The biological study of animals.

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Do animals get sick from eating dirty food or eating off the floor?

Humans have very strict tradition of hygiene, such as washing hands before eating, using utensils, and in general keeping as much distance between food and dirt as possible. At the same time, most ...
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115 views

Green feather-like formations in tap water - what is it? (with pictures)

These things recently appeared in my tap water Copenhagen Denmark, this summer 2013. They are very small, and have a feather like structure. I've called the water supply, and they thought that it was ...
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1answer
218 views

What kind of insect is this?

Found in Russia in the kitchen. It is about 3 mm long.
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1answer
216 views

Raphide toxicity in Pothos plant

Recently I found out that the common houseplant Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is toxic to cats and dogs due to the presence of "insoluble raphides." I have a lot of these plants around my house and my ...
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2answers
533 views

Goats are so fearless but sheep are not. Is there any genetic difference responsible?

As you see in the picture goats (not only wild goats) are so fearless, but I never saw any sheep do this. What is the source of this difference in behavior?
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1answer
384 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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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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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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286 views

What is this insect I found in Russia?

I found this in Russia. It is approximately 2cm long.
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why water is a proof of a life? [duplicate]

I read that NASA looks for water on Mars or other planets as a sign of a life. I wonder why scientists look for water as proof of a life? isn't there any animal that drinks another liquid like ...
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1answer
61 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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2answers
216 views

What insect is in this photo?

Found in Russia, in the kitchen. It is about 1–2 cm length.
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1answer
270 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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683 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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1answer
127 views

Is there an instinct-driven body language for birds?

Over the last year or so, I've been observing house sparrows, because they are so prevalent in the northeast US cities. I noticed that a lot of sparrows, even in different cities seem to have very ...
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3answers
312 views

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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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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1answer
34 views

Information and image of Genus Acesina

I am searching for image and information, like distribution etc of the genus Acesina. The Taxonomic tree is: ...
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574 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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0answers
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Living organisms with properties similar to both plants and animals? [duplicate]

Is there any example of currently living organisms that shows close resemblance to both being a plant and an animal? What is the plant with the closest possible resemblance to animals, and What is ...
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1answer
72 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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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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1answer
404 views

What is the name of the appendage that mantis shrimp use to rub their eyes?

In this short clip, you can see the mantis shrimp using some sort of feathery arm/claw to rub its eyes. Looking at a diagram here, it appears possibly that it's using maxillipeds. Someone with ...
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1answer
103 views

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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463 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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1answer
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Why does ostrich meat look and taste more like beef than chicken?

Some time ago I tasted ostrich meat, and what was amazing to me was that the meat very much resembled beef, much more than it resembled chicken, turkey or duck meat. And even more than lamb and pork ...
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1answer
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Is it true that oral sex exists in non-human animals?

For example, outside of humans, do other species of animals engage in oral sex, or any oral stimulation of others' genitals purely for pleasure, not any cleansing habits, etc.? Basically, what I am ...
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311 views

What flying insect is this?

Found in Russia. Approx. 7 cm.
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3answers
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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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1answer
166 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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1answer
232 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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2answers
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Can any species be bred selectively/engineered to become as diverse looking as dogs?

I've done some research and it appears that dogs are the most diverse looking single species of mammals. The questions that interest me is - are dogs special in respect to genes/gene activation ...
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1answer
112 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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1answer
312 views

Do non-human animals suffer from insomnia?

And how do we know whether they do or not? § If sleep is a physiological need, it seems weird that we become unable to fulfill on demand even in the absence of any obvious physical issues. We would ...
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1answer
704 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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What beetle is this?

I've found it in my kitchen. It seems to be that he flew through the window from the street. The country is Russia.
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1answer
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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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1answer
79 views

Do cockroaches eat their shells after moulting?

I recently witnessed a cockroach eat its shell after it moulted. Do cockroaches always do this?
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1answer
374 views

How do pet gecko lizards pose a health risk?

Does having gecko lizards living in your house pose any health risk?
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356 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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3answers
166 views

What kind of arthropod/animal is this?

Can anyone identify this strange creature? I live in a very urban part of Montreal, Canada. It wasn't moving (seemed dead) and although the image is huge, it wasn't as big as it seems (a couple of ...
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2answers
739 views

General undergraduate zoology textbook recommendation?

I am very interested in zoology,and I want to study zoology in my spare time. Any undergraduate level zoology text book recommendation?
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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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1answer
72 views

Does anyone know what marsupial this is? [closed]

I know what this is a marsupial, but i'm not quite sure which one. Any thoughts?
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1answer
431 views

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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3answers
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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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1answer
321 views

How do animals/plants change for each season?

The question pretty much sums it up. How do animals/plants change for each: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter? A detailed explanation on distinct behaviour and appearance changes would be nice.
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2answers
349 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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Why are there no wheeled animals?

In physics, "almost everything is already discovered, and all that remains is to fill a few unimportant holes." (See Jolly.) Therefore, on Physics SE, people are veering off into different directions: ...