The biological study of animals.

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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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951 views

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.
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Can I force evolution in a group of cells by removing all the smaller cells?

I actually have algae growing in water in a container. I was thinking if it was possible to filter the water so that all the small cells will be filtered out and only the bigger ones will remain to ...
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110 views

Is it possible to pet/groom birds?

I wonder if it's possible to pet a domestic crow, or an owl. Do birds respond to grooming as cats or dogs, for example? If so, then how does one pet a bird?
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146 views

What kind of caterpillar is this?

I've made a photo using the reversed 58 mm lens and my cropped DSLR: Could you please help? I really don't know where this came from. I found it in Russia.
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216 views

What is the known maximum ranging distance of a bat's sonar?

Bats are known to navigate by using echo-location. How far away can a bat detect an object by its sonar?
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32 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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207 views

Identify this Harvestman

I spotted this guy in Switzerland. It's clearly an Opilione (Harvestman), but I really know nearly enough about this diverse group to be able to identify the species. Sorry, I didn't think to ...
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62 views

Has an artificial symbiotic relationship ever been created?

Have 2 organisms ever been introduced to create a symbiotic relationship that doesn't occur in their natural environment?
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95 views

What is the fastest but not venomous snake?

Is it known which non-venomous snake can attack most quickly? I guess it is a snake that attacks its opponent by bites, and not some kind of constrictor.
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156 views

What is the fastest marine mammal?

When I did a research, most of the sources say that orca is one of the fastest. But I could not find a source that says it is actually the fastest. Some sources say that Dall's porpoises rival orcas ...
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100 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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36 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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79 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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75 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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206 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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294 views

Do all sea creatures that have scales have to have fins?

Do all sea creatures that have scales have to have fins? Do we know of any sea creatures that have only scales without fins? I'm especially interested in fish that have scales but no fins.
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65 views

Identifying internal structures of dissected fish

Note : Images displayed below might be disturbing to some people. I have dissected a fish for the first time ! I have some idea of what some of the structures might be but I am not sure and so would ...
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74 views

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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229 views

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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1answer
48 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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447 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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48 views

Is there such thing as “biological cycles” of activity/performance/etc in mammals?

I'm looking for some information about the cycles of increased/decreased activity, mental performance or endurance that are related to a mammal's age and the time of a season. First of all, I'm not ...
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256 views

Why apes started to contemplate and become altruistic? [closed]

I was asking this first on philosophy forums, but it is suggested, that answer could be found from evolutionary view of point, so here we go: Again my question raised when thinking of myths, their ...
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122 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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91 views

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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51 views

Help with designing the analysis of radio telemetry study [closed]

I was wondering if there are any spatial ecologists out there who can provide some insight on the trouble I'm having with my Masters research. I am looking at the association a bat species to high ...
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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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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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165 views

What insect is in this photo?

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

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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292 views

How to know if a woman is fertile without actually making her pregnant?

How to know if a human female is fertile (can give birth to child in future) without making her pregnant? Any signs, tests?
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366 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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142 views

What kind of insect is this?

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

List of species recently found of economic value

Is there a website or organization cataloging lists of biological species to have been recently found of great economic value? For example, a plant that wasn't of economic relevance a while ago but ...
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Can all mammals swim?

When I checked it seemed trivial to answer: yes, all mammals can swim. But research on the internet provided different information. I found: people and primates cannot swim, but can be taught how to ...
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41 views

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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484 views

What is the difference between these terms: clade, monophyletic group and taxon?

Wikipedia definitions for these terms are pretty similar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clade http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monophyletic_group http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxon They sound like the ...
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120 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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741 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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96 views

Why does temperature shock kill fish?

As is advised with most fish you should avoid sudden changes in water temperature (for example by introducing new water that hasn't been left to come to room temperature). I have, however, never ...
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97 views

What Aquatic Mammal has no Tail?

Found in a waterway in Butte County, CA. First thought it was a beaver kit, but it has no tail. What aquatic mammal has no tail?
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Are Night Parrots (Pezoporus occidentalis) really extinct?

This incredibly rare animal has been reported to be extinct since 1990, however several cases has been raised that night parrot was spotted in the areas of Australia. What is the cause of their ...
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67 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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387 views

What would it take to recognize a deer by its photo?

I am trying to recognize a deer by its antlers or any other means. Elaborating: I was hoping to use their antlers to recognize them but I have heard that most deers shed their antlers every year so ...
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Does cockroach lay eggs in human flesh when they “bite”?

Recently, i have "bite" by cockroach, not only the "bitten" area red and swallowing, and more specificly, it have a big hole in that area, when i clean it with hydrogen peroxide solution, something is ...
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1answer
77 views

To what extent do domestic animals understand language?

Note: Please tell me to re-post this in Cogsci or pets if this doesn't belong here. Hello All, I want to know how dogs or other domesticated animals differentiate between normal chat and a command. ...
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1answer
76 views

Do cockroaches eat their shells after moulting?

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