You ever hear of the African Crested Rat? You should look it up - looks something like a cross between a skunk and a rat, with a rather fetching black and white motif to it. They're also big and slow and lazy, they got a furry tail with a white tip, and they are absolutely fearless.
Not in that stupid aggressive way like the Honey Badgr, more just a calm, stolid, sneering fearlessness that one gets when they are armed to the tits and know full well that no one is going to try anything.
See, African Crested Rats like gnawing on this particular plant... a plant that also happens to have been in common use with humans in African for a few thousand years; it's sap is a remarkably effective poison against most anything that gets a dose. Except for these rats, of course; they've become inured to it and happily gnaw away. And after having a good gnaw, they get a bit drooly and start to groom themselves. Their fur is long and soft, not spiny or anything... bit it is remarkably good at absorbing and storing the rat's drool.
The rat's extremely toxic drool.
And they seem to be fully aware of the fact, because when a Crested is accosted by a predator, they won't run. No, instead of the defensive warning tactics of a skunk or the panicked fleeing of a rat, the Crested will just puff itself up, turn sideways and STARE at whatever is bothering them. They will happily sit there and wait to get bitten; daring the predator to just try them on. Their bone structure is reinforced; spine and neck and skull all good and tough to take a good biting, and happily they generally only need to get bit once.
See, that toxin they load themselves up with? It causes heart complication similar to a rather bad attack of angina. You bite a Crested, you'd better have some nitro pills and a good doctor at hand.
Yep; the Crested is a Rat's Rat; fat, lazy and a right sneaky bastard.
7 years ago
17 Aug 2011 09:17 CEST