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4
votes
1answer
198 views

Measuring body size in flies/insects

"Mesothorax length (the distance from the tip of the scutellum to the most anterior part of the mesothorax)" From Bergland et al 2008. Would that be this distance (green line)? If not, how ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

What is 'refractile' cell morphology?

I can't find a definition for 'refractile' (not 'refractory', and not explicitly in an optical context). As in: A tumour cell phenotype features increased proliferation, anchorage- and growth ...
4
votes
0answers
89 views

Phylogenetic method to detect shift in mean of continuous variable

I am currently working on a project where I study the change of a continuous morphological variable with body size (measured as body weight) across diverse taxa (insects, spiders, lizards, frogs). In ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

How to determine externally that a whale is a mammal?

Mammals have external qualifying characteristics like body hair, ear pinna, etc. But a whale has none of that. So, can it be identified as a mammal just by external observations?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does the bunny have a white butt?

There are several species of plant eaters that have a very visible bright white behind: several kinds of deer, rabbits, antelopes, etc. Does this white spot have any function to it, or is it purely ...
2
votes
1answer
828 views

List of Asymmetric Animals

The (male) Fiddler Crab is a famous example of an animal whose morphology exhibits neither mirror nor radial symmetry: (Image source) List of animals featuring external asymmetry is a Wikipedia ...
4
votes
2answers
118 views

Are there special constants in biology that define organism's morphology?

In math, there are special numbers, like Pi (3.14159...) and e (2.71828...). In chemistry, there's numbers like avogadro's number (6.0221413e+23). For example a circle can be defined in terms of 2 * ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Do animals exist with an uneven total number of digits?

I recently finished reading Contact by Carl Sagan. In the book they talk about a pattern in the transcendental number like pi or e, and comment that it is found in base 10 or however many fingers the ...
6
votes
2answers
160 views

Can any species be bred selectively/engineered to become as diverse looking as dogs?

I've done some research and it appears that dogs are the most diverse looking single species of mammals. The questions that interest me is - are dogs special in respect to genes/gene activation ...