5 Creatures That Can Shoot Liquids From Their Bodies

Creatures That Can Shoot Liquids From Their Bodies

From squirting slimy liquids as a defense mechanism to projecting venomous toxins to subdue prey, some creatures have evolved fascinating ways to shoot fluids from their bodies. Using specialized organs, muscles, or glands, these animals can eject all kinds of liquids with impressive speed, distance, and accuracy.

In this blog post, we will explore 5 of the most intriguing examples of creatures that can shoot liquids from their bodies:

5 Animals That Can Shoot Liquds

1. The Spitting Cobra

Among the world’s most venomous snakes, the Spitting Cobra from sub-Saharan Africa has a unique ability to spit its poisonous venom from forward-facing holes called fangs up to 8-10 feet towards the eyes of attackers. This causes severe pain and can lead to temporary or even permanent blindness if the venom makes contact with the eyes.

The Spitting Cobra

Equipped with these spray nozzles in their fangs, Spitting Cobras can project venom at almost any angle with impressive precision. Though they only hold enough venom per bite to be dangerous to small prey, their spitting defense helps them ward off predators and threats considerably larger than themselves.

2. The Bombardier Beetle

Found widely across North America, Bombardier Beetles are ground beetles that have an incredible defense mechanism. When threatened, they are capable of shooting hot, noxious spraying a scalding hot mix of chemicals that includes hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide, reaching temperatures of around 100 ̊C (212 ̊F).

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The Bombardier Beetle

Ejected from the beetle’s abdomen via twin tail tubes, the heated toxic spray makes a popping sound upon release, like a miniature explosion. This gives the Bombardier Beetle its common name and serves as an incredibly effective deterrent against would-be frog or bird predators.

3. The Archerfish

Sporting an unusual hunting technique among fish, Archerfish inhabit mangrove swamps and estuaries across Australia and Southeast Asia. They can pump a strong jet of water from their specialized mouths to strike down aerial prey.

The Archerfish

Using the roof of their mouth to aim, Archerfish can hit small land animals up to 3 meters away with a speed and force equal to a bullet at 45 miles per hour. Their water bullets are powerful and accurate enough to dislodge insects from branches as well as small animals from shoreline vegetation above the water’s surface.

4. The Hagfish

When disturbed, the Hagfish excretes prodigious amounts of slime from dozens of slime glands lining its sides, sometimes clogging up entire buckets worth in seconds.

The Hagfish

Resembling a previous biological stage in evolution, this gray, eel-like fish uses its copious sticky, gelatinous goo as an escape mechanism, choking potential gill-breathing predators such as fish.

The clear mucus also expands rapidly when mixed with seawater, potentially suffocating assailants while enabling the Hagfish to slide away to safety. This defense has ensured the evolutionary success of Hagfishes for over 300 million years!

5. The Bombardier Frog

Found in parts of East Asia, the Bombardier Frog has an inventive way to avoid capture. When threatened, it can shoot a directed stream of powerful, toxic fluid from its back legs up to 4 feet away .

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Bombardier Frog

Glands in its legs mix hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone to produce hot, poisonous discharge that burns attackers, deterring most potential predators.

Final Words;

So there you have it – 5 fascinating examples of creatures that can shoot all kinds of liquids, from hot toxic venoms to simple slippery mucus.

Flexing specialized organs and evolutionary adaptations, these animals eject liquids to facilitate essential activities like catching prey, defending themselves, or making hasty retreats! It’s mind-boggling what Mother Nature has equipped her creatures with for survival across ecosystems.


Q: Why do some creatures shoot liquids from their bodies?

A: Creatures shoot liquids for defense, to catch prey, or to escape predators. Venom, ink, slime, and water can all be weaponized to harm attackers, subdue prey, or provide cover to slip away. Special organs and glands allow careful direction and spraying.

Q: How does the spitting cobra shoot venom?

A: Spitting cobras have forward-facing fangs with venom ducts inside. Muscles squeeze the venom glands to build up hydraulic pressure and carefully aim before squirting venom out the fang holes towards attackers’ eyes.

Q: What gives the bombardier beetle its shooting and popping ability?

A: Bombardier beetles have separate glands containing hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide. These mix in a third chamber to trigger an explosive chemical reaction shooting the burning spray from twin rectal tubes with a loud popping sound.

Q: How does the archerfish hit land animals above water?

A: Archerfish use their specialized mouths to precisely squirt and shoot streams of water. Their eyes have better acuity underwater and can judge distances. They compensate for refraction to strike prey up to 3 meters away.

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Q: Why is the hagfish slime so effective for defense?

A: Copious amounts of hagfish slime explode into sticky gelled mucus when mixed with seawater. This can choke gill-breathing predators while allowing the hagfish to slide away. The slime traps attackers and blocks access to the hagfish’s escape routes.

Q: What gives the bombardier frog’s spray such an impressive range?

A: Bombardier frogs have linked inguinal poison glands on their back legs. These mix chemicals that explosively react together when sprayed, ejecting boiling toxic fluids up to 4 feet towards threats approaching the frog.

Q: Are all creatures with shooting abilities venomous?

A: No, while spitting cobras and some frogs employ venom, other creatures like archerfish use water. Even the hagfish slime and bombardier beetle spray are not venomous but use choking/burning irritation and deterrence to avoid being eaten.

Q: Why don’t the spitting cobra or bombardier beetle hurt themselves with their venom/spray?

A: Both creatures have adaptations protecting them from their expelled liquids. Spitting cobras have tubular fangs that seal venom flow and protective scales. Beetles have closing valves blocking self-exposure to their heated irritating chemical burst.