There are many ways that a vertebrate defends itself. The most common way is flight, a vertebrae will always use flight as a way to of defense against a predator that is larger than them. Then there is always camouflage and of course basic instincts and smartness. A prey sometimes will use these two in conjunction to escape a predator.
Of course there are poisons, smells, and physical variables that can help and don’t forget strength. These help when concerning close combat situations. For example a Ram’s horns and a skunks spray.
An example would be humans. We have very complex ways of defending ourselves, ranging from weapons to our own body parts (fists, etc.) Another example would be skunks. They release a foul odor as a means of deterring potential predators.
Some fascinating animal defense mechanisms are listed in the links below. But in addition to those already listed, some vertebrates start our with their defenses on their bodies. A turtle’s shell, a porcupine’s spines or an armadillo’s armor for example. Others actually shed body parts to avoid capture, like many lizards species that actually lose the end of their tail when threatened.
Others can come with poisonous fluids they can inject or spray at their predators, or are simpy poisonous when ingested and usually display their toxic qualities with bright colors like many butterflies or frogs.
I agree, man made weapons are a pretty effective mode of defense. Some animals will camoflauge themselves to hide. Animals that live in packs will sometimes circle their wounded and find safety in numbers.
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