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Female frogs appear to fake their own deaths to avoid unwanted sexual approaches from men

Female frogs appear to fake their own deaths to avoid unwanted sexual approaches from men

They have two other strategies to get away from unsolicited attention.

A new study has highlighted the lengths that females will go when they want to avoid unwanted sexual attention.

It seems like unsolicited approaches from men isn't just something that happens to humans.

It also occurs in the animal kingdom.

Researchers studying the European common frog (Rana temporaria) have discovered that females appear to fake their own death just to not be bothered by a male counterpart.

This species has been labeled 'explosive breeders', according to Live Science, so it's difficult to avoid copulation.

Which is why it's so interesting that females have found a way to get around this part of nature.

Cristian Umili/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Dr Carolin Dittrich, the first author of the study from the Natural History Museum of Berlin, said in a statement: "Rather than being passive and helpless, we find that females can use three key strategies for avoiding males they don’t want to mate with — either because they aren't ready to breed or do not want to mate with a certain male."

One of the methods is by rolling on their backs after being mounted, which forces the male to bail to avoid drowning.

The second is the emission of a grunt and squeak while being mounted, which could act as a call to hop away.

And the third was laying completely still with their limbs outstretched.

Dr Dittrich said: "To us, it appears as if the female is playing dead, although we can't prove it's a conscious behavior.

"It could just be an automatic response to stress."

The smaller, younger females were found to typically deploy this response when they received unwanted attention.

Researchers were able to discover these avoidant methods by putting several frogs into tanks during mating season.

There would be one male and two females in each tank and scientists would watch them for an hour to see what happened.

Dr Dittrich suggested that the younger, smaller might try to avoid sexual attempts because they're inexperienced and could get stressed easier.

Live Science says there are other species who appear to fake their own deaths to get away from men, including dragonflies, spiders and sharp-ribbed newts.

Featured Image Credit: Cristian Umili/VWPics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images. Cristian Umili/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Topics: Nature, Animals, News