The biological study of animals.

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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 ...
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45 views

What is the life span of southern versus northern animals?

How long do wild animals of the northern hemisphere live compared to those of the southern hemisphere and based on their growth span. Particularly large mammals and particularly animals of similar ...
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19 views

Temporal effects on pathways?

I was wondering whether or not there exist certain pathways that are triggered by a temporal signal. We're almost at the winter solstice now. Does animal or plant function involve signals that are ...
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54 views

Can pets catch the cold?

Last night I was drying my cat with a towel after shenanigans in the rain and she sneezed! Questions Can cats/dogs/hamsters or other pets catch the cold? How quickly do they recover?
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The least complex animals with ability to dream

People can dream, dogs can dream, cats probably too when they are sleeping. What about other creatures? Can a bird dream? Do rats have dreams? Are there any studies about that kind of thing? What ...
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1answer
92 views

What are the visual, behavioral similarities and differences between Yellow Fever Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and the Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus)?

The Tiger and Yellow Fever Mosquito visually look very similar. Recognizing the difference is important for tracking and controlling the spread of Yellow Fever, Dengue fever and other diseases. ...
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1answer
168 views

Excretion of various wastes and water requirement

A common fact is that Ammonia, Urea and Uric acid are the most common excreted metabolites and their removal needs varying amount of water, highest for ammonia (hence suited only for aquatic animals) ...
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62 views

Organisms with the most extreme sensory capabilities? (sight, smell, sound) [closed]

Background It is quite mind boggling to imagine what it would be like to be missing sight, sound, touch, smell, taste etc. Question Which organism holds the record for most extreme sensory ...
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369 views

The number of nipples (breasts) a species has?

Only mammals have mammaries and mammary glands. What evolutionary factors determines the number of mammaries (nipples/teats/breasts) a species has? Is it always an even number?
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108 views

Cats, Dogs and Bears - how are they related?

What is the ancestral relationship between cats, dogs and bears? I presume they are more closely related to one another than other paraphyletic clades of mammal. Which came first? What did their ...
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130 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 ...
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85 views

Body size, what are the evolutionary trade-offs?

Background Considering just the "Kingdom Animalia" branch of organisms. It is clear that bigger does not necessarily mean better - there is large variation in body size... From the 94 µm long ...
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83 views

Can anyone identify this caterpillar / cocoon?

This insect is about 0.5 mm in length, so it is very small. It doesn't have legs I don't believe, I am not too good at this but I don't know if it's a worm or more like a cocoon for something. I do ...
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1answer
101 views

Are these cats calico?

Calico cats are cats that have 3 fur colors and are always female or males two X chromosomes. I've seen many cats that will have 2 fur colors (one of them is usually white) and another, third, color ...
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102 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 ...
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63 views

Niche overlap Index

I wanted to use the compana() function from the adehabitat package. I don't really understand the meaning of the data in the ...
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70 views

Praying Mantis (female) put sticky white stuff on wall of aquarium

Anybody know what this sticky white stuff is? She had a foot stuck in it; I had to help her get it loose. Was she purposely gluing herself there (perhaps in preparation for molting), or is she sick? ...
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1answer
325 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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2answers
81 views

Transitivity of Species Definitions

There are many definitions of "species" which usually take the form Two individuals are of the same species if ... An implied (rarely made explicit) property of any sensible species definition ...
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36 views

Are there mice pedometers?

I am seeking to make treatments for arthritis. Earlier, I asked a question about Protocol for measuring stamina of arthritic mice, and I also know that some earlier studies have used pedometers. As a ...
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Function of carapace

Majority of crustacean larvae have expanded carapace drawn out into processes as an adaptation for : a. Protection from enemies b. Planktonic habit The answer given is b but I think it should be ...
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82 views

Why would the Camargue horses have a white coat while the foal have a dark coat?

The current issue of the magazine Lonely Planet India(Oct 2013) presents a photo of Camargue Horses which are white coated and mentions that they are born with dark hair. A search shows that the foal ...
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1answer
62 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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1answer
102 views

Identification of this Salamander

This salamander was found in a small forest pond somewhat near the Oregon coast. In the area are many rough skinned newts and a small number of another type of salamander that I still can't find the ...
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73 views

Fear in elephants

It has been noted that elephants trained for war, as was done occasionally in earlier times, have still shown a tendency to panic in battle much more often when compared to a war horse trained for the ...
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1answer
196 views

Why are urban birds still scared of humans?

I understand that animals are naturally scared of humans because we basically slaughtered every living thing we found in our way for millennia. How long does it take for them to genetically 'forget' ...
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1answer
45 views

Can a chicken's lard become liquid depending on its diet?

On Cooking.se, somebody asked a question about the fat in chicken stock sometimes being liquid and sometimes solid once the stock has cooled. The only answer until now suggests that the difference is ...
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36 views

What's behind the amazing colour combinations in pests & insects?

What's behind the amazing colour combinations in pests & insects ? Do this colour combination signals any character/ poison of the pest/insect ?
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97 views

how much grass does a sheep eat in square meters per day? [closed]

I want to buy some sheeps in order to eat my garden's grass. How much grass does a sheep eat each day ??
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Where are the gastralia (stomach ribs) attached?

Crocodiles and some dinosaurs have a second set of ribs between the sternum and pelvis called gastralia. Where are the gastralia attached to the rest of the skeleton?
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Why we have no enzyme to digest cellulose?

As we know, cellulose is the most abundant polysaccharide in nature. Why don't we have any enzyme to digest cellulose?
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30 views

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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29 views

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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2answers
134 views

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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514 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
103 views

What kind of insect is this?

Found in Russia in the kitchen. It is about 3 mm long.
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143 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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483 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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3answers
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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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574 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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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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109 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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43 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
131 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
157 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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279 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 ...