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Thus ed in a lopsided-heart shape, they land and complete the sex act, whereupon the female will head off to lay her eggs. Before she can do that, other males may show up seeking sex. So to avoid further sex, she may fall down dead—or more precisely, she may fake death, dropping from the air and lying motionless in the ground cover. Once the males left, the lifeless-looking females stirred and went on their way.
Assuming a lifeless-looking, immobile state in an effort to discourage or ambush a predator is known as tonic immobility, death feigning, or thanatosis. Hognose snake: To make their fake death throes as convincing as possible, hognose snakes of the North American genus Heterodon have been known to secrete a foul-smelling fluid and even spew blood.
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