Main content

Defence

Episode 5 of 6

What is the most toxic animal on earth? Why is a rhino armour plated? Professor Ben Garrod discovers the complex ways in which skin helps defend animals against threats of all kinds.

What is the most toxic animal on earth? How are porcupine quills helping us in medicine? Why is a rhino armour plated, and it is not to protect them from lions?

Professor Ben Garrod discovers the complex ways, from camouflage to deadly toxins, in which the skin helps defend animals against threats of all kinds. From the barbed quills of the North American porcupine to the battering ram of a rhino’s horn, the skin has developed an impressive armoury of weapons and warnings to keep predators at bay.

With experiments and specialist factual insight, Professor Ben Garrod reveals the toughest and most resilient of animals defend themselves through their skin. One of the most iconic warnings in nature is that of the rattlesnake. Ben takes a teaching sample of a rattlesnake’s tail to the University of Bristol to test just how fast it can vibrate. He uncovers how poison-dart frogs produce their toxins, and how cuttlefish are the masters of disguise when it comes to hiding in plain sight.

8 months left to watch

28 minutes

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:06

    Boards of Canada

    1969

  • 00:22

    Air

    Modular Mix

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Ben Garrod
Series Producer Reema Lorford
Executive Producer Doug Mackay-Hope
Producer Honor Peters

Broadcast