The biological study of animals.

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What is this insect I found in Russia?

I found this in Russia. It is approximately 2cm long.
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Do dogs have something different about their physiology that allows them to pant without hyperventilating?

I was wondering this as I considered how effective panting would be for humans as a means of cooling.
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Why is it that cats can jump so high for their size, compared with humans?

My cat is about 1' high at the shoulder, and I am a little over 6', but my cat can easily jump onto something as high as I am. That is 6x it's height. If a cat can do this, then Why can't I jump up ...
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Species of this White Dove

I visited a bird enclosure close to where I live in Australia. The enclosure had several different species. The birds that stood out most were these doves sitting right along the fence railing, making ...
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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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Homologies to insect wings

All winged vertebrates have wings which are homologous to each other and to the forelimbs of the non-winged vertebrates. But what about insect wings? Are all insect wings homologous, and are there any ...
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160 views

Is there such thing as Animal non-verbal body language?

Have there been any studies done on the animal use of their bodies to signal, communicate or express their emotions, particularly to members of other species (ex: humans)? I've been observing a very ...
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507 views

Did dinosaurs have more than one brain? If so, why?

I once remember reading (15 years ago) that dinosaurs had two brains. One for their head and another one for their digestive functions. What is the current opinion on this theory? Has more evidence ...
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104 views

Why are there so many sex determining systems in animals

There are several sex determining systems in animals. In mammals XY = male(except in rare cases where SRY crosses with genes on the X so that it is the reverse) and XX = female. In some birds it is ...
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164 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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713 views

Is there a relationship between efficiency of cellular metabolism and warm-blooded-ness?

My BIO 101 book states that when human cells convert glucose to ATP, the process is only approx 35% efficient, and much of the potential energy is lost as heat. However, that heat is useful to us in ...
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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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336 views

What makes an animal/species suitable for domestication/training?

Humans have domesticated all manner of creatures during the course of their civilization - dogs, horses, several types of cattle, varieties of birds, and perhaps others too. A prerequisite for an ...
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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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50 views

Burns' “To a mouse” - what species of mouse?

What's the most likely mouse species Robert Burns is referring to in his poem "To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough". Burns farmed near Ayr, which is on the Firth of Clyde in ...
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237 views

Why is Portuguese man o' war considered a colony?

The wikipedia entry on the Portuguese man o' war says: ... the Portuguese man o' war is ... not actually a single multicellular organism but a colonial organism made up of many highly specialized ...
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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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Fetal development, gastrulation and embryonic disc

I am completely confused by the images circulating on the internet of human gastrulation. First, lets see how it happens in deuterostomes. This image depicts the process: (image is from Wikipedia) ...
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Is the theory of evolution being disproved by bats?

For some species the Darwin's theory evolution makes perfect sense. I can easily imagine how, for example, the giraffe has evolved to its current appearance: the natural selection was favoring ...
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759 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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330 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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264 views

What did pangolin scales evolve from?

Were they developed anew or a heritage from fish?
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631 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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183 views

Why would deers keep crossing a river full of crocodiles while some of them have been killed?

I recently watched a clip on Discovery Channel, where I saw deers crossing a river full of crocodiles, ignoring the fact that some of them would have been killed doing so. What could be an ...
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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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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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What limits the size of fish compared to marine mammals?

The largest extant fish species is the whale shark (Rhincodon typus). With a length of 13 meters and a mass of about 20-30 metric tons, the whale shark is relatively small compared to the largest ...
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Are humans the only animal that requires “clean water”?

I've seen a number of animals - dogs, cats, squirrels, ducks and geese, etc drink from puddles, some of them were muddy, others had green flora growing under water. Same goes for lakes and rivers. A ...
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How do sharks and other fish conserve and gain water in marine environments?

With the osmolarity of the average vertebrate being around 300mOsml, and salt water having an osmolarity of 1000mOsml, why does the water from the shark not leave to the salt water around it? I ...
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Does culling badgers restrict the spread of bovine tuberculosis?

The British government has announced that it plans a large-scale badger cull which they argue are implicated in the spread of Mycobacterium bovis - so-called bovine tuberculosis. Any cattle 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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Will a completely removed cat whisker grow back?

I just accidentally pulled out, while playing, my cat's whisker entirely, follicle and all. I feel terribly as I know she is a kitten and whiskers are rooted deep in a place rich in nerves. I'm ...
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137 views

How does sex differentiation work in Paracerceis sculpta, the sexually tetramorphic isopod?

Paracerceis sculpta is a marine isopod species known for its unusual reproductive strategy: female: medium-sized; lives in harems run by an α male α male: large; keeps a harem of females β male: ...
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159 views

Is there a way for a 19th century scientist to prove that the octopus doesn't revive?

Say a sophiscated scientist in the 19th century noted that applying soy sauce on a dead octopus leads to movement of the legs, as a result of the voltage differences resulting from the salt in the soy ...
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intravenous (IV) in the tail vein of an anaesthetized mouse

I trained myself to do intravenous injection on live mice. However, on anaesthetized mice you don't see the flux of your product showing that your injection was successful. In the same way, on live ...
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Small worm living in some kind of cocoon, what are these animals?

I am curious what animal is this. It is/lives inside some kind of cocoon, about 1 cm in length. They are attached to walls and to the ceiling, but sometimes they fall off. Inside the structure there ...
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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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216 views

Sexual selection in cats or other animals

I was wondering if you could answer some of my questions regarding sexual selection in cats (or any other animals). I would like to apologize beforehand for my incorrect term use. When it comes to ...
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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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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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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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How do I save a coffee damaged wasp? [closed]

I found a wasp in one of my coffee cups about 1 hour ago. There was barely any coffee left but it had managed to get itself pretty much drenched in coffee. I took it out. Put it on a piece of paper ...
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Why is the frog genome so much larger than a fish's?

As we have heard in the summaries of the human ENCODE project, 80 per cent of junk DNA appears to have an essential function. Many fish have a genome with only one tenth the size of a usual vertebrate ...
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691 views

Difference between mice and rats

What is the actual biological difference between mice and rats? Are they actually the same thing with two different names depending on appearance (are they all mice for instance and we call the larger ...
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95 views

Color of the Fur coat of Polar bears

Recently I was playing a quiz and a question was asked about the color of the fur coat of a polar bear. To my surprise the answer was black. I thought it was yellowish white or creamy. Why so ?
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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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Why are (some) cats attracted by bleach?

(Sorry if this question is only partly biological) I have noticed that several cats (including the one that keeps sleeping in my house), are fond of the odor of bleach (eau de Javel) and chlorine. ...
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108 views

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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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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Why do some animals have 8 Limbs (e.g. Spiders, Octopuses)?

Octopuses have 8 tentacles, spiders have 8 legs. Is there something special about 8? It seems like an animal that needs 360° mobility has 8 legs.