Trivia

Hard

Some Species Of Which Of These Animals Can Kill Predators With Lethal Cyanide Doses?

Spiders
Millipedes
Cobras
Sea Urchins
Photo of a millipede crawling on a rotting tree stump.
Bob Walker/Wikimedia

Answer: Millipedes

The world is filled with deadly (but tiny!) creatures that should really make us appreciate how small they are, how big we are, and how we’ll never be chased down an alley by them.

Among those creatures are millipedes. While many millipede species have defenses as benign as curling up into a tightly armored ball to avoid predators, many of them have more deadly defenses. Members of the Glomerida and Helminthomorpha orders of millipedes, for example, have developed a wide variety of chemical weapons to use against predators including the secretion of caustic and poisonous compounds.

The most potent chemical weapon, however, isn’t found in the two aforementioned orders, but in the Polydesmida order, whose numerous species are able to produce hydrogen cyanide in doses high enough to kill birds and small mammals. Even more fascinating, the millipedes have evolved a very strong resistance to cyanide, making them immune to their own weapon—they can release the hydrogen cyanide in an enclosed space, kill the creature preying on them, and scurry away unharmed.

Trivia

Hard

Apollo 11 Astronauts Used Their Signatures As What?

Trivia

Hard

Chocolate Milk Originated In?

Trivia

Easy

What Appears In Every Single Scene Of The Movie Fight Club?

Trivia

Hard

A Common Spike Used In Surveying Is Made From The Old Parts Of?

Trivia

Hard

Who Was The First Woman In Space?

Trivia

Hard

The First U.S. Federal Official To Be Sworn In On An Ebook Reader Was?

Trivia

Easy

Which Actor Has Appeared In Every Single Pixar Film?

Trivia

Easy

Where Do Venomous Snakes Outnumber Non-venomous Snakes?

Trivia

Hard

In Ancient Greece, The People Of Boeotia Were Renowned For Their?

Trivia

Hard

The Most Prolific Lightning Storms On Earth Occur Where?