The biological study of animals.

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Can female Drosophila melanogaster lay eggs without males?

Can female Drosophila melanogaster lay egg without males? I maintain our lab stock but find a line that seems to have all females (or all males). In the vial, I see some eggs laid, but the flies ...
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244 views

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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761 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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141 views

Chickens roosting, is it sleep or torpor?

At night when they roost, do chickens experience a state of sleep (meaning do they move from NREM1 to NREM2, NREM3 and REM) or are they in a state of torpor (reduced metabolic rate and decreased ...
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364 views

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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Why would a mother reject her offspring if it has been “interfered” with by humans?

There was a recent incident at Yellowstone National Park in which tourists placed a bison calf in their vehicle, and that eventually led to the calf being euthanized. The National Park Service issued ...
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406 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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921 views

What happens to an ant colony when the queen dies?

Does the colony collapse? Do workers keep following the last orders? Or can future queens replace the dead one? I'm guessing this might also depend on each specific sub-species.
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Zoology - Help identify the kind of spider

Yesterday, I bought a banana tree (Musa Basjoo) from a local supermarket. Today, I noticed a hive of small spiders on the tree. I do not know where they came from, so I am curious to identify these ...
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526 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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What happens to snakes that swallow rodents as a whole?

As we all know, a few species of snakes swallow rodents as a whole. My question is what happens to the teeth and bones of these animals? Won't they cut into the flesh of the snake and hurt it? Are the ...
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216 views

Are there any other animals that become attached to a non-living object?

Do any animals become psychologically attached to any non-living object that is not useful to the animal for any of its physical needs, like some children do to stuffed animals? Some children are so ...
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176 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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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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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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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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412 views

What medical and commercial proteins are made using genetically modified animals?

Recombinant technologies in micro-organisms being used to produce commercial and medically useful proteins like insulin are fairly common. However some proteins are still produced commercially in ...
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412 views

Why are there ecosystems?

Why would things self-organize in such a manner? I'm a mathematician and I have no baggage in ecology or biology. If the question is too broad maybe someone can point me to formal sources where this ...
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Insect making continuous sound in summers

In deciduous to tropical-deciduous forests and residential places with such vegetation I have found this insect to make continuous sounds all through the day (even in nights sometimes) during the ...
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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.
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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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583 views

What did pangolin scales evolve from?

Were they developed anew or a heritage from fish?
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992 views

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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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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285 views

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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218 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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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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199 views

What's the smallest organism that can produce voice? [closed]

What's the smallest organism (animal, insect, or any living creature) that can produce voice. And not just make sound, but has an organ to specifically to create sound, like how us mamals have vocal ...
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228 views

Is there a DNA test to identify dog mixes?

We adopted a dog at the age of two. Our vet said it was a mix of an Australian Shepherd and Border Collie, which we've told everyone. Based on markings, I think it's likely. I am wondering, however, ...
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408 views

Are tongues red because they contain blood?

Many animals have red tongues, though not all of them - blue-tongued skinks and giraffes come to mind. Are they red because of the blood (and therefore haemoglobin) in them? It sounds plausible, but ...
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154 views

Is there any reason the common housefly continues to return to an area?

This might come off as a really silly question. But I'm wondering (especially in the case of food) if there is any reason a fly would continue to try and sit on top of a piece of food even after ...
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175 views

What evolutionary mechanism caused felines to develop purring?

And why can some felines roar while others meow?
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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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125 views

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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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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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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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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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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How are smell and taste in fish differentiated?

The senses of taste and smell in different fish classes are described as two distinct senses; smell is mediated by the nasal openings, and taste by epithelial taste buds. They are both forms of ...
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(Why) are polar bears more common in Labrador than in southern Greenland?

The Labrador Sea is between Greenland, Labrador, and Qikiqtaaluk: Map source. A Greenlandic source on polar bears states: In Greenland the polar bear lives and breeds in the northernmost parts ...
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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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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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243 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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333 views

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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532 views

How fast can a panda run?

Pandas are going extinct, mostly due to habitat destruction. This leads me to the question: How fast can an average adult panda run? (more specifically Giant Panda)
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Why do snails come out after the rain?

Many times, when there is rain after a long time, snails come out afterwards, and you can see snails and slugs everywhere! I have two questions: Why do they come out after the rain? Where are they ...
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304 views

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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280 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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151 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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431 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 ...