08/05/2011 11:14 am ET Updated Oct 05, 2011

Rat Tempts Predators With Poisonous Mohawk (VIDEO)

A species of African rat has developed a novel advantage in the evolutionary struggle - it slathers poison across the fur on its back. The rats apply the poison and then behave aggressively towards a predator, who bites them and is poisoned.

The rat obtains the poison by chewing branches from a poison arrow tree and then applying its toxic spit across its own back. The hair on the rat's back is specifically designed to absorb the poison.