The biological study of animals.

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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
110 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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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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2answers
549 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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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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118 views

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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87 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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96 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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3answers
10k views

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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2k views

Are there cats with black skin?

Some mammals can have a black, pink or spotted skin, depending on race - see for example humans or pigs. But I recently learned that this is not the case with mice. Even black furred mice have pink ...
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2answers
345 views

What is this bug?

I recorded a video of this bug: https://youtu.be/0eoWfHLEo7A I counted 8 legs, the front legs are a little curved. The drawing on the flat back is dark and looks like the image of Jesus with some ...
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390 views

Regarding the kingdom Animalia, which phylogenic tree is more common: Molecular Comparisons or Body-Plan Grades

In the picture below, which I obviously do not own: it depicts two different phylogenic trees, one which is based on molecular comparisons and another one which is based on body-plan grades. My ...
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3k 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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1answer
426 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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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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48 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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308 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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5answers
391 views

Theoretically, is domestication of (virtually) any animal possible?

Looking at ones that manage well alongside us human animals, such as dogs and cats, we see that this is possible for evolved, distant animals to have heritable, preferable traits around people. ...
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1answer
163 views

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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1answer
90 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
423 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
147 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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2answers
12k views

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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51 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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1answer
384 views

Why does the sex of the parent species determines the species of a hybrid offspring

I've read a little about hybrid animals, and have been amazed by the fact that the sex of the parent species determine the species of the offspring, in some hybrids. A male horse and a female donkey ...
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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
839 views

What is this beetle and what are the strange antennae for?

I found this wonderful creature in my yard (I live in the south of France) last night: It was about 2-3cm long, with a hard carapace and wings. It also made loud hissing noises when agitated. I ...
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1answer
2k views

Why do pigeons kill their chicks when touched by a human?

I used to have many pigeons around the house. If by chance one of the chicks fell out of the nest, we used to put it back using gloves. Usually, if we would touch the chicks with our bare hands, ...
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3answers
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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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2answers
180 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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1k 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
185 views

Why do insects avoid being on their back?

I have noticed that when insects are placed on their backs, they tend to turn themselves over quickly or else appear to be in distress. Is there a physiologic, anatomic, or adaptive reason why supine ...
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1answer
36 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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239 views

What's the name of this caterpillar?

It was found in the state of Virginia, on the east coast of the United States.
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74 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.
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124 views

What's the name of this beetle?

I found him in a kitchen located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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1answer
126 views

Why do these earthworms stay between the road lines?

This article shows pictures of earthworms during floods in Texas. The worms ball up, supposedly in order to survive the floods. Can anyone explain the phenomenon a little? I can't seem to find ...
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1answer
342 views

Do species other than humans have distinct daily feeding patterns?

I have a general interest in complex adaptive systems and I have found that nature and the organisms within it is a perfect natural case of a rich adaptive system with a lot of possibilities for ...
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1answer
69 views

Consuming animals by slaughtering vs injecting barbiturates?

In "Least painful way to die" we get an answer ... Companion animals (e.g., dogs and cats): injected barbiturates are recommended Laboratory animals (e.g., mice and rats): injected ...
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1answer
126 views

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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3answers
434 views

How is the blood volume of a living organism measured without killing it?

How is the blood-volume of an organism measured without killing it? Note:The blood-volume of an organism is defined as the total volume of blood present inside that organism.
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1answer
255 views

What is the convention for log notation in biology?

I'm reading through some oldish (1980s) papers on length-weight relationships in fish and crustaceans. Many report log-log relationships without specifying whether this is natural log, base 10, etc. ...
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140 views

Mosquito physics

What are the environmental limitations of mosquitos I should know of if I want to avoid getting bitten? For example: How fast should I walk in order to be moving too fast for one to bite me? Can a ...
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1answer
211 views

Why are Oxyuranus snake species named Taipan?

It is interesting, why are Oxyuranus species called Taipan. The snakes are Australian but taipan looks like of Chinese origin word (it means big shot - important person).
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2answers
139 views

How animals know which is carnivorous and herbivorous?

Deer ran away from tiger or cheetah, but not from giraffe or zebra. where did deer learn this? How animals know which is carnivorous and herbivorous?
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1answer
68 views

Limited space for animals - how is that bad?

I am writing an English paper wherein I have to appeal for change in the way humans treat wildlife. I was initially given a situation wherein I took a ferry in a certain area and saw a dead baby ...
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2answers
870 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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1answer
181 views

Does the DNA of a tadpole change after it becomes a frog?

Does the DNA of a tadpole change after it becomes a frog? In other words what changes take place as a tadpole becomes a frog, and does this metamorphosis affect the DNA in any way? I would appreciate ...
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3answers
5k views

Why do parasites sometimes kill their hosts?

It's bothered me for a while now. I understand why a parasitoid would do this, as it only temporarily requires the host, and that not all parasites kill their hosts. There seems to be no evolutionary ...
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1answer
298 views

Human bone density and Brown Bear bone density?

It is stated on this website that the density of a Grizzly bear bone is ten times our own. And since I am not into biology at all, I am confused as I don't understand the meaning of bone density here. ...