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Animals That Spit

Did you know that some animals spit?

Check out these fun facts about some of them.

1. LLAMAS

llama illustration llama illustration

 

  • Llamas normally don't spit at people. They spit on other llamas. (It's a llama's way of saying "get lost!")
  • But llama babies that are raised by humans--and never hang out with other llamas--may spit on people. That's because they don't see humans as different from them.
  • Some llamas that have been treated badly by people may spit, too. But in these cases, it's not the llamas' fault!
  • Most well-trained llamas are gentle and respectful toward people.

2. SPITTLE BUGS 
     

  • Young spittle bugs, called nymphs, cover themselves in spit or spittle.
  • This mass of foam isn’t squirted out of their mouths. It comes from their rear ends!
  • Hiding inside the foam keeps the nymphs from drying out. (If that happens, they die.)
  • The foam also keeps the nymphs from getting too hot or too cold.
  • It may also protect a nymph from predators such as ants.

3. SPITTING COBRAS

  • So-called spitting cobras don’t actually spit out venom.
  • They squeeze certain muscles and that sends venom flying from the tips of their fangs.
  • The snakes only “spit” to keep off attackers.
  • To get a meal, they have to bite down on their prey.

4. WALRUSES

Walrus duo on ice floe 

  • A walrus loves to eat clams. But how does it get at this meal that lies buried in the muddy ocean floor?
  • It spits out a jet of water from its mouth into the muck near the clam.
  • That drills out the clam as it blasts away the mud.
  • The walrus then eats the soft clammy morsels, and spits out the shells!

Art by Dave Clegg

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