Bum-squatting fish and ‘poo suicide’ scorpions – nature’s weirdest rears revealed

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NATURE has cooked some pretty bizarre backsides over the past few billion years.

From a sea cucumber with a rear that’s raided by fish, to a scorpion that explodes via “poo suicide”, some creatures have definitely been dealt the short straw when it comes to their bums.

pearl fish cucumber
BBC

The sea cucumber’s bum is regularly commandeered by a six-inch pearlfish[/caption]

Here are five of the strangest bottoms that nature has to offer, as put together by Science Alert.

1) Bum-squatting eels

The humble sea cucumber has to endure a very unwelcome visitor to its backside.

Six-inch-long fish use the creature’s anus as shelter, wriggling inside to hide from predators.

This is especially unhelpful when you consider that the sea cucumber, a leathery-skinned animal related to the starfish, uses its anus to breath.

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But that doesn’t stop the eel-like pearlfish from using it for shelter.

The squatter hides there because sea cucumbers produce toxins that scare away predators.

It will even snack on the sea cucumber’s organs when it gets a little peckish.

The face mite has no anus at all
santoshpath/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

2) No bottom at all

Some creatures decide to skip the pain of having a rump altogether.

Face mites live on your mug and have no anus at all, living just 16 days before they die.

They eat the gunk that collects on your face, but with no way to eject the waste simply stuff it into their large gut cells.

Eventually, the microbes die, leaving a drop of poo right on your kisser.

They can sometimes leave behind bacteria that can cause your skin to flare up.

warty comb jellyfish
The warty comb jellyfish has an anus that closes off at certain times of day
Getty – Contributor

3) Disappearing anus

One walnut-shaped jellyfish is thought to be the only creature alive with a disappearing anus.

The warty comb jellyfish has a gut that closes off at certain times of day.

It “creates” an anus when it needs to defecate.

The hole completely disappears between bathroom breaks, and cannot even be seen with a microscope.

scorpion
This South American scorpion loses its behind when attacked
Mattoni et al., PLOS One, 2015

4) Poo suicide

Spare a thought for members of this poor species of scorpion, which drops its behind in the face of danger.

The South American scuttler Ananteris balzani has its anus positioned right by the stinging part of its tail.

Like some lizards, the scorpion loses its tail if grabbed by a predator – abandoning its bum in the process.

With the tail and anus gone, the wound heals over and the scorpion is doomed to never poo again.

The benefit is that the creature survives, granting it a few extra months to mate.

The downside is it’s doomed to a gruesome demise.

Ananteris continues to stuff its face with food, but quickly balloons as there’s nowhere for the waste to go.

It ultimately suffers death by poo suicide, as the built-up waste causes an internal explosion that finishes the stinging beast off.

manatee
Getty – Contributor

The manatee dives with the help of a fart[/caption]

5) A rear that helps you steer

Manatees use their bums to help them swim, majestically cutting through the water powered partly by farts.

The sea grass that forms most of the creature’s diet produces a lot of methane when digested.

When manatees want to dive down for food, they squeeze out some gas to lose some buoyancy.

The huge bubble of methane in their gut also helps them float when they’d rather hang 0ut at the surface.


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