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Female Dragonflies Fake Death to Avoid Males Harassing Them for Sex

In order to avoid males of the species bothering them for sex, female dragonflies fake their own deaths, falling from the sky and lying motionless on the ground until the suitor goes away.

A study by Rassim Khelifa, a zoologist from the University of Zurich is the first time scientists have seen odonates feign death as a tactic to avoid mating, and a rare instance of animals faking their own deaths for this purpose. Odonates is the order of carnivorous insects that includes dragonflies and damselflies.

Khelifa had been collecting the eggs of odonates in the Swiss Alps for experiments into how temperature affects larvae. But over the two summers he spent there, he noticed unusual behavior among female dragonflies of the species Aeshna juncea .

In a study , he wrote that on July 5, 2015 “while I was waiting at a pond near Arosa, at about 2,000 meter elevation, I witnessed a dragonfly dive to the ground while being pursued by another dragonfly… the individual that crashed was a female, and that she was lying motionless and upside down on the ground.

“Upside down is an atypical posture for a dragonfly. The male hovered above the female for a couple seconds and then left. I expected that the female could be unconscious or even dead after her crash landing, but she surprised me by flying away quickly as I approached. The question arose: Did she just trick that male? Did she fake death to avoid male harassment? If so, this would be the first record of sexual death feigning in odonates.”

Khelifa notes there are few instances of animals faking their own deaths, with four others known to science. These include two species of robber fly, the European mantis and the spider , where the males fake death in order to avoid being killed after mating. One study describes the females of another species of dragonfly lying motionless—but researchers did not suggest it was faking death.

Over the next few months, Khelifa documented dozens of cases where females would crash land and play dead while being pursued by a male. He also looked at the reproductive behaviour of A. juncea to try to work out why females would do this.

Aeshna juncea Aeshna juncea. Scientists found female dragonflies of the species fake death to avoid male coercion. Paul Ritchie/Flickr

His observations showed females would arrive at the ponds where the males were waiting to mate. Males would intercept females mid-air before copulating somewhere nearby. The male then flew away and the female laid eggs on her own, without any protection—unlike many other dragonfly species, where the male will guard the female.

“Females became vulnerable to male coercion at that time because conspecific males were constantly patrolling each corner of the pond looking for a mate,” Khelifa writes.

Further observations showed that the more male competition there was, the more likely female dragonflies were to fake their own deaths. In 86 percent of cases, females would crash to the ground. Those that kept flying “were all intercepted by a male.”“Of the 27 motionless females, 21 (77.7 percent) were successful in deceiving the coercive male,” he adds.

Khelifa suggested this behavior is common among the female of this dragonfly species, and that it could have evolved for a number of reasons: “On one hand, this behavior could have resulted from exaptation. Since death feigning already exists in the behavioral repertoire of dragonflies, females of the moorland hawker expanded the use of this anti-predatory function to avoid male coercion,” he wrote. “On the other hand, the origin of this exaptation is probably sexual conflict where each sex adopts reproductive strategies that best serve its own survival and reproductive success.”

Even though it is a risky strategy, faking death appears to help females survive longer and produce more offspring by avoiding coercion. “Sexual death feigning is one of the rarest behaviors in nature, and due to its scarcity, it has received little attention in behavioral ecology,” the study said. “Currently, it is restricted only to arthropods. It would be interesting to know whether this scarcity is true or just an artefact related to the lack of behavioral investigations or difficulty in detecting this behavior.”

Source

http://newsweek.com/female-dragon-flies-fake-death-avoid-sex-evolution-591494

Husband Realizes His Wife Is Cheating, Leaves Note For Her Other Man

Some things are easier said than done. Have you ever thought about what you would do if you found out that your spouse or significant other was cheating on you? While this is not a fun topic to think about, it’s hard to not let the “what if” thought cross your mind. Chances are, you have thought about this and you have a game plan in your back pocket. You may just up and leave, or you may get so angry that you seek revenge on him/her. And oftentimes your ideal plan doesn’t go the way you expected and you end up doing the opposite. It happens.

One man did something quite different when he discovered that his wife had been cheating on him while he was away. He wrote a note to the guy she was cheating with, and this is what is said…

To the guy doing my wife. You know who you are. Yes I know. No I am not angry, I would just ask a few things of you. After all you are giving it to my wife.

1.Please stop leaving the toilet seat up, I keep getting blamed and it is starting to get old.

2. You may be giving me a chance to go fishing more often but please stop drinking all my beer.It is fine if you have a couple while you visit (god knows I drink plenty before I find her attractive), but please leave me a few as I have to be there longer than you.

3. If you do drink the last one buy more or leave money on the counter I will pick some up.

4. Please replace the toilet paper when you use it all. For some reason my 5 year old son believes if its not there he does not have to wipe. We keep it under the sink, unless you can recommend a better spot?

5. After doing my wife please use something disposable to wipe off with. The basket of clothes on the right is mine and the clothes are clean as my wife does not do my washing, I run out of time rushing to work. Last week my sweatshirt was crusty (thanks).

6. Please do not tell my children that you are their uncle, they are young not mentally challenged.

7. Please stop turning the heat up, You pay nothing and MUD is putting it in my ass, my wife may like it but I think it hurts.

8.When she asks “do these pants make me look fat,” say no. You may think giving a different answer will make her think twice about eating a gallon of ice cream a day but all you are doing is giving her a reason to go buy more pants that she will look just as fat in.

9.Stop eating the baked goods. The brownies you ate were from my mom for my birthday. My wife has not cooked anything that good for years and if she does she will not share.

10.Try shifting your weight when you sit on my chair. The recliner that I rarely have time for (soccer games and practice, basketball camp for the kids takes much of my time and I try to help with school work too)has a grove in it that forces me to roll to the left.

Lastly I would like thank you for taking her to lunch on Valentines Day. She was not as hungry as usual and only ordered one meal. I may be able to use the money I saved to take the children to a movie. I hope you can help me with these items, it may become awkward if I have to confront her. If you can do this for me I will give you a heads up on when I will be gone and for how long so that you don’t feel rushed.

P.S. I am going to take the kids to the Great Wolf Lodge on the 3rd of April for four days, I have a bottle of vodka above the fridge if you find yourself low on beer.

Well, there ya have it. This guy proved his point in a very creative way. It would be interesting to find out where the relationship stands now.

© Jersey Demic 2018