author={Stephen M. Rogers and S J Michael Simpson},
  journal={Current Biology},

Avoiding death by feigning death

Dead snake! A strategy for survival: Thanatosis in some Panamanian snakes with a review of death-feigning in American snakes

Thanatosis (pretending to be dead), sometimes called letisimulation, is widely used as an anti-predator strategy by snakes. Herein we report six cases of death-feigning in six species of Panamanian

A review of thanatosis (death feigning) as an anti-predator behaviour

It is demonstrated how apparently disparate observations in the recent literature can be synthesised through placing the behaviour within a cost-benefit framework in comparison to alternative behavioural choices, and how aspects of the ecology differentially affect costs and benefits.

Decision‐making and motor control in predatory insects: a review of the praying mantis

Predatory and defensive behaviours require multiple stages of decision‐making in predatory insects, such as the praying mantis, as well as in non‐predatory animals such as flies.

Aphids Playing Possum – Defensive or Mutualistic Response?

The phenomenon of thanatosis or death-feigning in selected aphids species can be linked to other defensive mechanisms existing in the studied species, as well as to their mutualistic relationship with ants.

Tonic Immobility Is Influenced by Starvation, Life Stage, and Body Mass in Ixodid Ticks

The identification and quantification of a novel antipredation strategy add a new component to the understanding of tick life history as ticks may become more aggressive in their search for a bloodmeal as they continue to starve.

Death feigning in sexual conflict between dragonflies (Odonata): does it exist?

It is reasoned how and under what circumstances males, if at all, are able to recognize immobile females and react to them and proposed a new term for it: ‘drop and stop’ behaviour.

Report of thanatosis in the Central American scorpions Tityus ocelote and

The observations of thanatosis reported here and the ones reported in other Tityus scorpions suggest that this behavior may have a phylogenetic basis in American buthids and that it could be more widespread than initially thought.

Hot-Dancing Method for Extracting Thanatotic Arachnids from a Substrate

A simple, manageable and cheap method for accelerated disturbance and, consequently, detection of thanatotic and soil-mimetic arachnids and other arthropods, called Hot-Dancing is presented.

Arousal from death feigning by vibrational stimuli: comparison of Tribolium species

Why there is a difference in the strength of the stimulus needed for arousal from death feigning among Tribolium species is discussed, and whether there was a positive association between intensity of stimulus needed to rouse and the duration ofdeath feigning is determined.



The tonic immobility reaction of the domestic fowl: a review

Tonic immobility is an unlearned state of profound but reversible motor inhibition and reduced responsiveness which is induced by physical restraint which is thought to represent the term “spontaneous adolescence”.

Death feigning in the face of sexual cannibalism

It is proposed that death feigning evolved as an adaptive male mating strategy in conjunction with nuptial gift giving under the risk of being victimized by females.

Tonic Immobility as an Evolved Predator Defense: Implications for Sexual Assault Survivors

This article reviews research concerning the possible relationship between tonic immobility (TI) and human reactions to sexual assault. This review includes a description of the characteristic

Adaptive significance of death feigning posture as a specialized inducible defence against gape-limited predators

This work examined whether death feigning in the pygmy grasshopper Criotettix japonicus Haan was an inducible defence behaviour against the frog Rana nigromaculata, a sit-and-wait, gape-limited predator.

Tonically immobilized selfish prey can survive by sacrificing others

The results suggest that immobility following a spider attack is selfish; death-feigning prey increase their probability of survival at the expense of more mobile neighbours, thus confirming the selfish-prey hypothesis.

Young fire ant workers feign death and survive aggressive neighbors

By feigning death, days-old workers were four times more likely to survive aggression than older workers and young workers to survive and contribute to brood care and colony growth, both of which are essential to queen survival and fitness.

Review lecture: on the organization of reflecting surfaces in some marine animals.

  • E. Denton
  • Environmental Science
    Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
  • 1970
The organization of these crystals is described for the silvery surfaces of bony fish, the herring and mackerel, for the reflecting tapeta found in the shark and dogfish, For the photophores of the deep-sea hatchet fish and for the eye of the scallop.

Ecology of Vision