The set of actions performed by an organism within a given environment

learn more… | top users | synonyms

48
votes
2answers
7k views

Do ants or other insects sleep, and if so why?

I was thinking yesterday about insects (as there was a spider in the house, and I couldn't help but think of anything else, even though they aren't insects), and I started to wonder if ants sleep? ...
5
votes
1answer
387 views

Is greed an evolved trait?

I am not a biologist, but I am fascinated by evolution. I was watching the news this morning and, as so often is the case, there was a news story about a corrupt politician who was accepting bribes....
1
vote
1answer
36 views

Pollinator mating system in orchids

I came across three terms in an article on pseudocopulation. However I don't quite understand what it means. They are: 1) solitary and haplodiploid 2) social and haplodiploid 3) diploid These ...
2
votes
2answers
231 views

What does this Barbary Macaque facial expression mean?

A girl pretended having a piece of food in her hand and pointed it to a Barbary Macaque in Gibraltar. As a response he made this facial expression to her. What does this mean?
3
votes
2answers
636 views

Animal altruism?

My first impression of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za4uT1ob8qE is that the baboons were being altruistic and benevolent, but is this guess proven or affirmed by science? I sense there's more to ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

How to measure trajectory regularity?

I have two animal running trajectories. A regular one with repeated back and forth running between point A and B, like the one on top in the figure. The other one is very irregular, animal paused and ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Book recommendation on mammal (or just primate) behaviour, especially in relation to child-rearing

I have a growing frustration with the lows 'new-age' parenting is reaching, along with asininity of so much of our public schools' (and summer camps') philosophies and policies in relation to our kids....
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What “emotions” can a snake feel?

Short: Thinking in particular of a Royal Python (US: Ball Python) such as some people keep as exotic companion animals, what sorts of "emotions" or "feelings" are they capable of? Long: http://...
1
vote
0answers
396 views

Are insects attracted to near infrared light?

Do insects see near infrared light? If yes, are they attracted to it at night, as they are to visible light sources? I am building something similar to a home-made trailcam with a Raspberry Pi ...
8
votes
5answers
391 views

Theoretically, is domestication of (virtually) any animal possible?

Looking at ones that manage well alongside us human animals, such as dogs and cats, we see that this is possible for evolved, distant animals to have heritable, preferable traits around people. ...
8
votes
1answer
310 views

Why do flies fly in circles?

Lying on my bed, doing nothing I recently noticed flies usually fly in small circles, right under my ceiling lamp. Worth noting - the lamp was off as it was middle of a day. And those flies kept ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

Solunar theory of animal activity

Solunar theory, which states that animal activity in wild (fishes, deer) depends on position of sun and moon in sky. Based on the solunar calender, hunters seek for optimal time for hunting fishes. ...
3
votes
1answer
185 views

Is there a hormone combination that makes humans grumpy?

Imagine a typical situation that is likely to give rise to a bad temper within an individual: a person is awoken very early in the morning by a sound of a lawn being mowed next door. Unlike expected ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

What happens to human dopaminergic reward system once a teenager becomes adult?

I've recently heard a podcast which explained teenage impulsivity and novelty seeking in part by "Lowering the baseline dopamine activity in the reward system" "Increase in dopaminergic reward in ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

Do insomniacs yawn?

According to wikipedia, the jury is still out on the function a yawn serves. The article referenced above however writes to say Yawning most often occurs in adults immediately before and after ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

psychological database with sequenced DNA records

I'm looking for an epigenetic database which includes for each example the psychological history of the persons DNA. Right now I can only find DNA and epigenetic databases. Sadly none of the databases ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Why do we yawn seeing others yawn [duplicate]

If I see another person yawning, I definitely feel to yawn. Why is that so? What are the activities that happen in our brain which tell us to yawn?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Are humans an eusocial species?

In the evolution of sociality among animals, different degrees are acknowledged. Some species present overlapping generations, some division of labor, and the minority present reproductive division. ...
1
vote
1answer
139 views

Current human behavior as a genetic heritage

People: I have doubts about genetic heritage, but let me explain the context which has shown up this doubt for you: I was debating about sexism and the following question were put on the discussion: ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How come most animals never seem to evolve over millenia?

People often say, including those with extensive knowledge in biology, that a certain species of animal will evolve in one way or another: 1.From changing environments. 2.Mutations. 3.Possibly even ...
0
votes
2answers
159 views

Chills down the spine with certain music?

I am sure many of us know the feeling of that tingling chill down our spines when listening to certain music. I experienced this most when my younger brother played an emotional piano piece for a ...
5
votes
2answers
383 views

Do animals suffer from “Human” mental disorders?

It is tragic, but apparently Killer whales and Dolphins can commit suicide too (e.g. here)... This suggests they can become depressed. I wondered whether they were "clinically" depressed like many ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Could murder be modeled as an infectious disease?

Background "When swine flu hit the population it spiked in certain areas and tapered off in neighboring regions, it hits hardest where people have least protection and this pattern is more ...
0
votes
1answer
423 views

What are the universal laws of Nature concerning animals' behaviour? [closed]

I'm looking for very old (centuries) treaty or recent (20 & 21th century) research that state what some of the laws of Nature are, particularly concerning wild animals' behaviour. Such as; every ...
-7
votes
2answers
362 views

Is love biologically useful? [closed]

I thought about this statement a while ago: Natural selection sucks, it says those who love too much (or too many) will die the easiest and fastest. Sad but true. Only family (biologically of ...
4
votes
1answer
206 views

Do insects respond to the detection of dead insects?

Are there insects that change their behavior upon detecting the nearby presence of other dead insects? If there are, can you provide an example?
7
votes
2answers
582 views

Goats are so fearless but sheep are not. Is there any genetic difference responsible?

As you see in the picture goats (not only wild goats) are so fearless, but I never saw any sheep do this. What is the source of this difference in behavior?
2
votes
1answer
164 views

Is there an instinct-driven body language for birds?

Over the last year or so, I've been observing house sparrows, because they are so prevalent in the northeast US cities. I noticed that a lot of sparrows, even in different cities seem to have very ...
5
votes
3answers
419 views

Is recognizing one's own mirror reflection a valid test of animal intelligence/self awareness?

I've been looking at this Ted talk on interspecies internet, and it appears that they have selected a small number of species of animals (dolphin, elephant, and some ape(?)) and are intent on ...
1
vote
1answer
168 views

In the context of twin studies, what do 'unique environmental factors' and 'shared environmental factors' refer to?

I was reading this study on sexual behavior and they refer to both terms without clarification. Does 'unique environmental factors' refer only to the prenatal environment or does it include individual ...
6
votes
1answer
11k views

Why can cats interpret things on a monitor/tv, but dogs cannot?

E.g. you can see a lot of videos where cats are smashing some mouse or spider on an ipad, but I have never seen it with a dog. I have a dog myself and I know that he sometimes responds to the sounds ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

Are humans more aggressive during a full moon? [closed]

Is it true that we are more agressive during the night when there is a full moon? If true, could this be a remnant from times where we needed to hunt for our food and so could see more at night when ...
12
votes
1answer
14k views

Why do dogs try to cover their poop?

It may seem obvious to us humans to hide our excreta, but this is not quite normal behavior for animals. Interestingly, dogs have the habit to pee all over the place. It's know that they do so to ...
16
votes
1answer
769 views

Why is yawning contagious?

Why does yawning seems to be contagious? Is this similar to laughter being contagious or does it has a different reason?
1
vote
0answers
76 views

Why do animals sleep [duplicate]

Animals spend a good portion of every day doing nothing, and it seems like that time could be better spent hunting, searching for mates, etc. Also, animals are not aware during sleep, so it would be ...
-1
votes
1answer
215 views

Are ape communities more “anarchist” or “communist” in structure?

I am using these terms because we can imagine them quite good, I guess ;) By "anarchist" I mean that the ape wants to live without the rule of others apes(same biological race or other) and he pursue ...
-3
votes
1answer
173 views

How much can be said about behaviour (future) based on bloodgroup?

My bloodgroup for example is A+. How much information is knowing my bloodgroup? How much information can be known from a blood sample? I expect you to be able to clone if known a complete DNA sequence ...
5
votes
1answer
199 views

Zombie Ant Fungus?

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is a parasitoidal fungus that alters the behavior of the infected. Source: Wiki page. How is the fungus able to alter the behavior of the infected to such specfic ...
8
votes
4answers
564 views

Why people like to see pornographic scenes, but do not feel the same about eating scenes? [closed]

This question may seem funny, but I think biology must have good answers. I think no more explanation is needed. I really thought about this and searched for an answer, but there is nothing yet. If ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible that the recipient of a heart transplant would display some of the donor's personality traits, as if the heart has memories?

I've read somewhere that after a person has a heart transplant, it is possible that his/her attitude, action or behavior would change slightly or significantly, as though he/she possesses some aspects ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

What does self-preservation stem from? [closed]

Self-preservation, or preservation anyway, probably happens throughout the animal kingdom, and perhaps through the plant kingdom as well (some plants/trees, apparently, produce chemicals to repel bugs)...
8
votes
1answer
132 views

How well does it actually work to surgically reroute the optical nerve?

Two publications, Roe et al, 1992[1] and Metin & Frost, 1989[2], describe results pertaining to the ability of a region of cortex to process information from a different sensory mode than the one ...
8
votes
1answer
560 views

What is this crow eating, and is it a common part of the corvid diet?

Here's a picture (by Rob Curtis) of a crow carrying and eating the corpse of what looks a bit like a small hawk or falcon: Other pictures clearly show the crow is eating the dead bird. This image ...
8
votes
2answers
192 views

Is it possible for parasitic wasp to alter the behaviour of it's host after emerging from it?

I know that parasitic wasp larvae could live for a long time inside their alive host (eg. caterpillar), but I always thought that they kill the host when they eventually get out of it. But once I've ...
8
votes
1answer
101 views

Predators faking to be not hungry?

I believe that there are predator/prey combinations where the prey can easily spot that the predator is not hungry and will not try to flee from it. I’m thinking, for example, of gazelles who will ...
3
votes
2answers
173 views

What is the biological basis for a human's ability to think clearly and be aware while “fighting/competing”?

I'm interested in learning more about the biological systems or hormones or parts of the brain that affect short term (<15 minutes) ability to concentrate attention on the task and be aware of the ...
7
votes
1answer
261 views

Why would deer continue to cross a river full of crocodiles even though some of them have been killed?

I recently watched a clip on Discovery Channel, where I saw deer crossing a river full of crocodiles, ignoring the fact that some of them would have been killed doing so. Is there a possible ...
11
votes
1answer
335 views

Does the genetic expression of specific physical traits ever correlate to behaviour?

Over at skeptics, there were a couple questions asked as to the correlation of specific physical traits in relation to personality/behaviour. For instance, the simian line as well as red hair. Now, ...