Consider the following animals:
To reduce the chance of being captured by predators, which of the above organisms rolls up/roll up and protects/protect its/their vulnerable parts?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2021 Prelims]
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1 and 3 only
- They are small mammals with short limbs and a body low to the ground.
- Their most distinctive characteristic is the thousands of stiff, sharp spines — harder and sharper than those of a porcupine — that cover the animal’s back and sides, like a pincushion filled with needles.
- If attacked they will curl into a prickly and unappetizing ball that deters most predators. Hence statement 1 is correct.
- Marmots are well suited for life in cold environments and have small fur-covered ears, short, stocky legs, and strong claws for digging.
- Due to the absence of scales or spines, they do not roll up and protect their vulnerable parts. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.
- Also called scaly anteaters because of their preferred diet, pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world.
- If touched or grabbed it will roll up completely into a ball, while the sharp scales on the tail can be used to lash out. Hence statement 3 is correct.