Can fish wear diamonds

Fish with built-in switchblades and other hidden animal weapons

The animals' natural weapons are usually too obvious to remain hidden.

The antlers of an elk or the large mandibles of beetles, for example, are hard to miss and thus become “billboards” for their ability to defend themselves, says Doug Emlen, a biologist at the University of Montana in Missoula and author of the book “Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle "(Ger. Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Combat).

However, it can sometimes be an advantage to be able to surprise your opponent. We have therefore taken a closer look at what weapons some animals hide.


The masters of camouflage in the Indo-Pacific are among the most poisonous animals in the sea - but that's not all. According to a recent study, they also have a hidden switchblade on their faces.

This so-called "lachrymal saber”(Ger. Tears) is a protrusion of bone just below your eye.

"What sets it apart from most of the rest of the world is that you can pull it out and keep it out," said study director W. Leo Smith, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Kansas at Lawrence, "waving the blade" around in front of potential predators.

Smith has already been stung by dead specimens and compares the feeling to that of "a large cactus spike or perhaps a thumbtack" - a rare case of a fish that has impaled a person.