Remember the story of the bear and his friends in Aesop’s Fables? In the story, people who are hopeless to escape bear escape by pretending to be dead. What needs to be reminded is that this is just a story. When you encounter a bear in real life, pretending to be dead is not a good way to escape. But for some animals, when they are faced with external threats such as attacks from other animals and can’t escape, they will really choose to play dead in situ. In our eyes, playing dead may be full of loopholes, and we can see through their tricks in an instant, but in front of hunters in nature, this strategy is obviously effective, otherwise all the animals who pretend to be dead will be extinct. Why do animals pretend to be dead? How to choose the time to play dead? What are the skills of pretending to be dead? What’s the relationship between feigning death and animal hypnosis? This article will answer these questions for you. I believe after reading, you will find that the seemingly simple and mindless behavior of pretending to be dead is actually the evolution accumulation of animals for tens of millions of years and the survival instinct under the cruel positioning of the food chain. Feign death, also known as feign death and mimesis, is a kind of behavior in which animals disguise themselves as dead. Its purpose is to escape predators from predators, which can be classified as a defensive means. From insects to amphibians, reptiles, birds and even mammals, animal actors who are good at playing dead are all over the world. From the human point of view, animal feign death is too “mentally retarded”, so many people will inevitably question: is it really useful to play dead? Are hunters so picky about the quality of meat that they don’t even care about the good food that comes to their mouths? In fact, pretending to be dead is really useful, but there is no secret method. It is more a dangerous game between survival and death. < / P > < p > that is to say, animals don’t pretend to die when they are in danger. Before performing feign death, regardless of their intelligence, animals will use their own way to measure which survival probability is higher whether they escape or pretend to die. Once they decide to run away, they will try to escape from life with all they have learned. But once they decide to pretend to be dead, the animals will also pretend to be technical, dignified and hope to be born. To put it bluntly, feign death strategy is the choice of animals in most cases. After choosing to pretend to be dead, it is equivalent to putting yourself in a situation where people are forced to prey on us. Therefore, we should fully calculate the gains and losses of interests, and at the same time, we should pretend to be like and skillful, otherwise we will be doomed. One of the important reasons why feign death can exist is that many predators are not active to static prey, such as frogs, so many insects will choose to play dead in front of frogs. In addition, playing dead animals often show the defensive form of crouching body or stiff muscles, which will make it difficult for many low ranking predators to bite. On the one hand, they may not have absolute power to eat such “disobedient” bodies. On the other hand, they will be too lazy to spend energy to compete with the “dead body”. Therefore, after a balance, they will be arrested Eaters are more likely to look for live prey with better bite nearby. Of course, not all predators are deceptive and low-end like frogs. For keen and scavenging animals, lying down and pretending to be dead is tantamount to sending themselves to their table. So many animals don’t just pretend to be dead. They may deliberately show that they are poisoned or dead. It’s like telling the hunter that my meat is poisonous and it’s up to you to eat it or not. At this time, “smart” hunters often choose to abandon it instead of eating. The Virginia opossum in North America is such an ingenious animal. It has been able to reproduce from at least 20 million years ago by the exquisite “acting skills” of their ancestors. When threatened or potential injury, the Possum’s lips will pull out, the teeth will be exposed, the saliva will produce bubbles around the mouth, the eyes will be closed or semi closed, and the stench liquid will be secreted from the anal glands. At the same time, the body will be unnaturally stiff or twisted, and the expression will be extremely painful. If the hunter is turned or even taken away, it will not show any response. It’s true. It is believed that no one would covet such a piece of suspected poisonous or diseased meat, except for those hungry animals. After playing dead for a few minutes to several hours, the opossum regains consciousness and begins to move freely. So it’s not too much to give opossum an animal Oscar. However, no matter how hard you pretend to be dead, you will always encounter “stubble”. Some predators at the top of the food chain don’t like acting at all, and they are hopeless whether they run away or pretend to be dead. At this time, many animals still choose to pretend to be dead rather than fight to death, because they consider that if they fail to escape, they will be severely beaten and very likely to be physically disabled in an instant. Instead, they should pretend to give up resistance, let the predators relax their vigilance and wait for the opportunity to escape. As a “unique skill” of animal kingdom, feign death belongs to acquired learning and genetic inheritance, among which genetic inheritance plays a more important role. Moreover, feign death not only has generality, but also has individuality. The study found that the lifelike death of opossum like this is probably not voluntary or controlled by consciousness, but from the special “switch” hidden in opossum. Most of the time, once the animal is in a special posture, such as being turned over and belly up, they will automatically fall into suspended animation. In other words, in order to carry out the act of playing dead through the end, many organisms have even evolved corresponding reflection mechanisms. Once the trigger conditions are met, you have to “die” if you don’t want to play dead. The existence of “strong and straight switch” well illustrates the generality of playing dead. In the actual operation process, playing dead also shows obvious individuality. From the point of view of the whole population, although the rules of pretending to be dead before something happens, it is obviously more meaningful to pretend to be dead than to pretend to be dead in a hundred flowers. If you lie down for three minutes as soon as you encounter an attack, and then you wake up and run wildly, you may let the predator gradually find out the way to go, so as to ignore the feign of death, and take advantage of the heat to directly mouth. < p > < p > from the perspective of individuals, the “parameters” of feigning death are diversified and randomized, such as the duration of fainting and the time of awakening. The complex and changeable act of pretending to be dead makes the predator confused, increases the cost of learning, and thus increases the chance of escape. < / P > < p > many years ago, on a variety show on CCTV, a little girl miraculously “hypnotized” dogs, rabbits, chameleons and frogs, so that these small animals could not move on their backs. < / P > < p > in fact, this so-called “hypnosis” has not been supported by scientific research, and it is certain that they are not really “hypnotized”, but “intentionally”, but the answers behind the “intentional” are not the same. For dogs, it seems that it is not difficult to train rabbits, even frogs and chameleons. They can be “hypnotized” because they are “famous generals” in the army of feigning death in nature. Taking rabbits as an example, rabbits are a kind of docile “vegetarian” animals, and almost all animals of similar or larger size are their natural enemies. Therefore, “playing dead” has naturally become a very effective survival strategy for rabbits. When rabbits lie on their back passively, they will easily trigger the “dead switch” and enter the “hard straight state”. At this time, they will be stiff limbs, eyes closed, cardiac arrest. Therefore, it is not so much that the little girl “hypnotizes” the rabbit, but rather that the little girl forces the rabbit into the state of pretending to be dead. < / P > < p > in daily life, it seems interesting to force small animals to enter the state of suspended animation, but it is very dangerous for these small animals. Many animals in the state of suspended animation, the body is not completely relaxed, but will spend extra energy to maintain a unique rigid posture. For example, rabbits in suspended animation may be fractured due to the stiffness of their normally bent spine, resulting in real death. There are also many species of animals whose suspended animation is so lifelike that they may die of cardiac arrest or suffocation. The act of feigning death appears in many animals in nature, even in the bodies of very large and high predators such as sharks, there are also so-called “feign death” switches. If you turn the shark upside down, the shark’s head will automatically secrete a unique chemical substance to calm itself. Repeating this process will gradually increase the dosage of this substance, and the shark will become as if he is asleep or dead, and will not move. This is the “stiff and static” of shark fish. Marine animal researchers sometimes use this method to “hypnotize” sharks to deprive them of their aggressiveness, thus facilitating further research. < / P > < p > in view of the so-called “stunned” feign death in extreme cases, it may be of great benefit to explore the animal’s response to threat and fear, for the treatment of fear and anxiety disorder and wound repair of human beings. < p > < p > pretending to be dead (retching a toad just swallowed in order to be realistic), by Benny Mazur= https://ibmwl.com/category/global-tech/#content target=_ blank>Skip to content