The biological study of animals.

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Can animals like squirrels leave “gifts” or tribute for humans?

I've heard anecdotal reports of squirrels bringing up gifts to a person's house after that person left out food for them. Sounds bizzare and unbelievable, until I actually saw some kind of a nut right ...
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36 views

Why do I often see male robins with female robins?

Even when it is not breeding season for robins I still often see male robins with female robins. But why? I know that the male robin often chirps to find female robins within his territory. I also ...
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2answers
52 views

Do any predatorial animals attempt to appear smaller?

There are many animals that have behaviors or characteristics to make themselves appear larger than they are as a defense mechanism, such as butterflies have large eye patterns on their wings. Are ...
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187 views

What is a subspecies?

Within a species there may be subspecies that are named using trinomial nomenclautre. For example the Grizzly Bear, Ursus arctos horribilis is a subspecies of the Brown Bear Ursus arctos. The ...
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1answer
77 views

Do all mammals have a Ventricular system?

I am familiar with the human Ventricular system that circulates Cerebrospinal fluid. This is needed among other reasons, to suspend the heavy human brain, and for injury protection. Do all mammals ...
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2answers
422 views

Why Egg shell is not called a cell wall?

Egg is a single cell and has a outer hard covering outside inside which there is a cell membrane. Then why isn't the egg shell a cell wall? Is it because no exchange of materials take place through ...
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2answers
119 views

Which primates can swim underwater?

I saw a documentary awhile back and they were profiling a certain species of monkey which regularly swims underwater. I can't recall which species it was but they said it was rare for primates to do ...
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1answer
88 views

What type of jellyfish is this

I have been swimming in the seas around Minorca and saw a jellyfish I had not seen before. I have tried to find it and have (eventually) found 1 single picture of the jellyfish. The problem I ...
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17 views

How much oil you can get from a dead animal

This is purely speculative, but is there a formula to calculate how much oil you can get from 1 Kg of biomass? I've seen bioreactors in farms where they put dung, vegetable scraps, and all bio ...
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27 views

can the regeneration mechanism be used in humans that of lizards?

how lizards grow their tail again like is there any mechanism or specific protein which helps them to regrow their tail? can the mechanism of regeneration be used in humans to regenerate our limbs is ...
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120 views

How to know the gestation time of pregnant mice?

In lab mice I wish to establish how many weeks my animals are into their pregnancy. Is there some way?
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1answer
377 views

Why do men grow facial hair?

Ancestral facial hair. Our closest ancestors, the chimpanzee and bonobo, both grow facial hair around the mouth area. What is noteworthy is that this is the case in both males and females of the ...
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46 views

How octopus develops its imitation skill?

I've watched one documentary about a Mimic octopus which they can imitate another animals in several form e.g. a Lion fish, a Sea snake, a Flatfish, etc. My question is how these octopuses can have ...
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3answers
140 views

How do birds avoid mid-air collision?

Across from me there is a large flick of Pigeons and Ravens that like to nest on the roof. They swoop and dive and fly all over. Sometimes the whole flock lifts off at once. My question is, how do ...
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1answer
146 views

The heart of a Pigmy Shrew beats 1300 per minute then why is it so fast?

A pigmy shrew is such small animal. Even with such fast heart beat their average life span is 1.5 years. So can we consider faster heartbeat not good for health?
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1answer
252 views

What kind of insect is this and what is it doing?

I live in Denmark, Europe and found these 2 insects on a tree. I'm interested in the big fly and have the following questions: What kind of fly is it? What is it doing with the little fly?
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3answers
224 views

Insect identification: white spotted beetle

3 pairs of legs, a pair of antenna, wings absent, compound eye, 4-6 centimeter approx. in size. I found this beetle at my door, in Pune, India.
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2answers
319 views

How did zootoxins evolve?

I've always wondered how toxins in certain organisms have evolved. Particularly, organisms that produce toxins as a deterrent to predators as opposed to organisms that use it to paralyze their prey. ...
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269 views

Why do orcas eat only the tongue of whales, liver of sharks, etc.?

I noticed that although killer whales are clearly the top predator living in the present oceans, some of them appear to be very picky with their meals. After spending hours hunting down a whale, ...
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2answers
54 views

Madrid, Noise by the river: Bird or cricket?

I currently live in Madrid, Spain. In July there was a loud animal near the river, in an out of town area surrounded by grassland, with trees along the river. It's continued into August, though it ...
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1answer
68 views

Identification of a small mammal

Could someone help with identification of this small mammal? Is it a possum? A dormouse? It was photographed in Sukhumi botanical garden, in Abkhazia (west of Georgia, on the shores of the black ...
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1answer
27 views

Endothermy in different species

Birds and mammals are both endothermic, meaning they metabolically generate the heat they need to keep their body within a certain temperature ranger. But birds are closer relatives to reptiles than ...
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1answer
65 views

Are dogs affected by dwarfism?

My husband and I noticed a dog today that looked like a smaller version of a purebred Border Collie, although it didn't appear to be a puppy. It made us wonder if other animal species experience ...
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2answers
104 views

How do animals end up in remote areas?

I was thinking specifically about random marshy water holes on farmers fields. It seems that you can visit just about any one of these and you will find frogs if you look hard enough. They usually ...
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3answers
642 views

Why are lions the only social cats?

We know that almost all cats are solitary. How did the Lions (Panthera leo) end up social animals? Do we have an explanatory evolutionary path describing how the Lions became social while the rest of ...
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1answer
299 views

Why do crabs spit?

Last year I photographed this juvenile Sally Lightfoot Crab (Grapsus grapsus) 'spitting' (click for larger view): I thought I'd look up more information on this behavior, but couldn't find any ...
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3answers
124 views

Do any amphibians start their lives on land?

Most amphibians - at least, all the ones I know of - start their lives in the water (at least, after they hatch). They then spend time maturing before venturing onto land, where they can breed. The ...
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76 views

Is there a mechanism by which mammals lose interest in a partner after mating?

I'm reading the book called "Cupid's poison arrow", which revolves around a rather simple assumption: most mammals, including humans have a genetic program that is responsible for ever increasing ...
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330 views

How do other primates treat their fingernails?

Do all primates have to trim their fingernails in some way, or do some primates' fingernails wear off through natural use? Also, is constant nail growth common to all primates?
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Do domesticated animals necessarily live longer than wild animals? counterexample wanted!

Generally domesticated animals do not need to worry about their food and other predators. They have a lower probability to get sick. However, it seems there is no sharp difference between wild pigs ...
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81 views

Saline solution for animals

A popular "well-known fact" is that all creatures on Earth consist mostly of water (i.e. H2O). Indeed, a liquid called "normal saline solution" is just a solution of 0.9% sodium chloride in distilled ...
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1answer
51 views

Are grasshoppers monogamous?

Noticed two grasshoppers jumping together on the porch, and started wondering if they are monogamous? I am aware they have males and females.
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1answer
173 views

Is it theoretically possible to restore the Tiger population to 100,000?

The current global Tiger population is roughly 5100 according to Wikipedia. With habitat destruction and poaching continuing and no effective improvement in conservation, most likely the Tiger ...
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3answers
2k views

Help identify this worm-like thing

Many instances of this worm-like creature were found in a water system for a mountain cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains of the US, in late June / early July. The water system collects water from ...
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26 views

Do animals commit suicide? [duplicate]

Do we have documented cases of animals purposely and consciously trying to end their own life? What leads to animal suicide, and is it preventable? I've heard mixed answers from various biologists. ...
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1answer
382 views

How can bats hear such high frequencies?

I attended a talk that glossed over some biology as it was talking about a certain protein. The speaker mentioned humans can hear up to, often less than 20kHz frequencies, whereas bats can hear up to ...
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46 views

Which taxonomic classification schemes are most accepted?

Since the taxonomic classification schemes followed by universities around the world are different I wish to know which are the most accepted classification schemes till date concerning the following ...
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225 views

How many animal species are larger than humans? [closed]

I sometimes think about just how huge humans are in comparison to most animals. Even compared to a squirrel, which is really a pretty large organism in the grand scheme of things, humans are hulking ...
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1answer
420 views

Toronto spider identification

I found it in Toronto, Ontario, during early June, 2015. When prodded it seemed to jump around, or at least to move very fast. I can also post a short video of it if needed.
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1answer
72 views

Animal identification (larva)

I found a tiny, white animal in my mouth on the morning of June 28, 2015, in Toronto, Ontario. Luckily I don't seem to have hurt it. I was eating some sunflower and pumpkin seeds at the time. I ...
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1answer
93 views

Can a lizard shed a regrown tail again?

Some lizards are famous for their ability to voluntarily shed their tail to elude predators (Autotomy). After a while, the tail will be regenerated, though with slightly different qualities, as ...
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1answer
89 views

Can kit foxes and red foxes produce offspring?

Can a kit fox (Vulpes macrotis) and a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) together produce offspring? Would such a hybrid be fertile?
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1answer
138 views

Identify this caterpillar

Could anyone try to help identify this caterpillar, there are loads of them all over my garden and I've got three of them in a makeshift caterpillar house. I've had them for about a week and they've ...
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47 views

Best tail for swimming?

I understand that the vertical tails of fish and the horizontal flukes of cetaceans evolved due to the spinal movements of their ancestors but I was just wondering which was the most efficient for ...
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21 views

List of non-native terrestrial molluscs in California?

I'm looking for a list of non-native terrestrial molluscs in California. Ideally, I also need the date each taxon was introduced into California. Can anyone help?
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1answer
1k views

What is this droplet of liquid that comes out of a mosquito?

I have been looking at pictures of different species of mosquito and several times I came across pictures where the mosquito seems to be secreting some kind of fluid. In the pictures one can clearly ...
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2answers
965 views

What kind of beetle is this?

I live in Denmark, Europe and I found this insect wandering around in my garden the other day. It's some kind of beetle but i dont know what kind it is or the species. The beetle could also fly and ...
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2answers
167 views

Can carnivores survive on a (processed) vegetarian diet? Why or why not?

There are many differences in for example the digestive system between carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. It seems that in certain kinds of species adaptability with respect to diet is possible. ...
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1answer
32 views

How do Mockingbirds find each other during mating season?

Since mockingbirds imitate songs of other birds, how do they find each other during mating season? How can they tell it's a mockingbird singing, instead of other birds? Is there something in their ...
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1answer
63 views

What species does this moth belong to?

It was found a few days ago in the state of Virginia, on the east coast of the United States.