predator with yellow goo that is highly toxic. This will either kill or deter the predator away from the rest of the colony. This method is not used often, but it is a last resort if warning threats do not work to ward off predators.
10.The Male Giant Pacific Octopus
Heading to the ocean, the male Giant Pacific Octopus is next on the list. This self-destructing creature is only able to produce once. The female dies shortly after laying the eggs, but the male is still left alive. However, after the male is has done mating, it then transforms into a zombie-like state, almost as if it is unsure of what to do next with its life. This leads to it swimming out into open water, subjecting itself to predators.
Another water-based creature is the Angler Fish. This species lives in the dark and uses its bioluminescence light to seek out both prey and females. Once the male finds a mate, it then will bite into the female and will not let go. It then starts to combine with the female, joining bloodstreams, and features such as their eyes and teeth. Eventually, it becomes fully absorbed by the female and is left as nothing but a parasite wholly dependent on the female for survival.
Most people are aware that the honey bee does not survive after it stings someone like a wasp can. This is because when a bee feels threatened and stings, part of their body is torn off when they force themselves off the threat, leaving the stinger behind. Because honey bees are an essential creature for the eco-system and quickly becoming endangered, it is strongly advised not to provoke bees to sting, as it is critical for their survival.
Nature is quite impressive. No, there are not catastrophic fire explosions going on per se, but the very fact that these animals behave in ways that ultimately lead to killing themselves is fascinating. These self-destructing animals each have their own unique and fundamental reasons for participating in deathly behavior, but that just makes them all so much more interesting.