The natural world is full of beauty and wonders that everyone is aware of; also it is full of variety of fragrances too. Mostly we are aware of the scents and aromas of plants and flowers but very few of us know about the animals that also please the environment with their scents. Here I’m back with a list of 10 Animals with Scented Bodies.
I am by no means promoting use and extraction of scents by killing these animals; the post is solely for education purpose.
So, let’s get into the aromatic world of animals and give our senses a triumph.
10 Animals with Scented Bodies
A native species of upper Himalayas, alpine and high mountains of East Asia, Musk deer has many unique features that differentiate it from other deer. Apart from the tusks protruding out of their normal jaw, the male musk deer has a ‘musk pod’ in their rectal area which possesses the most valued scent of all time. The musk is obtained from the musk pod mostly by killing the animal. The animal has become endangered because of excessive hunting for its musk and is now rarely to be spotted in the wild.
Civets look like a mix of cat and mongoose. They are mostly found in the South Asian countries. Both male and female civets secret a yellow coloured semi-liquid substance from their perineal glands, situated near anus. The Civet paste or the scented substance has a musky and sweet vanilla kind of fragrance. The substance has very strong smell which can’t be withstand in its pure form and is mostly diluted in alcohol when used in perfumeries. The civet paste is extracted from the animal by killing it or by removing the gland or by scratching the gland of the animal kept in captivity. The use of the substance has been banned and replaced by synthetic ones.
Peppermint Stick Insect
The peppermint stick insect as known by its name belongs to the family of the stick insects, although this insect differs a lot from many by being more vibrant and possessing peculiar peppermint scent. The insect can be found in Australian region. It mostly lives in the midribs of the leaves of screwpine. The insect possess peppermint scented milky substance stored in its thorax that it uses to sprinkle upon predators in self defence. Interestingly they also change their body color according to their surroundings, perfectly camouflaging with their backgrounds. You can know about more camoflaging animals in my previous post as 10 Animal Camouflage Examples.
Beavers belong to rodent family. They are known to build dams over rivers, brooks and rivulets. Both male and female beavers possess castor sacs between their pelvis and base of the tail which produce an odorous substance called Castoreum having a distinct leathery scent. Many people extract Castoreum to be used in perfumery and for medicinal purposes by killing them. After extraction, the fragrance becomes sweeter, spicy and amber like.
The sperm whales, resident of deep water, can be found in almost every ocean. This organism, apart from other animals, has scent in its faecal matter. The waste called Ambergris is a waxy material formed in the whale’s stomach and intestines. These materials get washed ashore and are collected from there. These faecal matters produce sweet and musky scents when kept for longer durations.
The crested auklet is a seabird found mostly in the northern Pacific regions like Alaska, Russia and Bering Sea. The bird lives in large colonies and feeds on small planktons by diving deep into the oceans. These seabirds can be distinguished by their head crests and a reddish-orange beak. They possess a characteristic tangerine or orange like scent produced during their breeding season, which comes out of the small wick feathers present between their neck and shoulder blades.
Rock hyrax or rock rabbit are residents of Africa and Middle East Asia. The animal yields an aromatic compound called Hyraceum from its excreta. These animals defecate in a single spot where their excreta get piled up for over hundreds and thousands of years finally converting into a black petrified compound having a musky scent.
The yellow ants or yellow meadow ants, can be found in Asia, Central Europe, North Africa and North America. Most of the time of their lives, they live under the ground in large colonies and barely come out. They feed largely on honey dew secreted by aphids that breed in their nests. These ants possess formic acid in their abdomen which when released gives a Citrus like scent.
Kakapo is a large flightless bird of New Zealand. It is a nocturnal, ground dwelling parrot and an endangered species. This bird species has many peculiar features like yellow-green plumage that hides it perfectly in the bushes, short legs, a large beak, negligible wings and a relatively short tail, but the most distinctive of them all is honey like scent coming from their bodies and nests which is attributed to be of the pheromones used by them for attracting their mates during breeding season.
Binturong, also called Bearcat, is a kin of civet. They are residents of South Asian countries and are even kept captive by the native tribes. These animals have a peculiar popcorn like scent in their urine which is attributed to be because of the presence of 2AP (Acetyl pyrroline) compound. Their urine gets accumulated in their legs and torsos thus making the popcorn smell profound to their back portion.
So, this was my list of 10 Animals with Scented Bodies. I hope you had a thoughtful read. If you liked the post then share it with others too!