Animals That Spit
Did you know that some animals spit?
Check out these fun facts about some of them.
- 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.
- 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