Real Balloon Animals: 6 Species That Blow Themselves Up
Camels, hooded seals, and gibbons are among animals that inflate to find mates or defend against predators.
For humans, bulking up takes months at the gym. For some animals, it takes a couple of seconds.
I took the author’s prerogative at Saturday’s Weird Animal Question of the Week to ask “How and why do some animals inflate themselves?”
Some critters puff up to impress the ladies, like the male kori bustard.
The heaviest of all flying birds, kori bustards gulp air to inflate their throats and make their “percussive, booming call—probably useful for communicating across long distances in its typical flat, open habitat in Africa,” Marc Devokaitis, of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, says via email. (Also see "Unlike Footballs, These Animals Are Meant to Deflate.")
The resulting look of this inflated esophagus, though, shares an uncanny resemblance