Interesting Biology: Higher Nerve Function?

Ok if you’re still a reader of this blog (I’m trying to post more non podcast content), you’ve probably seen this video before.

I’m a marine biologist with some training in animal medical research, so the whole neurology of this is probably about as clear to me as it is to you.

Still I was always amused how rodents and such will thrash around when shot in the head. Also FYI there is a euthanasia technique for mice where you dislocate the neck vertebrae. I consider it the best and fastest way to end a mouse’s life, but DAMN do they thrash about when you do it right, and I KNEW the mouse couldn’t be suffering (If you do it right it’s essentially an immediate decapitation with just the skin and neck muscles holding the head on the body) but why all the trashing?

Well the above video explains why that is.

Now comes how my brain works….does this happen in humans?

I’m not going to link any, but uncensored video hosts like liveleak have DOZENS of videos of people getting shot in the heads.

Almost all are security camera footage, most are robberies and what I suspect are gangland executions.
There are some battlefield footage.

No matter the circumstances, these are videos of instant death by severe brain trauma.

Every last one the person drops like a rag doll. Zero twitching or thrashing.

Again, neurology isn’t my field, so I can’t tell you why that is….but I just watched this video:

They’re shooting vervet monkeys and Baboons, and weather they’re hitting them with a centerfire rifle or an air gun, a head shot and the monkey does its best impersonation of a rag doll, with maybe a few involuntary tensing of muscles (which could be caused by hydro-static shock).

Could this be a function of higher brain function?

Can’t be size as these guys whack some ground squirrels that are close in size to the vervets, and the squirrels go acrobatic when their brains get scrambled.

Just interesting stuff.

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1 Response to Interesting Biology: Higher Nerve Function?

  1. Paul Schwa says:

    Yes, very interesting. Thanks!

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