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dc.contributor.authorHumphreys, Rosalind Kay
dc.contributor.authorRuxton, Graeme D.
dc.identifier.citationHumphreys , R K & Ruxton , G D 2018 , ' A review of thanatosis (death feigning) as an anti-predator behaviour ' , Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology , vol. 72 , 22 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 251880232
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 3f3dcd52-a6c6-4a45-8fcb-d23eacc2a078
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85040816883
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000425418600005
dc.description.abstractThanatosis—also known as death-feigning and, we argue more appropriately, tonic immobility (TI)—is an under-reported but fascinating anti-predator strategy adopted by diverse prey late on in the predation sequence, and frequently following physical contact by the predator. TI is thought to inhibit further attack by predators and reduce the perceived need of the predator to subdue prey further. The behaviour is probably present in more taxa than is currently described, but even within well-studied groups the precise taxonomic distribution is unclear for a number of practical and ethical reasons. Here we synthesise the key studies investigating the form, function, evolutionary and ecological costs and benefits of TI. This review also considers the potential evolutionary influence of certain predator types in the development of the strategy in prey, and the other non-defensive contexts in which TI has been suggested to occur. We believe that there is a need for TI to be better appreciated in the scientific literature and outline potentially profitable avenues for investigation. Future use of technology in the wild should yield useful developments for this field of study.
dc.relation.ispartofBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiologyen
dc.rights© The Author(s) 2018. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.en
dc.subjectTonic immobilityen
dc.subjectDeath feigningen
dc.subjectAnti-predatory defenceen
dc.subjectQH301 Biologyen
dc.titleA review of thanatosis (death feigning) as an anti-predator behaviouren
dc.typeJournal itemen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Biologyen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Centre for Biological Diversityen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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