10 Dangerous Animals That We Tend to Think Are Cute and Vulnerable
During evolution, animals have chosen different defense mechanisms. Some of them are able to become almost invisible, some pretend to be predators, and others have a charming appearance. But do you know that slow lorises are venomous and that the small black-footed cat is the most dangerous cat in the cat family?
Bright Side is sure that some animals’ appearances can be deceiving. We shouldn’t underestimate our four-legged friends: animals that look pretty harmless, can turn out to be dangerous, even for human beings.
10. The Pallas’s cat
This small and fluffy representative of the cat family looks pretty harmless. These animals are independent and prefer to live alone, finding a mate during a mating season only.
This lifestyle influences the cats’ character. They become aggressive when someone intrudes on their territory. Their fangs are 3 times longer than the fangs of ordinary cats, and they can easily break a rabbit’s spine in half. Pallas’s cats can also attack people, which is why they can’t be domesticated.
9. The honey badger
Fearlessness is their main characteristic. This small animal can attack a leopard or a lion, and its immune system is so strong, it only falls asleep if a snake bites it. The thing is, honey badgers have unique skin: it’s so thick and solid that neither predators’ fangs nor a machete can damage it. Their powerful jaws and sharp teeth let honey badgers eat their prey as a whole, including the skull and the spine.
8. The black-footed cat
The black-footed cat, also called the small-spotted cat, is considered to be one of the most dangerous small cats in the world. Despite the fact that they weigh around 3 lbs, they hunt animals that are several times bigger.
They can also walk around 12 miles, chasing their prey. These cats hunt all night long, even in severe weather conditions. On average, one cat eats 14 small animals per night.
7. The stoat
The stoat is a small, yet aggressive animal. It’s on the list of creatures that have a negative impact on people’s activity and nature. Stoats swim well, climb trees, run fast, and are able to walk around 10 miles.
An average a stoat weighs 2.5 oz, but its prey can weigh several pounds. This animal can easily kill a rabbit with only one bite to the back of the head. They also often hunt for entertainment, not because they’re hungry. Stoats just leave their prey or hide it for a rainy day.
6. The sand cat
Sand cats live in dry deserts where the temperature of the air is +130°F and the temperature of sand is 175°F in summer. They can live without water for quite a long time. Their prey is basically anything they can find: mammals, small rodents, lizards, insects, and venomous snakes (the Saharan horned viper).
While on the hunt, the cat can reach speeds of up to 25 mph and they have been known to walk for 6 or more miles, while chasing their prey.
5. The rabbit
Rabbits were brought to Australia in the 18th century, and since then, these animals have been causing major problems for the government. Since rabbits eat a lot and multiply quickly, they have caused the death of many native animals in Australia and New Zealand. These creatures also eat tree bark, which causes soil erosion and landslides.
4. The slow loris
The slow loris is one of the most venomous mammals. There are glands that emit toxic substances on their forelimbs. They are necessary to scare parasites and predators away. Their poison can cause suffocation and paralysis in small animals, and even in humans.
Before an attack, lorises lick their glands so that their teeth get covered in venom. Thus, toxic substances get in their victims’ bloodstreams.
3. The platypus
Male platypuses have ankle spurs that deliver venom. They use them during the mating season, when fighting for females. With the help of toxic substances, the animal protects itself from large predators such as dingoes. For humans, this venom isn’t that dangerous, though it can cause a headache and edema.
2. The seal
Seals are dangerous for everyone: small mammals, fish, and even human beings. At the end of February and the beginning of March, females occupy the shore together with their babies. They can attack anyone who they think is dangerous. And fishermen or those who like coastal walks aren’t an exception to this rule. Seals are prone to unmotivated hostility. To entertain themselves, they hunt dolphins and penguins.
1. The sea otter
Sea otters swim on their backs, holding each other’s paws. But they’re not this charming during their mating season. Males behave in a really aggressive manner, biting females, other males, seals, and their pups.
Bonus: The hippopotamus and the elephant
Hippos are the most dangerous animals in Africa. They destroy crops and attack people. Females can even destroy boats, while trying to protect their babies. Scientists from the University of Hohenheim figured out that 4,493 hippo attacks were reported in Kenya from 1997 to 2008.
More than 400 people a year become victims of elephant attacks. As a rule, these animals attack farmers during their migration. Male elephants are particularly dangerous during their mating season (also called musth) because they become really aggressive. Musth lasts for 60 days, and males will destroy everything they see, while trying to reach a female.
Are there any other animals out there that we underestimate?