Category: Weird Articles
Published on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 00:00
As far as we know, humans are the only assholes who enjoy enslaving other animals for our own entertainment and amusement. This kind of behavior doesn't happen in the animal kingdom where it is every creature for its own; eat, or be eaten. Or does it? Recent discoveries have found that some animals actually domesticate others in highly unfathomable ways. Check out these 5 animals which have actually grasped the concept of slavery like we have.
1. Tarantulas Keep Tiny Frogs To Clean Their Houses
Tarantulas are truly a sight of terror, with their dagger-like venomous fangs and aggressive nature, it is hard to imagine them living harmoniously with any other creature. This huge, hairy spider can take down anything it wants; from small, furry mammals to venomous snakes by just a simple bite. However, like something out of a horrible Disney movie, the Xenesthis immanis is naturally best friends with a tiny, adorable frog called the Chiasmocleis ventrimaculata. This frog has almost no form of defending itself other than the fact that its best friend is a lean-mean murdering arachnid machine. If the frog can't find itself a tarantula pal that isn't already spoken for, it resorts to living under massive mounds of elephant shit to feed and also to prevent itself from getting eaten. If it is lucky enough to form a bond with a tarantula, it moves in with the eight-legged creature.
The result is a win-win situation between these two unlikely friends. When the tarantula feasts on its prey, discarded remains will begin to pile up which will attract ants and other hungry pests. These pests have the potential to damage the tarantulas nest, but before that can happen, the tiny little frog jumps in and eats them up before they can thrash its friend's crib. Tarantulas do eat other frogs, but because this particular little frog helps out with cleaning its house, the spider abstains from eating it.
Sometimes though, the spider forgets itself, or it loses its shit like a person on bath salts if it gets too hungry. If the spider tries to take a bite out of little frogger, the amphibian will bring out its secret weapon: toxic skin. While it may sound bad-ass as hell, the frog's toxic skin is not as toxic as it seems, and it does not kill his backstabbing friend. Instead, it just deters the spider from trying to consume it again probably because it tastes like ass and it will just go back to preying on something more delicious.
2. Emperor Shrimps Use Other Creatures To Hitch Rides
Despite being endowed with such a majestic title, emperor shrimps are tiny, weak, slow and defenseless crustaceans. They are bound to wind up as chump in some sea creature's stomach if they didn't wise up and find some way to keep themselves alive. And they have long since developed a survival strategy which is hitching rides on the backs of bigger creatures.
This has seriously got nothing on Pimp My Ride. The emperor shrimp can change its ride whenever it wants from something subtle to anything attention-grabbing and flamboyant. These natural hitchhikers basically hitch rides on almost anything (which can include you too if you were swimming in the sea), but their preferred rides are venomous creatures like sea cucumbers, medusa worms, or nudibranches. These animals are often brightly colored which serves as a warning to predators to stay the hell away or risk a very painful death.
Unlike other creatures that travel from place to place on a host, these shrimps are not parasites and do not harm their trusty steeds in any way. Instead, their loyal stallion gets to benefit from them. The shrimps nibble on parasites that try to take root, preventing them from hijacking their rides. The emperor shrimp feeds on any waste or debris that its steed kicks up during the ride. You can see an emperor shrimp picking its ride up here
3. Keyhole Limpets Keep Scale Worms Around as Guard Dogs
If you are Chinese, there is a very high chance that you have had limpets out of a can, a cheaper alternative to canned abalone, and when these buggers are not cut up, they very disturbingly resemble a woman's private region. Before they get into the can and into your mouths though, they are found sticking to rocks or whatever hard surfaces, doing a whole bunch of nothing.
Their cone shells are not enough to keep predators away, since with some probing here and there, predators will find out that if they flipped them over, they get to feast on the mollusk's rubbery meat. So the limpets devised a way to keep these predators from slurping on their fleshy goodness; they came up with a home security system to scare off those who want to eat it. Limpets get big, ugly and ferocious worms called Arctonoe vittata that act as attack dogs. The unsightly worm lives inside the limpets' shell, comfortably tucked up right next to the limpet itself happily eating and napping all day. However, when they sense that their masters are in trouble, they rear their ugly, nasty heads at the perpetrators, taking aggressive chunks out of the predator. The predator will usually drop the limpet and back off. Check out the video of the guard worm loyally protecting its master here
4. Meat Ants Milk Leafhoppers For Their Ass Juices
No kidding. The meat ant, a vicious and carnivorous breed native to Australia largely feasts on the carcasses of dead animals, or anyone they find passed out drunk on the floor. But they are sweet on only one creature (excluding their own kind); the leafhopper. Like how humans milk cows and goats for their milk, meat ants milk leafhoppers for their butt residue. The hoppers produce a sweet resin that the ants simply adore, both for consumption and food preservation. The ants will wrap the leafhoppers up in leaves and... there is no nicer way to put this but... suck the juices out of their butts. In return, the ants offer protection from predators who prefer the leafhoppers' crunchy bodies rather for their sweet ass juices.
If need be, the ants will actually carry their precious leafhoppers off to safety so that they can enjoy each others' benefits without much disruption. The hoppers are so grateful to their farmers for survival that they don't even mind that the ants eat them up once they run dry.
5. Potter Wasps Have Mite Nannies For Their Babies
If wasps are the spawn of Satan, potter wasps are the devil's rejects. Potter wasps are such douchebags that even other wasps want to kill them. This makes their lives a living hell, not only do they have to fend off other wasps trying to kill them, they have to ensure that their offspring do not become victims to their crimes. To protect their babies from getting mutilated or eaten, potter wasps parents enlist the help of mites.
Yes, mites generally suck and no one likes them. They will heavily infest anything that promises food. Potter wasps know this and decided to put these freeloading asshole to work as babysitters. After being deposited into a wasp's nest, the mites hang around, share the babies' food and stand guard over the little ones. Whenever an intruder invades the nursery, the mites get into Sparta mode and bite the hell out of the unwanted guest. The mites don't harm their employers' children and in return, they are rewarded for their services with their very own doggy carrying bag. Potter wasps have evolved to have pockets in their bodies called acarinaria, specifically for the purpose of carrying new mites to the nest so that they may get to work.
Potter wasp mummies though, have to be careful at planning. Too few mites and invaders will succeed in eating the baby wasps, while too many mites will result in them eating all the food and letting the children starve to death.