The biological study of animals.

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Does sleep duration vary for animals based on time of the year?

I'm interested in the sleep patterns of wild animals, that still use sun for controlling their biological clock. Animals entrain their biological clock to the day/night cycle using light as the ...
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How did specialized nerve-based behaviors emerge in organisms?

There are quite a lot of diversity in behaviors of animals and lesser organisms, like mating, hunting, feeding, hiding and avoiding predators. At the same time I know that many hormones like ...
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What animal's lower eye lid moves to upper one when closing eyes?

I know cock's lower eye lids moves to meet the upper one when it closes its eye. What other animals does this? BTW, "cock-eyed" can mean upside down, I think.
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If a dead snake reflexively attacks itself, why does it not always attack itself?

Recently there has been this video going around of a snake that had been decapitated. Its body swung around to the decapitated head and the head attacked the body on "reflex". Now we know that most ...
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410 views

Do animals get sick from eating dirty food or eating off the floor?

Humans have very strict tradition of hygiene, such as washing hands before eating, using utensils, and in general keeping as much distance between food and dirt as possible. At the same time, most ...
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Green feather-like formations in tap water - what is it? (with pictures)

These things recently appeared in my tap water Copenhagen Denmark, this summer 2013. They are very small, and have a feather like structure. I've called the water supply, and they thought that it was ...
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1answer
74 views

What kind of insect is this?

Found in Russia in the kitchen. It is about 3 mm long.
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119 views

Raphide toxicity in Pothos plant

Recently I found out that the common houseplant Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is toxic to cats and dogs due to the presence of "insoluble raphides." I have a lot of these plants around my house and my ...
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468 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?
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Is there a difference between pig and cow anatomy that makes religious slaughter of the latter less painful?

This question is not for the squeamish. I was told that non-Kosher animals like pigs have a different anatomy in their neck compared to kosher animals like cows such that the Shechita method of ...
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Laying eggs vs giving birth: is there a connection with internal vs. external ears?

I have heard that "The animals who have their 'EARS' outside their body give birth to their young ones and the animals who have their 'EARS' inside their body lay eggs." Is this true? Are there ...
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430 views

Do male animals visually perceive females as more/less attractive?

If we somehow remove pheromones, do animals experience a phenomenon similar to human "visual beauty" when looking at members of the opposite sex? For example, given a set of 20 female ducks observed ...
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868 views

Why do parasites sometimes kill their hosts?

It's bothered me for a while now. I understand why a parasitoid would do this, as it only temporarily requires the host, and that not all parasites kill their hosts. There seems to be no evolutionary ...
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84 views

What is this insect I found in Russia?

I found this in Russia. It is approximately 2cm long.
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why water is a proof of a life? [duplicate]

I read that NASA looks for water on Mars or other planets as a sign of a life. I wonder why scientists look for water as proof of a life? isn't there any animal that drinks another liquid like ...
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1answer
38 views

How diverse are dogs in their traits other than appearance?

I've asked this question about dogs not so long ago, and the short answer was - dogs are the most diverse looking species of mammals because they got a small number of genes that have a big impact on ...
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2answers
117 views

What insect is in this photo?

Found in Russia, in the kitchen. It is about 1–2 cm length.
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1answer
122 views

Has synthetic biology created new plants or animals as of 2013?

I've seen a Ted.com talk where the speaker suggests that modern science can create new micro organisms, like bacteria with a pre- defined new set of traits. But has anyone create a new species of ...
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216 views

Do primates other than humans have a consistent sleep schedule?

I'm doing some sleep research and would like to compare a human sleep pattern as recorded by a wrist-based actigraph with a "natural" sleep pattern, such as from apes. In an experiment like that, a ...
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1answer
71 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 ...
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129 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 ...
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175 views

Are there animals which can see movements better than shapes or colors?

I remember that in Michael Crichton's novel Jurassic Park, Tyrannosaurus Rex was supposed to have movement based vision. (Of course, that is a novel and not a scientific text.) I have also noticed ...
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29 views

Information and image of Genus Acesina

I am searching for image and information, like distribution etc of the genus Acesina. The Taxonomic tree is: ...
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193 views

What is this beetle and what are the strange antennae for?

I found this wonderful creature in my yard (I live in the south of France) last night: It was about 2-3cm long, with a hard carapace and wings. It also made loud hissing noises when agitated. I ...
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Living organisms with properties similar to both plants and animals? [duplicate]

Is there any example of currently living organisms that shows close resemblance to both being a plant and an animal? What is the plant with the closest possible resemblance to animals, and What is ...
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55 views

Aside from cockroaches and other insects, which species (of all kinds) are 'immune' to ionizing radiation?

I have just been reading this excellent question and answer about cockroaches ability to withstand ionizing radiation. My question is an extension of that question: aside from insects, which other ...
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414 views

What is dental health like in animals?

Do animals suffer from tooth decay, such as cavities? Is it to the same extent as in humans, or do animal teeth decay more or less? If teeth decay in animals as well, are there natural strategies ...
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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 ...
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90 views

How animals maintain their body shape after development to maturity?

I've recently read a book on evolutionary-developmental biology for laymen, and it described how a fetus is progressively divided into more refined zones of genetic activity. These zones, kinda like ...
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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 ...
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210 views

Why does ostrich meat look and taste more like beef than chicken?

Some time ago I tasted ostrich meat, and what was amazing to me was that the meat very much resembled beef, much more than it resembled chicken, turkey or duck meat. And even more than lamb and pork ...
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1k views

Is it true that oral sex exists in non-human animals?

For example, outside of humans, do other species of animals engage in oral sex, or any oral stimulation of others' genitals purely for pleasure, not any cleansing habits, etc.? Basically, what I am ...
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181 views

What flying insect is this?

Found in Russia. Approx. 7 cm.
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631 views

Polymorphism in cnidarians?

To me, the phenomenon of polymorphism in cnidarians is particularly troubling. I gather that it essentially refers to existence of various different forms or kinds of individuals, i.e. zooids and ...
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116 views

Is there a DNA test to identify dog mixes?

We adopted a dog at the age of two. Our vet said it was a mix of an Australian Shepherd and Border Collie, which we've told everyone. Based on markings, I think it's likely. I am wondering, however, ...
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70 views

Can songbirds mimic car alarm sounds?

A silly question. A few days ago I observed a very vocal bird with impressive vocal variety. It was rapidly switching from one tune to the next. After sometime I realized that the bird might be ...
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Avian Diseases : How to Disinfect

How can I sanitize a bird's carcass so that no diseases are present after disinfection? I was thinking $\gamma$-ray bombardment since ozonation would only surface disinfect.
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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 ...
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1answer
60 views

Would non-human carnivores be able to survive on farmed foods?

Certain creatures that are considered carnivores are non-obligate carnivores and are technically omnivores (such as wolves/dogs). How different is the potential digestive ability of these species ...
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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 ...
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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.
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101 views

What beetle is this?

I've found it in my kitchen. It seems to be that he flew through the window from the street. The country is Russia.
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387 views

Do male marsupials have a pouch?

Do male marsupials have a pouch, or is it a female organ only (like the womb)?
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69 views

Do cockroaches eat their shells after moulting?

I recently witnessed a cockroach eat its shell after it moulted. Do cockroaches always do this?
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161 views

How do pet gecko lizards pose a health risk?

Does having gecko lizards living in your house pose any health risk?
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239 views

What medical and commercial proteins are made using genetically modified animals?

Recombinant technologies in micro-organisms being used to produce commercial and medically useful proteins like insulin are fairly common. However some proteins are still produced commercially in ...
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101 views

What kind of arthropod/animal is this?

Can anyone identify this strange creature? I live in a very urban part of Montreal, Canada. It wasn't moving (seemed dead) and although the image is huge, it wasn't as big as it seems (a couple of ...
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300 views

General undergraduate zoology textbook recommendation?

I am very interested in zoology,and I want to study zoology in my spare time. Any undergraduate level zoology text book recommendation?
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Why do ants dig surface paths?

A few days ago I observed a corridor built and used by ants that went over a path in fields: Why do they build it? It seems it doesn't bring any considerable protection from the surrounding ...
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1answer
53 views

Does anyone know what marsupial this is? [closed]

I know what this is a marsupial, but i'm not quite sure which one. Any thoughts?