Thursday, 2 January 2014

Caterpillar Uses Nicotine Breath To Ward Off Predators

While e-cigarettes may have been all the rage in 2013, one cool cat(erpillar) doesn’t even need a mechanical smoking device to puff out clouds of toxic nicotine. The tobacco hornworm caterpillar is able to exhale this predator-repelling breath by re-purposing the nicotine it eats while feeding on a tobacco plant, according to a study published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Nicotine actually acts as a defense mechanism for plants by targeting the nerve and muscle cells of animals. When a would-be predator starts eating the plant, nicotine in the consumed plant material begins to negatively affect the animal’s breathing and mobility.

Read more at


http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1113037074/caterpillar-protects-itself-with-nicotine-breath-123113/#oVrpvDyu8MZc0GtC.99

No comments:

Post a comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

ShareThis