The biological study of animals.

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Which organs do cats not eat on their prey?

My female cat is a very active hunter and brings me her prey daily. Except for shrews and birds, she always eats them entirely. This afternoon she brought me this: It was quite large (maybe ...
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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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How do cats survive falling from great heights?

Among mammals, cats are able to land safely when falling from great heights. For example, when compared to dogs or humans they can survive drops from relative large heights. How do they manage? A ...
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Why are canines not nauseated by similar foodstuffs/state of decay as human beings?

I am continually surprised at the items my pet dog is willing to ingest. I understand part of the consumption is driven by nutritional instincts (licking salty liquids such as sweat) or nurturing ...
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219 views

What kind of insect is this?

Found in Russia in the kitchen. It is about 3 mm long.
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87 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. ...
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96 views

I found these skulls in a old bottle in the woods. Can you tell me what they are?

Can you help me identify these skulls I found in an old bottle in the woods?
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431 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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135 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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205 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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386 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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92 views

What's the name of this beetle?

I found him in a kitchen located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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57 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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251 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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429 views

How does the Cuttlefish camouflage itself accurately despite being color-blind?

I have seen/read that the Cuttlefish is able to camouflage itself extremely accurately. I have also seen/read that they are completely color-blind, though see with very high contrast. How does the ...
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69 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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104 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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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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151 views

By What Mechanism can Felines Reverse Diabetes?

To my knowledge house cats (and likely other felines) are the only animal able to go into remission after onset of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. I don't have a reference, this has been by peers in my ...
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514 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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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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Why are killer whales found in the Gulf of Mexico smaller than ones found in the Pacific?

I recently found out that there are killer whales that live in the Gulf of Mexico, but they are smaller than killer whales that are commonly found in the Pacific Ocean. Why is it they are smaller in ...
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94 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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80 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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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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271 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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113 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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97 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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388 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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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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280 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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Why do crabs spit?

Last year I photographed this juvenile Sally Lightfoot Crab (Grapsus grapsus) 'spitting' (click for larger view): I thought I'd look up more information on this behavior, but couldn't find any ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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How can we know or measure pain in animals?

Is there any standard way to know how much pain an animal feels when it gets hurt like when a bird loses it's wing or hen when killed etc. All pain sensation points? Hey I'm new to biology. :)
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712 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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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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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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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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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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1k 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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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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Why do people and animals stretch out their bodies and what is causing this behaviour?

I noticed that my cat which is only 6 months old has started stretching its body from time to time. Then I thought that this motion doesn't seem very natural from another cat's viewpoint, so my cat ...