6 Terrifying Predators Routinely Owned by Adorable Prey

#3. Scorpions and Tarantulas vs. the Bullfrog

Both scorpions and tarantulas are arachnids, which means that they share a common ancestor: The first sin man committed against God, which congealed into the most fearful shape in mankind's thoughts, and then scuttled away into the rocks to haunt his children for the rest of eternity.

Chris huh and Sascha Grabow
Pictured: Nightmares.

When most people think of a frog, they probably visualize a tubby, smiley little dude hopping across lily-pads on a warm summer's eve. They probably don't think of a blend between alligators, ninja and a black hole. But that is the most accurate way to describe the American bullfrog. It has no claws or teeth to speak of, but when you combine its disturbing appetite, natural stealthiness and go get 'em attitude, you get something that eats terror for breakfast.

Carl D. Howe
Pictured: The thing nightmares have nightmares about.

The bullfrog is a master of the ambush, in a manner quite similar to the alligator or crocodile. It mostly hunts from the water, using its natural camouflage and minimal profile to its advantage. Only the eyes are visible above the water line, and its impossibly slow, deliberate movements make it look more like a branch or other inanimate object than a living thing. When it eventually does get within striking distance of its prey (in this case, the tarantula) there's just a frantic blur of scrabbling mucus and flapping jaws, until only the frog remains -- with a couple twitching legs poking out from between its lips. It will then retreat back into the water to drown the tarantula before eating it.

The scorpion, especially the giant hairy one shown above, poses more of a problem. The scorpion is bigger and more oddly shaped than the tarantula, and so doesn't fit comfortably into the frog's mouth. If prey is too large to be pulled into a frog's mouth using the tongue, as the scorpion is, the bullfrog is more than happy to make house calls. It uses its tongue like a zip line, tagging the prey and then pulling/leaping forward toward it. The combined momentum helps the frog shove the scorpion into its mouth, while it uses both hands to fold the arachnid like a creepy, multi-legged shirt. Finally, here it is eating a bird.

Junior Vet.net
Still cute?

#2. The Black Mamba vs. the Secretarybird

Black mambas are highly venomous, fast moving snakes native to Africa. The combination of nervousness and high aggression makes it the most deadly snake in Africa, and possibly even the world. Even mongooses, which kill cobras for fun, rarely attack an adult black mamba because it is so difficult to kill.

Above: Not the snake to fuck with.

Enter: The secretarybird! This goofy looking bastard is about one-meter high (a good portion is legs) and weighs about eight pounds. Although it can fly, it hunts exclusively while walking on the ground. Also, it looks like it's wearing bicycle shorts, and we are completely in love with that fact.

It's like the bird version of your office's nerdy IT guy.

A typical encounter between a secretarybird and a black mamba goes like this: The bird spots the serpent in the grass, recognizes it as a threat and takes appropriate action. By which we mean it casually strolls towards the snake, spreads its wings for balance and kicks it square in the face.

Because the black mamba always raises its head above the ground when preparing to strike, it is placed at a perfect snap-kick height for the secretarybird. If the snake's head is ever raised higher than the bird can comfortably kick, well that's no problem -- the secretarybird is one of the few animals on Earth to master the flying kick. If the damn thing doesn't have the decency to die from such an awesome and dramatic move, the bird will drop all pretense and just curb-stomp the snake to death.

Just to reiterate one more time: There is a bird in Africa that regularly and routinely jump-kicks poisonous snakes in the face.

"Eh. It's a hobby."

#1. Dingoes vs. Kangaroos

Dingoes are the apex predator of Australia, a place where basically everything is actively trying to kill everything else. A dingo's diet consists of whatever it can catch, ranging from insects to large mammals, and as such the species has been blamed for the extinction of several other animal species, such as the Tasmanian tiger, or even the disappearance of the Tasmanian devil from mainland Australia. Unlike dogs, the dingo can rotate their heads 180 degrees in each direction, and can turn their wrist in such a fashion as to work knobs and open your goddamned doors. In summary: AHHHHHHH!

Addendum: AIIIIEEEE!!!

Kangaroos, on the other hand, are ridiculous looking marsupials that sometimes star in whacky caper movies with the fat kid from Stand By Me.

Screenshot from the movie Kangaroo Jack not included. Because we love you.

If chased by a pack of dingoes, the kangaroo has an odd defense: It will flee into at least chest-deep water and wait. If a dingo should follow the kangaroo into the water, the kangaroo will grab the dog's head with its arms and plunge it under the water, hit-man style, until it drowns.

But what if there's no water nearby? The kangaroo can't coolly and dispassionately execute all comers like Jean Reno, then, right?


Dead wrong.

On land, kangaroos again clutch the dingo about the head with their adorable little half-arms, but this time they just kick the animal in the stomach repeatedly until they're disemboweled.

But it doesn't stop at dingoes: To a kangaroo, a dog is a dog is a dead fucking dog. They'll go straight gangland on any domesticated dogs they perceive as threats as well. In 2009, an Australian man was out taking his blue heelers for a walk, when one slipped loose and chased a large gray kangaroo into a shallow creek. The kangaroo did how kangaroos do: He put that bitch in the water. When the man waded out to save his pet, the kangaroo kindly obliged him and released the canine. But life must always be paid for with life: The kangaroo slashed the man's face repeatedly, and attempted to drown him instead.

"Beware: Kangaroos will cut your goddamn face."

Eventually the kangaroo realized that the water was too shallow to drown a full-grown man, so it started disemboweling him instead. Luckily, the report says the man "escaped unharmed" ... or wait -- no, sorry. This says, "extremely harmed." Extremely harmed. There's a bunch of underlines here, too: He came away with an eight-inch cut across his abdomen, serious wounds to his head, back and chest, and a newfound respect for kangaroos.

Straight outta Compton.

For more animals that ain't nuthin' to fuck with, check out The 6 Most Badass Murder Weapons in the Animal Kingdom and The 8 Most Disgusting Animal Defenses.

Agents of Cracked is up for a Telly Award! If you love DOB and Swaim as much as the staggering amount of nude fan pics they receive says you do, then vote for them here and here.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

To turn on reply notifications, click here


The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!