We’ve all been in a situation to fake sleep to avoid talking to other people. Nothing embarrassing about it – some people are just too much to deal with. It happens in the animal kingdom too. Scientists have recently discovered that female dragonflies fake death to avoid dealing with aggressive males!
The unique phenomenon was even caught on video. Hawker dragonflies in the Swiss Alps were seen faking their own death just to avoid interaction with overly aggressive males. The footage showed a female “freezing” in mid-air and dropping to the ground, lying there motionless until the male left. Surprisingly, when the scientist approached the supposedly dead females, they flew away. It’s another proof that nature can be wonderful.
Known as “death feigning”, it’s not the first example in the animal kingdom. Other species have used this survival tactic to prevent mating or injuries. For example, male wolf spiders use it to avoid getting eaten after mating.
When it comes to dragonflies, males can be pretty too aggressive when they try to mate with females. The biologist who discovered the survival tactic, Rassim Khelifa, says that only the most powerful male among a group of dragonflies mates. So, it’s no wonder that females could choose survival rather than being injured.
Whenever a male sees a female dragonfly basking in the sun, he may pounce in order to mate. However, female dragonflies have found a way to prevent it by playing dead to avoid interaction. It obviously works, with around 60% of females who used “death feigning” in the study having escaped interaction.
So, never be afraid or feel guilty when you use a similar technique. It happens in the animal kingdom as well and for good reason. The next time someone stresses you out, pretend you’re asleep – it should deter them.