Dude, you stink! - a list of species with a bad taste in perfume | Environment| All topics from climate change to conservation | DW | 06.09.2017
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Dude, you stink! - a list of species with a bad taste in perfume

What a funny, stinky world it would be if we shared the characteristics of the species listed below. At least all humans would have something in common with them, right?

First on the list is the toad pictured above. Its length of between 6.5 and 8 centimetres and grey or brown colouring make it unremarkable. So much so, that it might go unseen by the human populations of countries from Central Europe to Western Asia to which it is native. Not noticing it could be pongy, because when this little fella gets stressed, it's time to take cover. Its name is garlic toad, which gives you an idea of its forté. When frightened, it makes a very loud call and exudes a noxious secretion that smells like – you guessed it, garlic.

The stink bug lives up to its name. And then some. Like the garlic toad it gets smelly when scared. Its odour is also reminiscent of a culinary ingredient – coriander. The pungent substance is secreted from pores in its chest. As an aside, it seems to be down to your human DNA whether or not you find the smell unpleasant. That said, in Laos these critters are widely eaten, and their strong scent is said to be what makes them taste so good. Yummy.

We leave the insect world for the third species on our smelly list. The wolverine doesn't match up to its comic book namesake. But although it has no metal implants in its skeleton, it is hairy. It lives in nothern Canada or Alaska, even in the boreal forests and the tundra in Russia and belongs to the weasel family though it looks like a little bear. That’s where it gets one of its nicknames: skunk bear. That and the fact that it has potent anal scent glands used for marking its territory (and sexual signaling of course). Enough on that for now.

And last but not least... Skunks are mammals often found in the Americas. They are notorious for their anal scent glands, which they use in self-defense. Bad news is, they have two glands, one on each side of the anus, which produce a mixture of sulfur-content chemicals that give off a highly offensive smell. The odor is strong enough to ward off bears and it can be really difficult to remove from clothing.

While we are talking about animals, sniffing and stuff... 

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