The study of animal behaviour.

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Are there dextral/sinistral higher animals?

For example, almost every dog I've met in my life (more than 20 subjects) uses their right paw touching one while asking for attention. Can it be used as a criterion for calling them dextral? If not, ...
11
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1answer
341 views

How do porcupines keep from pricking each other while mating?

How do porcupines keep from pricking each other while mating? It seems like they would constantly be scratching each other.
11
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254 views

How do members of cryptic species know who to mate with?

According to Wikipedia: In biology, a cryptic species complex is a group of species which satisfy the biological definition of species—that is, they are reproductively isolated from each ...
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2answers
313 views

What does “nesting failure” mean?

According to the Wikipedia article on swans, swans are mostly monogamous but may sometimes separate, particularly after a "nesting failure". What "nesting failure" may mean is not entirely clear to ...
7
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1answer
653 views

Do any animals other than humans undergo menopause?

Do any animals other than humans undergo menopause? Also, is there any difference between animals in captivity and animals in the wild as regards menopause? For example, even if menopause has been ...
7
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3answers
202 views

Is there any documented evidence for suicide among vertebrates other than humans?

Is there any documented evidence for suicide among vertebrates other than humans? Lemmings not accepted !
7
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175 views

What is the name of the appendage that mantis shrimp use to rub their eyes?

In this short clip, you can see the mantis shrimp using some sort of feathery arm/claw to rub its eyes. Looking at a diagram here, it appears possibly that it's using maxillipeds. Someone with ...
6
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2answers
95 views

Is there a term for tool use in animals?

Is there a technical/scientific term that scientists use to refer to tool making abilities found in certain types of animals? Reference ...
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123 views

Do fake wasp nests actually fool wasps?

I have seen fake wasp nests sold as a deterrent against wasps and similar insects. Do they really work? Is there some scientific evidence for it? A related link: ...
5
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1answer
254 views

Cat purring: What are some possible underlying mechanisms behind purring and bone remodeling and formation?

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-do-cats-purr The article above says that cats purr mostly when they're wounded or under duress. They hypothesis that cats purring leads to ...
5
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1answer
93 views

Do ants within a colony ever fight or come to conflict?

I'm investigating how hierarchical groups of a larger organization with a common goal tend to come to conflict with one another over time. As you decompose a large group (for example a corporation), ...
5
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1answer
308 views

What happens to an ant colony when the queen dies?

Does the colony collapse? Do workers keep following the last orders? Or can future queens replace the dead one? I'm guessing this might also depend on each specific sub-species.
5
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262 views

What makes an animal/species suitable for domestication/training?

Humans have domesticated all manner of creatures during the course of their civilization - dogs, horses, several types of cattle, varieties of birds, and perhaps others too. A prerequisite for an ...
4
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2k 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 ...
4
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231 views

Is life expectancy linked to intelligence in animals?

For example, animals that live only a few days or a few years are often not very intelligent. In contrast, the most intelligent animals seem to live longer. Is this true? Are there any studies to ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Why is that all the animals can swim in water without learning to swim but humans cannot?

I had a question since I was a child. I was always curious that all the animals can swim in water. They don't need any training or to learn swimming. But humans need to learn to swim. Why ? I am a ...
4
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2answers
105 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 ...
4
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1answer
70 views

Tool use by animals: research history

I was under impression that data about quite a lot different species using different tools is a fairly modern phenomenon, i.e., all of the research is fairly recent. Around 50 years ago it was ...
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138 views

Do non-human animals suffer from insomnia?

And how do we know whether they do or not? § If sleep is a physiological need, it seems weird that we become unable to fulfill on demand even in the absence of any obvious physical issues. We would ...
3
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1answer
54 views

Is it true that there is a spider that eats parasites from caterpillars

I think I once saw a video of a caterpillar that could get infected by a parasite, and could die of that, unless a specific kind of spider would eat the parasite, and so once the caterpillar is ...
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44 views

Dogs bark at familiar person in Santa costume. Why? Don't dogs trust smell over vision?

Last night 10 humans and 2 dogs spent Christmas together. At some point, one human dissappears for a few minutes and comes back wearing a full Santa outfit. Upon respawning, the dogs start barking ...
2
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3answers
873 views

What if rB=C in hamilton's rule?

Hamilton's rule states that if rB>C then a gene giving altruistic behaviour will increase in frequency in the population. What would happen if rB=C? Will an individual perform the altruistic act?
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4answers
164 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 ...
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61 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?
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2answers
116 views

Do animals also dream?

By "dream", I mean: Dreaming while sleeping. Dreaming about their future life while being awake. Thank you in advance.
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206 views

Do bigger animals have more testosterone?

I was wondering the other day outside, thinking about varieties of species and their aggression levels, etc. I had a theory that since these highly aggressive, powerful, and viciously advantageous ...
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32 views

Why don't birds in flocks fly into each other?

I've seen videos of hundreds of birds flying in the same general direction but creating incredible patterns in the sky seemingly instantaneously! How do they all know in what direction to turn at the ...
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27 views

Circadian rhythm in birds

Animals can use their circadian clocks to determine direction from the position of the sun. In a particular experiment conducted in Iceland, a bird, kept in a cage open to the sky, was trained ...
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44 views

Competition for mates in sea horses

This source here ...research has shown that it is STILL the males that compete for females. says that male sea horses compete for mates but this source here Females exhibit a ...
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50 views

What are the most well-understood vocal animal languages? [closed]

Just as the Bee dance, for a "language", I mean that there are vocal pattens, or "grammar". In the nature, there are many intelligent animals like human beings. Bird songs, whale songs, dogs? In ...
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1answer
62 views

Can ant colonies have two “branches”?

Could an ant colony have 2 or more "branches" located far from each other (i.e. physically separated but interconnected nests) ? If so, how far is the limit?
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112 views

are female bonobos “always” pregnant?

Given that bonobo chimps are more sexually active then humans, are the females almost always pregnant? if not how not? also are they so sexually active in the wild as well or is it just in captivity? ...
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1answer
44 views

Introductory text for primatology

I'm looking for a book that provides a good overview of primatology, one aimed more at researchers rather than a popular science book. Ideally, I'd like something with an ethology/ecology angle with ...
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35 views

Why do animals only eat some parts of their food?

For example monkeys/apes only eat part of a fruit and then throw the rest. Cats (big and small species) only eat some parts of their prey and then they abandon it. Humans on the contrary leave as few ...
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37 views

Will a garter snake eat unusual prey if made to smell like something normal?

I have noticed that my garter snake only eats after it has smelled it's prey to make sure it is a slug, and it doesn't matter whether it's moving or not. If I were to coat, say, a caterpillar with ...
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37 views

Why do animals sleep

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 ...
0
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1answer
18 views

Do animals follow tactics?

Are animals able to plan hunts, give tasks if they do it in groups and fulfil it adapted to the current situation? Do they use unique tactics for special circumstances (e.g. based on experiences) or ...
0
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1answer
52 views

Male behaviour during breeding season

The mountain blue bird build nests to attract females and exhibit aggression towards other males during breeding season. Which of the following is likely to give the birds maximal evolutionary ...
0
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1answer
42 views

What's food mode?

I've been watching a The Crocodile Hunter episode about Komodo dragons, and Steve Irwing kept speaking about the animals being in "food mode", in which they apparently change their behavior to one of ...
0
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1answer
151 views

How do animals/plants change for each season?

The question pretty much sums it up. How do animals/plants change for each: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter? A detailed explanation on distinct behaviour and appearance changes would be nice.
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82 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 ...