DARPA take note: an unassuming rodent harbors a surprisingly high-tech defense.
Pit a California ground squirrel against an ambushing rattlesnake, and you may be surprised by the defense. The rodent squares off, flails its tail, kicks up sand, even bites. But its most covert weapon has escaped the eyes of scientistsuntil now. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have discovered that the squirrel's tail actually heats up during battle, radiating an infrared signal that can send rattlers slithering.