5 Animals That Can Do Amazing Things (With Their Butts)

#2. The Fitzroy River Turtle Breathes Through Its Anus

John Cann

The Fitzroy River turtle, a species that can only be found in the Fitzroy River in Australia, seems to exist solely to provide the turtle that pees out of its mouth with some real competition in the "Absurd Reptiles" category. Despite having a perfectly good mouth directly in the center of its face like most of God's creatures, it has evolved to breathe air in and out of its anus.

deadlyaustralians.com
Their version of the Human Centipede would be one really long snorkel.

Now, many species of birds, reptiles, and fish possess the ability to make both babies and toilets out of a single orifice -- an "ass of all trades," if you will. And a small number of turtles can take minor amounts of oxygen from the water via a process called cloacal respiration. But Fitzroy turtles have no time for small amounts of anything.

Instead, thanks to a specialized sac in their cloaca called a bursa, Fitzroy turtles are constantly pumping water in and out of their gaping dinkums, collecting as much as 70 percent of all the oxygen they need to survive. That's almost three-quarters of the air they breathe, sucked in through their assholes.

Amazing Amazon
This one appears to be yodeling.

Consequently, the Fitzroy turtle (which the locals affectionately refer to as "bum breathers") is able to stay underwater for up to three weeks at a time. This, combined with the fact that they are confined to one specific river in a far corner of the planet, resulted in the rest of the world having absolutely no idea the Fitzroy turtle existed until about 40 years ago. This is another way of saying that we've been sharing the planet with a turtle that breathes farts for thousands of years, and we're just now learning about it.

Fitzroy Basin Association
"Your children must learn the way of my people ... for the future."

#1. Skipper Caterpillars Confuse Predators by Tossing Poop With Their Ass Catapults

via Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society

When you're a baby caterpillar, staying alive can be unfairly challenging. Inconspicuously wrapping yourself up in leaves doesn't help much, since wasps and other predators have the uncanny ability to trace caterpillar droppings straight to their wriggling, delectably plump source, sort of like the Predator if his heat vision only tracked steamy dumpage and he collected voyeuristic bathroom photos instead of bleached skulls.

via Carolina Butterfly Society
"Man, now I'm hiding for two entirely different reasons."

However, as the following scientific documentary explains, the skipper caterpillar has found a unique solution -- it flings its turds into the air, far away from its hiding place:

Every time the skipper feels a deuce coming on, it winds its butt up like a trebuchet and fires away. They do this by building up blood pressure under a flap beneath the anus, straining heroically until they're able to generate enough force to fling their morning constitutionals over 40 times their body length away. Obviously, since this is a baby caterpillar and not an elephant, that only amounts to a distance of about 6 or 7 feet, but that's more than enough to lure predators away from the comparatively stinkless leaf in which the skipper has wrapped itself.

In addition, the skipper can fire its poo in any direction it wants, leaving predators extra confused about where the hell they should be going. To put it in perspective, this would be the same thing as a human being launching explosive wads of diarrhea on everything within an 80-yard radius to disorient roving gangs of purse-snatching murderers.

via pollinatingbee.blogspot.com
Nice. Just throw your shit all over the wall, why don't you?

According to Martha Weiss, an evolutionary faecologist at Georgetown University (which is apparently an area of scientific study you can totally get a degree in), skipper caterpillars get better at throwing their poo over time. So, like any other talent, whipping your shit all over the place takes practice and dedication to master.


E. Reid Ross is a columnist at Man Cave Daily. He'd be tickled pink if you were to follow him on Twitter here.

Related Reading: If you enjoyed all these butts, why not learn about this toad with a weaponized mustache? And did you know crocodiles can climb trees? It's terrifyingly true. If you enjoyed all that, click here to read about artificial animals that somehow exist.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

To turn on reply notifications, click here

217 Comments

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!