Why play dead?: Rethinking what used to be obvious

  title={Why play dead?: Rethinking what used to be obvious},
  author={Susan Milius},
  journal={Science News},
  • S. Milius
  • Published 28 October 2006
  • Education
  • Science News
1 Citations
Transcriptomic comparison between beetle strains selected for short and long durations of death feigning
The molecular basis of death feigning, an antipredator behavior that has received much attention recently, was analyzed and the relative expression levels of Tchpd and Tcnat were significantly higher in the L strain than in the S strain, suggesting the influence of these enzymes on the supply of dopamine and duration ofdeath feigning.


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.
Behavioural ecology: Grasshoppers don't play possum
When about to be eaten by frogs, certain grasshoppers assume a static, unwieldy pose that means they cannot be swallowed. Similar behaviours, interpreted as feigning death, may also be open to
Extrinsic and intrinsic factors influencing intraspecific variation in death feigning by newborn Brown snakes (Storeria dekayi)
  • Animal Behavior Society 43rd Annual Meeting. Aug. 12-16. Snowbird, Utah.
  • 2006
Variation in Propensity to Exhibit Thanatosis in Nasonia vitripennis (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae)
Thanatosis (death-feigning) has rarely been documented for Hymenoptera but occurs in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis, and females that were least active had the greatest tendency to exhibit thanatosis.
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.
Feigning death in the Central American cichlid Parachromis friedrichsthalii
Feigning death, a hunting strategy in which a healthy individual acts as if it was dead to trick prey into its reach, is reported for a population of the Central American cichlid Parachromis
Male induction of female quiescence/catalepsis during courtship in the spider, Agelenopsis aperta
Tests involving the female isolation chamber indicated that this molecule has an effective range of about 3 cm, and that male drumming of the palpal appendages during courtship may direct the pheromone plume towards the female.
Avoiding Attack: The Evolutionary Ecology of Crypsis, Warning Signals and Mimicry
A comparison of Batesian and Mullerian Mimicry with mathematical and computer models that deal with Mullerian mimcry found that Batesian mimicry is superior to Mullerian mimicry in terms of both accuracy and efficiency.
Diurnal Periodicity of Death-Feigning in Cylas formicarius (Coleoptera: Brentidae)
The results suggest that, in general, death-feigning is less frequent in active weevils compared to inactive ones.
Is death–feigning adaptive? Heritable variation in fitness difference of death–feigning behaviour
The results indicate the possibility of the evolution of death–feigning under natural selection and variation and inheritance of death-feigning behaviour in the red flour beetle.