4 Animals With Crazy Abilities

Sierra Club list includes tigers, thanks to their whiskers

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 18, 2013 7:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – How does a tiger know when its prey is dead? It uses its ultra-sensitive whiskers to detect a pulse, or lack thereof. So says the Sierra Club in rounding up four animals with "superhero" abilities. Those whiskers have sensitive nerve endings, and after a tiger takes down its prey, the whiskers encircle the victim's neck to try to find a pulse. Others on the list:

  • Tiger moths: They deter their main predator, bats, by jamming the bats' sonar signals. When the moths sense the bats approaching, they release some 4,500 clicks per minute, essentially causing the bats to zig as the moths zag. No other animal can pull off such a feat.
  • Platypus: Not only can it pick up on electric impulses in the ocean, it has venom ducts hidden on its back limbs. The venom comes out when the platypus feels threatened.
Click for the full list, including the not-so-humble pigeon, whose internal compass could put a smartphone GPS to shame.

Those whiskers aren't just whiskers. They can detect a victim's pulse.
Those whiskers aren't just whiskers. They can detect a victim's pulse.   (Shutterstock)
Tiger moths have a unique way of deterring bats, through sonar jamming.
Tiger moths have a unique way of deterring bats, through sonar jamming.   (Shutterstock)
The platypus has a venomous surprise for predators hidden in its hind legs.
The platypus has a venomous surprise for predators hidden in its hind legs.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Pigeons' internal clocks qualify for the 'superhero' list.
Pigeons' internal clocks qualify for the 'superhero' list.   (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
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