If you roll an alligator on its back and hold it there, it will exhibit a strange behavior. After 15 or 20 seconds, the alligator will go limp and become unresponsive. It’s called tonic immobility and, for a phenomenon so widespread in the animal kingdom, we know surprisingly little about it.
Now, new research reveals that tonic immobility in the alligator appears to be a form of fainting that arises, in part, from the unique features of the crocodilian heart.
Read the whole story at my ‘Animal Minds’ blog: Fainting Gators? Tonic Immobility in the Alligator.