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  1. #1

    How come prey never evolved a "gut exploder" defense mechanism?

    I sometimes watch videos of prey getting eaten alive by a python, or alligator, or fishes getting eaten by bigger fish in one gulp.

    I've always wondered why prey never evolved retractable spines or rippers designed to carve up the internal organs and slice open the belly of their predator after getting eaten alive. It seems they would escape and the predator would be dead.

  2. #2
    well, some fish (not sure how many) do have very sharp spines. a sun fish actually split my thumb open once. most animals have ways to really fuck something up if swallowed alive, but the problem is that they're almost always dead, or paralyzed. these predators probly have internal defences against stomach rupture too.

  3. #3
    There are insects that do this. They don't escape but the predator dies.
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  4. #4
    Brewmaster juzalol's Avatar
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    I think it's more effective to evolve in a way that prevents you to get eaten
    in the first place.

    I mean the target group for such a defense mechanism is very small.

  5. #5
    The basic mechanism of evolutionary change is survival. Organisms that have some small advantage will be slightly more likely to live to adulthood and reproduce. If the creature is dead (eaten in this case) then they won't pass down it's genes. A "gutbuster" kind of defense only works after you're dead, and therefore, doesn't have any effect on future generations.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by GodlyBob View Post
    A "gutbuster" kind of defense only works after you're dead,
    That's why I specificed the videos I've watched where the prey gets eaten alive. All they need to do is shred the predators internal organs and escape.

  7. #7
    I am Murloc! darenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grummgug View Post
    That's why I specificed the videos I've watched where the prey gets eaten alive. All they need to do is shred the predators internal organs and escape.
    cause its not just that easy.. they wouldnt have the strength to do it. you might be able to carve your way out of a whale before being injured by the acids and lack of oxygen.. probably not. the best thing is to work premptively, like the pufferfish.

  8. #8
    Unfortunately for prey animals, evolution is a slow process and it requires an animal to breed to pass genes on.

    Fish do not go directly from being none spiky to being spiky. It takes generations of normal fish and generations of bumpy fish breeding to produce such defences.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Grummgug View Post
    That's why I specificed the videos I've watched where the prey gets eaten alive. All they need to do is shred the predators internal organs and escape.
    I'm not clear how you think animals that have had the breath crushed out of them by a python or been drowned by a gator are going to pull that off.

  10. #10
    Evolution doesn't work like Pokemon gaining a new ability. It's hard to see how there would be a steady grow for animals to get a "gutbuster" ability.
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  11. #11
    Brewmaster slackjawsix's Avatar
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    there would have to be an animal that survives that haves this trait but it seems if there is its not a survival thing so same chance of living and breeding as others of its species
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Mcstunner View Post
    well, some fish (not sure how many) do have very sharp spines. a sun fish actually split my thumb open once. most animals have ways to really fuck something up if swallowed alive, but the problem is that they're almost always dead, or paralyzed. these predators probly have internal defences against stomach rupture too.
    Yeah, fish like the Sunfish, Blue Gill, and various others have very sharp spines. You can cut your hands up pretty bad if you handle them wrong, and who knows what it'd do to organs.

  13. #13

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Grummgug View Post
    That's why I specificed the videos I've watched where the prey gets eaten alive. All they need to do is shred the predators internal organs and escape.
    You don't seem to understand how evolution works.

    You don't just decide to evolve something.

    Something you do has to have beneficial properties to continue down the bloodline and be improved upon over time.

    In other words, an improvement starts out very small. "Very small" is not going to prevent something from being eaten.

    Spines that have developed are more effective at deterring predation than killing a predator once you're already eaten.

    Then there's behavior where one member of a species will kill itself to save the rest. That's also consistent with evolution. (Exploding carpenter ants)

    What's not consistent with evolution is a behavior or trait that only has use WHILE you're being eaten.

  15. #15
    What's not consistent with evolution is a behavior or trait that only has use WHILE you're being eaten.
    Well there are a lot of toxic animals and plants out there.
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  16. #16
    The Lightbringer Collegeguy's Avatar
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    There is suppose to be exploding ants that use it as an attack and defense, but god forbid if you attempt to find a video of it.

  17. #17
    Pandaren Monk Mnevis's Avatar
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    Bacillus Thurisomthinorotheridlookitupbutimlazy does that to insects.

    It's got these crystalline proteins that split up and melts their predator's digestive tracts when exposed to the alkaline digestive environment.

    Works so well, we engineered it into almost all of our corn.

  18. #18
    Herald of the Titans Beavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grummgug View Post
    I sometimes watch videos of prey getting eaten alive by a python, or alligator, or fishes getting eaten by bigger fish in one gulp.

    I've always wondered why prey never evolved retractable spines or rippers designed to carve up the internal organs and slice open the belly of their predator after getting eaten alive. It seems they would escape and the predator would be dead.
    OP has apparently never seen a pufferfish.



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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Wells View Post
    Well there are a lot of toxic animals and plants out there.
    Notably, capsaicin producing plants... which happens to be the least effective evolutionary strategy for preventing me from eating plants ever.

  20. #20
    Herald of the Titans Beavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectral View Post
    Notably, capsaicin producing plants... which happens to be the least effective evolutionary strategy for preventing me from eating plants ever.
    More proof that humans are insane.
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