ANIMAL CURIOSITIES

Five animals that play dead -- to survive!

In nature, many animals are often faced with the dangers posed by predators. Many animal species, when faced with danger, adopt curious strategies to avoid being preyed upon and to defend themselves: one of these strategies is to fake their own death. This strategy can be useful to ward off a distracted predator, to stall and escape, or to avoid direct attack.

This is a strategy that can help some animals survive, as some predators may be disinterested in an immobile prey, believing it to be already dead, and in this way the animal has a chance to escape.

Let's discover together five animal species that use this tactic!

Wikimedia
Five animals that play dead -- to survive!
In nature, many animals are often faced with the dangers posed by predators. Many animal species, when faced with danger, adopt curious strategies to avoid being preyed upon and to defend themselves: one of these strategies is to feign their own death. This strategy can be useful to ward off a distracted predator, to stall and escape, or to avoid direct attack. This is a strategy that can help these animals survive, as some predators may be disinterested in immobile prey, believing it to be already dead, and in this way the animal has a chance to escape. Let's discover together five animal species that use this tactic!
Di Cody Pope - Wikipedia:User:Cody.pope, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?cur
Virginia Possum (Didelphis virginiana)
The Virginia opossum is a marsupial mammal that, in order to survive, can play dead in the presence of a predator. If it fails to escape or intimidate the attacker, it enters a state of tonic immobility that can last for several hours.
Freepik
Common fox (Vulpes vulpes)
The common fox uses the tactic of pretending to be dead to catch prey, such as crows, who approach it believing it to be carrion, but then are in turn caught and eaten.
Pubblico dominio, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=326305
Fire ant (Solenopsis invicta)
Young workers of this ant species adopt the strategy of tanatosis to avoid confrontation with neighboring colonies and live longer, while adults prefer direct confrontation.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=468086
Phyllomedusa burmeisteri
The Phyllomedusa burmeisteri is a species of Brazilian frog that pretends to be dead when the toxins it produces are not sufficient to defend itself from predators, thus adopting the tactic of tonic immobility to ward off the attacker.
By Diliff - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19060525
European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
The European wild rabbit, although agile and fast, adopts the tactic of tanatosis when it is unable to escape from a nearby predator, hoping to distract it and have a chance to escape, but if the predator is not fooled it may still feed on the carcass.
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