Regarding the so called "death dance" of squirrels

Regarding the so called "death dance" of squirrels

Joined: January 15th, 2002, 4:53 pm

May 27th, 2012, 1:52 pm #1

I was looking at the video further down in the thread titled, "cat got my squirrel" and the poster mentions the "death dance" that is observed in the video. He says that the squirrel is "dead" and that the "dance" is just the squirrels nerves going crazy for awhile.

I'm not so sure of that. Seriously, I'm not criticizing his post at all, or the fact that the squirrel didn't die instantly, because a lot of times, they simply don't. I know that.

But, I'm of the opinion that the squirrel in that video was very much alive, for that entire time period after being shot. I don't think he was dead and his nerves were just flopping him around.

I've experienced this type of thing with squirrels myself.

I just think that squirrels are really tough and tenacious little critters and that they can really cling to life unless you hit them in the brain or get a really solid heart/lung shot.

My question to you all is simply whether you "buy in" to the idea that when you witness the so-called "death dance" that you are simply watching a dead squirrel flop around due to it's nervous system still being active somehow. Or, do you agree with me that the squirrel is very much alive and just clinging to life for those last 30 seconds, etc?

Again, I'm not criticizing the poster at all.

But, what is your take on the "death dance?" Nerves? Or just one heck of a tough animal to kill quickly?

Last edited by karlw on May 27th, 2012, 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: April 25th, 2008, 4:05 pm

May 27th, 2012, 2:11 pm #2

Not to take anything away from Mr. squirrel. They can certainly be resilient pellet quarry.

A chicken will do the same dance following complete Denogginization.

Brad
Last edited by fwbgbs on May 27th, 2012, 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 26th, 2012, 4:51 pm

May 27th, 2012, 2:17 pm #3

I was looking at the video further down in the thread titled, "cat got my squirrel" and the poster mentions the "death dance" that is observed in the video. He says that the squirrel is "dead" and that the "dance" is just the squirrels nerves going crazy for awhile.

I'm not so sure of that. Seriously, I'm not criticizing his post at all, or the fact that the squirrel didn't die instantly, because a lot of times, they simply don't. I know that.

But, I'm of the opinion that the squirrel in that video was very much alive, for that entire time period after being shot. I don't think he was dead and his nerves were just flopping him around.

I've experienced this type of thing with squirrels myself.

I just think that squirrels are really tough and tenacious little critters and that they can really cling to life unless you hit them in the brain or get a really solid heart/lung shot.

My question to you all is simply whether you "buy in" to the idea that when you witness the so-called "death dance" that you are simply watching a dead squirrel flop around due to it's nervous system still being active somehow. Or, do you agree with me that the squirrel is very much alive and just clinging to life for those last 30 seconds, etc?

Again, I'm not criticizing the poster at all.

But, what is your take on the "death dance?" Nerves? Or just one heck of a tough animal to kill quickly?
But if it was moving then it was still alive, but dying. 1 of the ones I shot yesterday was a clean headshot with a JSB heavy out of my .22 Disco. He hung upside down from the branch for 4 minutes before he fell, he was just sort of convulsing for a few seconds and that is nerves for sure.
Went again this AM and didn't see a single squirrel??? I guess they figured out I am getting a bit better with my aim now!
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Joined: December 8th, 2008, 7:54 am

May 27th, 2012, 2:30 pm #4

they are incapacited and no longer in control of their actions. I have watched head shot ground squirrels dance around like that for several seconds right above their own hole and never even try to go down and escape. I even shot one a couple months back that was just sticking his head above his hole. At the shot he tensed up for a couple seconds then pushed himself out of his hole and began the "death dance". So technically they are still living but I think that their movement is just involuntary muscle reactions.
Kenny
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Joined: March 14th, 2008, 4:32 am

May 27th, 2012, 2:32 pm #5

I was looking at the video further down in the thread titled, "cat got my squirrel" and the poster mentions the "death dance" that is observed in the video. He says that the squirrel is "dead" and that the "dance" is just the squirrels nerves going crazy for awhile.

I'm not so sure of that. Seriously, I'm not criticizing his post at all, or the fact that the squirrel didn't die instantly, because a lot of times, they simply don't. I know that.

But, I'm of the opinion that the squirrel in that video was very much alive, for that entire time period after being shot. I don't think he was dead and his nerves were just flopping him around.

I've experienced this type of thing with squirrels myself.

I just think that squirrels are really tough and tenacious little critters and that they can really cling to life unless you hit them in the brain or get a really solid heart/lung shot.

My question to you all is simply whether you "buy in" to the idea that when you witness the so-called "death dance" that you are simply watching a dead squirrel flop around due to it's nervous system still being active somehow. Or, do you agree with me that the squirrel is very much alive and just clinging to life for those last 30 seconds, etc?

Again, I'm not criticizing the poster at all.

But, what is your take on the "death dance?" Nerves? Or just one heck of a tough animal to kill quickly?
When we shoot ground squirrels with 22 rimfires, all the ones that were head shot would do the "death dance" They wouldn't flop around if shot any where else........
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:14 am

May 27th, 2012, 2:55 pm #6

I was looking at the video further down in the thread titled, "cat got my squirrel" and the poster mentions the "death dance" that is observed in the video. He says that the squirrel is "dead" and that the "dance" is just the squirrels nerves going crazy for awhile.

I'm not so sure of that. Seriously, I'm not criticizing his post at all, or the fact that the squirrel didn't die instantly, because a lot of times, they simply don't. I know that.

But, I'm of the opinion that the squirrel in that video was very much alive, for that entire time period after being shot. I don't think he was dead and his nerves were just flopping him around.

I've experienced this type of thing with squirrels myself.

I just think that squirrels are really tough and tenacious little critters and that they can really cling to life unless you hit them in the brain or get a really solid heart/lung shot.

My question to you all is simply whether you "buy in" to the idea that when you witness the so-called "death dance" that you are simply watching a dead squirrel flop around due to it's nervous system still being active somehow. Or, do you agree with me that the squirrel is very much alive and just clinging to life for those last 30 seconds, etc?

Again, I'm not criticizing the poster at all.

But, what is your take on the "death dance?" Nerves? Or just one heck of a tough animal to kill quickly?
A common phrase used by my grandmother,

I sort of got used to it after the first hundred heads were piled by the chopping block, chicken bodies strewn about the yard where they "ran out of gas".

Not Kosher, that's for sure
Last edited by CalG on May 27th, 2012, 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: February 26th, 2011, 2:15 am

May 27th, 2012, 2:58 pm #7

I was looking at the video further down in the thread titled, "cat got my squirrel" and the poster mentions the "death dance" that is observed in the video. He says that the squirrel is "dead" and that the "dance" is just the squirrels nerves going crazy for awhile.

I'm not so sure of that. Seriously, I'm not criticizing his post at all, or the fact that the squirrel didn't die instantly, because a lot of times, they simply don't. I know that.

But, I'm of the opinion that the squirrel in that video was very much alive, for that entire time period after being shot. I don't think he was dead and his nerves were just flopping him around.

I've experienced this type of thing with squirrels myself.

I just think that squirrels are really tough and tenacious little critters and that they can really cling to life unless you hit them in the brain or get a really solid heart/lung shot.

My question to you all is simply whether you "buy in" to the idea that when you witness the so-called "death dance" that you are simply watching a dead squirrel flop around due to it's nervous system still being active somehow. Or, do you agree with me that the squirrel is very much alive and just clinging to life for those last 30 seconds, etc?

Again, I'm not criticizing the poster at all.

But, what is your take on the "death dance?" Nerves? Or just one heck of a tough animal to kill quickly?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_MoY5WnUoI


You'll see quite a death dance.......with the brain completely gone! I think missing a brain qualifies as "dead." - LOL!

-jim
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Joined: April 27th, 2009, 5:42 pm

May 27th, 2012, 3:18 pm #8

I was looking at the video further down in the thread titled, "cat got my squirrel" and the poster mentions the "death dance" that is observed in the video. He says that the squirrel is "dead" and that the "dance" is just the squirrels nerves going crazy for awhile.

I'm not so sure of that. Seriously, I'm not criticizing his post at all, or the fact that the squirrel didn't die instantly, because a lot of times, they simply don't. I know that.

But, I'm of the opinion that the squirrel in that video was very much alive, for that entire time period after being shot. I don't think he was dead and his nerves were just flopping him around.

I've experienced this type of thing with squirrels myself.

I just think that squirrels are really tough and tenacious little critters and that they can really cling to life unless you hit them in the brain or get a really solid heart/lung shot.

My question to you all is simply whether you "buy in" to the idea that when you witness the so-called "death dance" that you are simply watching a dead squirrel flop around due to it's nervous system still being active somehow. Or, do you agree with me that the squirrel is very much alive and just clinging to life for those last 30 seconds, etc?

Again, I'm not criticizing the poster at all.

But, what is your take on the "death dance?" Nerves? Or just one heck of a tough animal to kill quickly?
that might still be functioning in the body qualifies the squirrel as being alive. Is it suffering or feel pain during the "death dance"? Who knows, we can't possibly answer that without knowing if either the brain or spinal cord was completely destroyed.
Last edited by ddoug85 on May 27th, 2012, 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: September 21st, 2009, 8:40 pm

May 27th, 2012, 3:18 pm #9

Not to take anything away from Mr. squirrel. They can certainly be resilient pellet quarry.

A chicken will do the same dance following complete Denogginization.

Brad
When I was a kid in Edinburgh Texas, on Sundays we usually had chicken.
As such, one of my duties and responsibilities was to assist in the capture
and killing of a rooster or hen on Saturday.
Usually, this was the last chore of the day after feeding the chickens.

After my grandmother selected the right chicken ... I had to catch it.
Not always an easy task.
After I caught the unlucky bird, I would hand it over to my grandmother - to kill.
Sometimes, she would wring the chicken's neck.
But, every once in a while she'd dispatch me to retrieve a small hatchet
to chop-off the chicken's head.

Either way, I soon was able to expect ... what was to happen ... with either process.
After wringing the neck ... the chicken would fall to the ground in a pile
and flap its wings while the its head flopped around.
After having it's head cut-off ... a chicken might would run around in circles,
sometimes in a straight line - then, they'd fall-over.
Either way, whatever method ... what was to follow .. was predictable.

It became apparent to me, the killed chickens were not instantaneously dead.
They were in the act of dying - the brain was no-longer in control of the body.
Most certainly in the case of the decapitated chicken ... what followed was <em><strong>latent nervous activity</strong></em>.
Last edited by aom22 on May 27th, 2012, 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: February 7th, 2007, 9:45 pm

May 27th, 2012, 3:27 pm #10

I was looking at the video further down in the thread titled, "cat got my squirrel" and the poster mentions the "death dance" that is observed in the video. He says that the squirrel is "dead" and that the "dance" is just the squirrels nerves going crazy for awhile.

I'm not so sure of that. Seriously, I'm not criticizing his post at all, or the fact that the squirrel didn't die instantly, because a lot of times, they simply don't. I know that.

But, I'm of the opinion that the squirrel in that video was very much alive, for that entire time period after being shot. I don't think he was dead and his nerves were just flopping him around.

I've experienced this type of thing with squirrels myself.

I just think that squirrels are really tough and tenacious little critters and that they can really cling to life unless you hit them in the brain or get a really solid heart/lung shot.

My question to you all is simply whether you "buy in" to the idea that when you witness the so-called "death dance" that you are simply watching a dead squirrel flop around due to it's nervous system still being active somehow. Or, do you agree with me that the squirrel is very much alive and just clinging to life for those last 30 seconds, etc?

Again, I'm not criticizing the poster at all.

But, what is your take on the "death dance?" Nerves? Or just one heck of a tough animal to kill quickly?
years, I can tell you that the "death dance" is a dead give away, pun intended, that you've made a clean brain shot. I've seen it thousands of times over a 50 year period. California Ground Squirrels especially, when brain shot, are prone to do that. I have completely removed the heads of ground squirrels, with a high velocity PB round like the .220 Swift, and with everything from the shoulders up missing, they will still do the "death dance" for ten seconds. It may still be moving uncontrollably, but no head and no brain = dead squirrel.
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