The biological study of animals.

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How important is the womb's environment?

- Background - Talking about one phenotypic trait, the total phenotypic variance $V_p$ is decomposed into genetic and environmental variance for this trait, represented by the symbols $V_G$ and $V_E$ ...
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Are domesticated animals really “more intelligent,” or is that a myth/misunderstanding?

Often do I hear people speaking of how the domestic house cats are more friendly, less ferocious, less savage-like, and smarter and/or than their distinct but equivalent feline-species friends, like ...
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656 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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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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How was the cama's life expectancy computed?

A cama is a hybrid between a male dromedary camel and a female llama. The first cama was born on January 14, 1998, yet on the Wikipedia page it is said that a cama's life span is 30–40 years. How was ...
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Are there specific features of birds that cats/small predators are attracted to?

I've recently heard a podcast, in which a professor describes one of the theories as to why we like abstract art. In his talk, he mentions an experiment with seagull chicks, in which the seagull ...
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Can a human acquire a memory of an animal? [closed]

I would like to know if it's possible for a human to acquire an animal memory. I mean, animals store their memories in their brain, right? And so do we, humans, store our memory. So, is it possible ...
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836 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 ...
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Are there any mammals whose males can feed with milk? [duplicate]

Are there any mammals whose males can feed the offsprings with milk from the breasts?
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301 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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213 views

Why do people and animals stretch out their bodies and what is causing this behaviour?

I noticed that my cat which is only 6 months old has started stretching its body from time to time. Then I thought that this motion doesn't seem very natural from another cat's viewpoint, so my cat ...
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106 views

Why do chameleons move back and forth?

I was always curious, why do chameleons have this strange gait?
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47 views

Why did many odd-toed ungulates become extinct?

There were a lot of odd-toed ungulate animals in the ancient times but now just few of them survived. What is the reason for that?
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Do mosquito repellent sprays work on all insects?

I would like to know the mode of action of mosquito repellent aerosols. Are these specific to mosquito or are other insects affected too?
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53 views

What kind of animal can do this?

When I was moving to another house, I found this plastic bag on the top of the cabinet of my old house. It looks like someone cut it all with a scissor, but no one have access to my bedroom, and it ...
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Parazoa as part of sewage plant

in our zoology lecture our prof was talking about parazoa, the sponges, and that they are getting more and more in the focus of the biotech research. As he described there way of getting food, as ...
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393 views

How do marine mammals control buoyancy?

Presumably, as a whale or seal dives, its lungs get compressed by the increasing water pressure, and it gets less buoyant. Under this model, for a given amount of air taken in at the surface, the ...
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60 views

Animal swimming styles

Can a frog swim on its back, or it can use only the classic frog style? Does any (not specifically marine) animal exist with many different swimming styles, just like humans?
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Why is there a difference in the rotation of the tail fin in fish compared to marine mammals?

I've been thinking about this one, but I can't seem to find what causes this difference. All fishes that I've seen have their tail fin positioned vertical: But all the marine mammals I know have ...
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Are fish and reptilian scales homologous?

Wikipedia: Fish scales are dermally derived, specifically in the mesoderm. This fact distinguishes them from reptile scales paleontologically. So aren't reptilia scales also dermally derived?
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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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About the plight of Elephants and efforts to conserve them? [closed]

Poachers are only after the ivory horns right? I read this story from the New York Times ( I think) of saving a Rhinocerous by some Park Rangers and a Vet. ( forgive spelling) ; they tranquilized the ...
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57 views

How are chickens affected by light?

When I was young, I was told never to put a fluorescent light in a hen house because it continuously turns on and off. Extra lighting is used, as far as I know, to 'extend' a chicken's day. Human eyes ...
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71 views

What insect is this on the photos?

What insect is this on these photos? Found in Russia in the living room.
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What is the scientific and common name of this bug?

Captured this under my stereo microscope. Much beautiful than appearing on my camera sensor. Can someone help me identify it and explore more? Also is it having a compound eye ?
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Why are there no animals with a length greater than 30-40 meters or with a mass greater than 200 tonnes? [duplicate]

The biggest and heaviest aquatic animal is the blue whale: 30 meters long and a mass of 200 tonnes. The biggest and heaviest terrestrial animal was a Sauropod (plant-eating, long-necked dinosaur): 40 ...
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72 views

Book-recommendation: Ethology

I am looking for a book that covers the following topics in ethology: Behaviour Sensory filtering, reponsive-ness, sign stimuli, learning and memory, instinct, habituation, conditioning, ...
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How do insects breathe?

Do ants even breathe? If they don't, how do they stay alive? On what resources do they depend upon to stay alive? How are they different form mammals?
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188 views

Why can we breathe only oxygen?

Plants has the capacity to take in both CO2 and oxygen, that's during day CO2 and at night oxygen. Why don't humans have such a capability?
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Why do small organisms make faster movements than big organisms?

I hesitated to ask this question because it seems so obvious and intuitive. However, I am not able to explain this tendency. Background It seems to me that small organisms make faster movements than ...
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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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What is this woodlouse doing?

I picked an apple from the ground, it was wet with dew and a woodlouse was stuck to it, with its back against the apple. When it got loose, it started flexing its "tail" like this for a while. Why?
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Cross-integration of puma subspecies populations

A major concern of conservationists in south Florida is the population of native Pumas, the Florida Panther. Until recently, it was thought that the Pumas were a genetically distinct subspecies, ...
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Help Needed Identifying Corvids

I'd appreciate some help identifying these three corvids I photographed in Austria during the Summer: I know identifying corvids can be difficult, I'm not an ornithologist, just an amateur bird ...
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108 views

How do animals lose heat?

I remember being told as a child that dogs stick their tongue out to stay cool, because they can't sweat like us. This made sense to me. But only a couple of days ago I suddenly thought: What about ...
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Do octopuses have better eyes than humans?

I've read that unlike humans, octopuses have eyes "designed" the "right way", i.e. with the nerve fibers behind the retina, thus getting rid of the blind spot we humans have as well as theoretically ...
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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 ...
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Can ants sense food from a long distance?

I recently had ants find and then swarm to a food container that I put down on a desk, and I'm curious as to whether an ant would have needed to get lucky, discovering the food after crawling up the ...
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387 views

Excretion of small kangaroos while in the pouch

How is the excretion of small kangaroos done when they are in the pouch of their mother, fastened onto her teat? My question is what happens with the products; do they accumulate in the pouch?
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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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Where I can find information about the study of animal vision?

I read a lot of articles on the internet about how dog see the the world. But I can't find the source of these study. I want to know how did scientist setup the experiment to find out animal vision. I ...
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28 views

Do snail shells increase the number of rounds with age?

Do snail shells increase the number of rounds with snail age?
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What is the smallest scale at which blood vessels, nerves and other structures are deterministic?

Super simple question, but I can't find the answer on the Internet (and I'm in a foreign country so the library is not English.) As the title says, what is the smallest scale at which blood vessels, ...
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977 views

Is there any relationship between heartbeat rate and life span of an animal?

Is there any relationship between heartbeat rate and life span of an animal? Do they belong to a cause-and-effect relationship or are they both caused by some phenomenons or a common cause?
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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?
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Book recommendation on selective breeding?

I am looking for a good book that gives a nice overview of the science and technics of selective breeding. I am particularly interested in the use of population genetics to support decision in this ...
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714 views

Help me Identify this Spider

This red spider has set up a web in my yard, in South Eastern, Texas, United States: The spider itself is about an inch long (2.5 cm), and is predominantly red to brown in color, with red legs, and ...
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What organs are absolutely needed by the human body?

The title is my question: what organs are absolutely needed (fatal if injured/removed) by the human body and perhaps animals in general? I'm not asking which organs are mechanically replaceable, but ...
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Leaves not liked by herbivores

I at times have many goats grazing in our locality. Recently a few cows were seen too. I just offered one of the cows a few leaves from Jasminum sambac plant growing in our garden. The cow smelled and ...
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What fraction of biomass is cultivated by humans? Have we increased the number of large animals?

What fraction of "large animals" are domesticated by humans, compared to those who are wild? I mean cows, pigs, sheep, horses, dogs, cats in relation to comparable wild animals. Different measurements ...