The biological study of animals.

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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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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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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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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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341 views

Body size, what are the evolutionary trade-offs?

Background Considering just the "Kingdom Animalia" branch of organisms. It is clear that bigger does not necessarily mean better - there is large variation in body size... From the 94 µm long ...
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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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125 views

How can a drone be male?

A drone bee is male and is the product of only a queen bee. How is it that the drone bee can be male. I know that a drone is produced by an unfertilized egg, but this does not explain where the two X ...
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611 views

Are these cats calico?

Calico cats are cats that have 3 fur colors and are always female or males two X chromosomes. I've seen many cats that will have 2 fur colors (one of them is usually white) and another, third, color ...
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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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Which class of animals constitute the largest biomass?

I found here that species-wise it is cow. But, collectively, insects may exceed even mammals. So, which class of animals constitutes the largest biomass?
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Which Darwin book (and today edition) is illustrated by his own drawings?

I am interested in buying Charles Darwin books and mostly drawings (nowadays editions, I am not a collector). Please, can you advise in which book and which edition I can find the most of his ...
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122 views

How to know the gestation time of pregnant mice?

In lab mice I wish to establish how many weeks my animals are into their pregnancy. Is there some way?
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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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283 views

What kind of insect is this?

Found in Russia in the kitchen. It is about 3 mm long.
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Species identification - greenish blue ocean worm (nudibranch?) in Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

We found this on a beach at the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia in March, 2016 and cannot identify it. It's some sort of worm-type creature with many legs and bluish back about 15cm long. The legs ...
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2k views

Why does cucumber skin kill ants?

I recently read that cucumber skin is an effective repellent for some ants: Set out cucumber peels or slices in the kitchen or at the ants' point of entry. Many ants have a natural aversion to ...
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319 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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Unknown animal - What could it be?

It's the first time I use this website and I really need help because I'm totally stuck Now I'm in school, but I'm trying to prepare for the Olympics During the preparation, I found the issue on the ...
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231 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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288 views

How do animals handle light refraction in different media?

For a human, when diving underwater, everything is blurry because of the water's different refractive index compared to that of air, which we are accustomed to. How do animals, like turtles, seals or ...
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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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Which primates can swim underwater?

I saw a documentary awhile back and they were profiling a certain species of monkey which regularly swims underwater. I can't recall which species it was but they said it was rare for primates to do ...
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Endothermy in different species

Birds and mammals are both endothermic, meaning they metabolically generate the heat they need to keep their body within a certain temperature ranger. But birds are closer relatives to reptiles than ...
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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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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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275 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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Why do insectivorous birds migrate?

Living in northern latitudes, I have always wondered why do migratory birds invest so much time and energy to travel twice a year the vast distances between their breeding grounds and wintering areas. ...
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572 views

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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246 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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169 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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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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314 views

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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Why do humans seem so much more prone to disease than animals? [closed]

It seems like when we observe animals in the wild, the occurrence of noticeable disease in adult individuals is much lower than in humans. Why? There are a number of reasons that this could happen, ...
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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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221 views

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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122 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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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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299 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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Is the knee locking mechanism present in animals?

We study in human anatomy that when the knee is in full extension, the femur slightly medially rotates on the tibia to lock the knee joint in place. This reduces the work required to be done by the ...
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How do animals with fur get enough sunlight to produce vitamin-D? [duplicate]

How is vitamin D synthesized in animals with fur; how do the cells get enough sunlight? If vitamin-D cannot be synthesized because of limited sunlight reaching the skin, do these animals have to ...
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Do ants use something similar to the honey bee “waggle dance” to instruct the rest of the colony where to find a food source?

In the 20 years since we built our home, we've just recently had our first ant infestation. I'm familiar with the fact that ants leave scent trails to find their way back and forth between the ...
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Are there animal species with sex of an offspring determined by sex of preceding offspring?

For instance, if an animal's first offspring is male, then all subsequent offsprings will be male too (the sex of first offspring could be determined randomly). Does it happen in any species?
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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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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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601 views

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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Why are cancer rates low in large animals?

Large animals generally have more cells and live longer than smaller animals. For example, bowhead whales live up to 200 years and weigh up to 100 tonnes, as opposed to humans (living ~71 years and ...
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252 views

What insect is in this photo?

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

Can someone identify this bird?

We recently found a nest in the back garden and a little bird inside. Can you help us identify it? The nest is quite small like the bird so we are wondering whether this is the parent or a baby chick. ...
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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' ...