Michael Douglas and Scarlett Johansson are related! Michael Douglas and Scarlett Johansson are related!

The claim is based on a study in 2023

When the allegation is checked with a keyword search, it is possible to find many similar news reports.

When the news is analyzed, the LinkedIn account of the Integrated Research Museum Museum Museum für Naturkunde Berlin in Germany is reached. When the posts on the account are analyzed, it is seen that the results of a research conducted at the Museum für Naturkunde, the Integrated Research Museum, are shared.

When the photograph used by the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin to present the results is searched with the reverse image search method, it is seen that press organizations from many countries have also covered the research. 

In almost all of the news articles, Dr. Carolin Dittrich and Mark-Oliver Rödel's article published in the journal Royal Society Open Science on October 11, 2023, titled "Drop dead! Female mate avoidance in an explosively breeding frog" in the Royal Society Open Science journal on October 11, 2023.

When the cited article is examined, although the claim is an observational research, many possibilities were emphasized and various tests were conducted on Rana temporaria (European frogs) throughout the research. In 2019, researchers Dr. Carolin Dittrich and Mark-Oliver Rödel placed male and female European frogs in an area where they could move freely and recorded the whole process on camera.

The research shows that male frogs in mating season are more likely to kill a female frog if they are with the same female in a so-called "mating ball" (when male frogs surround a female). According to the results of the study, if a male can suppress his rivals and prevent the formation of a "mating ball", the female frog's chances of survival increase. In the results of the research, it was observed that female frogs exhibit three different behaviors during mating: "spinning", "release calls" and "tonic immobility (death imitation)". 

It was reported that 46 percent of the female frogs that showed mate avoidance behavior during the research process were successful in doing so. In an interview with CBS News, Carolin Dittrich, one of the co-authors of the study, described frogs playing dead as "an acute response to stress". 

Confirmation reached out to the study author
Speaking to Teyit, researcher Carolin Dittrich explained the study as follows: 

"Females of the species Rana temporaria (European frog) showed three different avoidance behaviors when paired with males in mate choice experiments. The most common behavior was turning (trying to move away from the amplexus used by males for mating), which was shown by 80 percent of all females. Another behavior was calling, where females either imitated the male's release call (a signal of non-acceptance) or called at a higher frequency where the function of the call was not yet known. The call is always accompanied by turning. The third behavior was tonic immobility, usually shown in combination with the other two behaviors and by smaller females. Twenty percent of females approached by males did not show any of these three behaviors."
Dittrich said the claims are not true, saying that we cannot say that female frogs play dead to get away from males, and that tonic immobility is an acute stress response to a strong stimulus:

"Our experiments do not support the claim that females consciously choose to exhibit tonic immobility. The term 'playing dead' or 'playing dead' is anthropocentric and implies conscious decision-making. We believe that this behavior is an unconscious response to the risk of mortality during the reproductive period when few males can attach to females. Males dropping out may increase the chances of female survival."
Addressing the media coverage of the study, Dittrich said, "During the media coverage of this study, I saw many comments that tried to apply these findings to human relationships, but this is not applicable."

There are many studies on "Tonic Inactivity" (TI), also known as faking death. In fact, a 2018 study states that this behavior is also seen among predators. A study conducted in Turkey in 2010 on ladybugs states that coccinellids, a species of ladybugs, collect their feet to protect themselves from their enemies and pretend to be dead with the foul odor and liquid they release.

Although all these studies show us that "playing dead" is present in the animal kingdom, the fact that the study did not cover all frogs and that 20 percent of the observed frogs did not perform these three movements disproves the claim.