The biological study of animals.

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Why do men have nipples?

I'd be tempted to call nipples in men vestigial, but that suggests they have no modern function. They do have a function, of course, but only in women. So why do men (and all male mammals) have them? ...
8
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2answers
257 views

What are the frequency ranges of most marine mammal vocalizations?

I am trying to determine a list of frequency ranges into which marine mammal vocalizations fall. Ideally, I would like a list showing where the most popular marine mammal vocalizations fall, followed ...
8
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1answer
911 views

Do any animals other than humans undergo menopause?

Do any animals other than humans undergo menopause? Also, is there any difference between animals in captivity and animals in the wild as regards menopause? For example, even if menopause has been ...
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2answers
209 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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2answers
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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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3answers
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How do baby animals that primarily subsist on cellulose get their initial gut flora?

In the case of mammals like giraffes and koalas, is that bacteria common on the plants they eat so when a baby starts to try to stick something besides its mother's milk in its mouth, it can't digest ...
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3answers
234 views

How do we know that dinosaurs were related to lizards and/or birds?

Do we clearly know what the living closest relative of the dinosaurs are? And connected to the first question, in scientific manner how do we know these relationship between extinct species and living ...
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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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3answers
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Small worm living in some kind of cocoon, what are these animals?

I am curious what animal is this. It is/lives inside some kind of cocoon, about 1 cm in length. They are attached to walls and to the ceiling, but sometimes they fall off. Inside the structure there ...
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4answers
261 views

What was the reason for some plant and animals to become giant in course of evolution?

The dinosaurs, mammoths, giant plants etc are known to be bigger than modern animals. I wonder why they had been lived and why they are not living now? I really don't know much but is it something ...
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3answers
301 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
167 views

What evolutionary mechanism caused felines to develop purring?

And why can some felines roar while others meow?
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1answer
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Fish “coming back to life” after being frozen

I've encountered a clip on Youtube showing a goldfish thrown in liquid nitrogen and immediately after to normal water and swimming normally. In the explanation to the clip it says: For everyone ...
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1answer
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Will the “frog in boiling water not jumping out” work on warm blooded animals

There is the famous saying about a frog that is put in water that are slowly boiling will not jump out until it's too late. I realize it happens because of the frog's cold blood that adjusts to the ...
6
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1answer
197 views

Effect of spaying on the female cat organism and health

Veterinarians often recommend spaying a female cat if the owner does not want her to have kittens. What does biology know about the effect of spaying on female cats' organism and health (apart from ...
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3answers
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Species with reproduction barriers that can both reproduce with a third species

To start with, I do not have a sound knowledge in biology or any formal education in the area. I was told that one of the definition of a species is a reproductive barrier, which means that if two ...
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3answers
545 views

Why is there a difference in the rotation of the tail fin in fish compared to marine mammals?

I've been thinking about this one, but I can't seem to find what causes this difference. All fishes that I've seen have their tail fin positioned vertical: But all the marine mammals I know have ...
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3answers
681 views

Is the appendix a vestigial structure in all vertebrates?

In humans the Appendix is a vestigial organ. Does it serve no apparent purpose in all the vertebrates that have one?
6
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1answer
180 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 ...
7
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1answer
221 views

Could an animal with an open circulatory system survive in a near-zero gravity environment?

An animal such as a crayfish relies on gravity to keep its circulatory system running. If it is turned upside down, the gravity works against the system, suffocating the animal. Now if, instead of ...
8
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2answers
276 views

What's the name of this bird?

This morning I saw a bird that I have never seen before. Since it was quite big, I'm very interested in knowing its name. The bird was quite big, at least 2-3 times of a common blackbird. The wings ...
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2answers
427 views

Why is blood pressure higher the more distal an artery is?

Why is blood pressure generally higher in more distal arteries?
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2answers
350 views

Why do pandas have a high probability of giving birth to twins?

According to the BBC documentary "Wild About Pandas", about half of panda birth result in twins. Why do they have such a high probability compared to other mammals? What factor(s) control that ...
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2answers
213 views

Why do animal teeth get darker if exposed?

I was wondering why the teeth of cats (And dogs, as far as I know, plus possibly some other animals or even humans) get darker if they are exposed to air / light? Example: (See the lower end of ...
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2answers
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How do insects breathe?

Do ants even breathe? If they don't, how do they stay alive? On what resources do they depend upon to stay alive? How are they different form mammals?
8
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1answer
796 views

How strong is spider silk?

Spider silk is pretty darn strong and all sorts of comparisons are made to steel. I'm more curious about the various moduli of spider silk and how it compares to other materials. What is the Young's ...
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3answers
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Fetal development, gastrulation and embryonic disc

I am completely confused by the images circulating on the internet of human gastrulation. First, lets see how it happens in deuterostomes. This image depicts the process: (image is from Wikipedia) ...
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1answer
268 views

What did pangolin scales evolve from?

Were they developed anew or a heritage from fish?
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2answers
102 views

Is there a term for tool use in animals?

Is there a technical/scientific term that scientists use to refer to tool making abilities found in certain types of animals? Reference ...
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2answers
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Why is it that cats can jump so high for their size, compared with humans?

My cat is about 1' high at the shoulder, and I am a little over 6', but my cat can easily jump onto something as high as I am. That is 6x it's height. If a cat can do this, then Why can't I jump up ...
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4answers
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Do cows produce milk excessively?

Do cows produce more milk than it is required for their calves? It seems like cows are able to provide milk all the time (all year around). Is it so? Or do they, like other mammals, produce milk only ...
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1answer
489 views

How do porcupines keep from pricking each other while mating?

How do porcupines keep from pricking each other while mating? It seems like they would constantly be scratching each other.
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1answer
2k views

How many mice are on the Earth?

We are 7 billion human beings on the Earth. But how many mice are there? How would you estimate such a number?
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1answer
452 views

When do most mammals mate?

Is one part of the day more prevalent then other when it comes to mammal animals mating? Is there an aggregating study that has been done to see if these living beings in nature mate mostly during day ...
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1answer
202 views

Which organism has the sharpest vision?

Which organism has the sharpest vision in terms of distance and spectrum. Please propose any other useful measure.
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If I put a cup over a spider, and leave it there for a day, will the spider survive?

Will it travel more slowly since it hasn't had food for a day? What if I left the cup there for longer?
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2answers
592 views

What are the trajectories of flying insects?

Many flying insects tend to have very jagged trajectories. For moves of a fruit fly looks like a random walk. Is there any research on the properties of trajectories (e.g. their fractal dimension or ...
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1answer
309 views

How do members of cryptic species know who to mate with?

According to Wikipedia: In biology, a cryptic species complex is a group of species which satisfy the biological definition of species—that is, they are reproductively isolated from each ...
8
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1answer
204 views

Is the squid giant axon the fastest conducting unmyelinated axon known?

The conduction velocity of the squid giant axon can reach 30 m/s. Is there any known example of an even faster conducting unmyelinated axons?
6
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3answers
285 views

Where can I find the common names for the zoology taxonomy?

Forgive me if my question does not belong here or if I'm using incorrect terms, but I'm not educated in biology at all. I'm investigating the workings of the biological classification system. I was ...
11
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1answer
199 views

Are there any pre-Holocene venomous animals?

The novel (and subsequently movie) Jurassic Park featured a dinosaur called Dilophosaurus, that was purported to be venomous and had an ability similar to that of the extant spitting cobra. ...
17
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1answer
207 views

Are there dextral/sinistral higher animals?

For example, almost every dog I've met in my life (more than 20 subjects) uses their right paw touching one while asking for attention. Can it be used as a criterion for calling them dextral? If not, ...
15
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1answer
597 views

Do large animals often evolve into smaller animals?

There are several examples where the largest animals were killed off preferentially due to a major ecological shift: The KT extinction event The Holocene extinction, as well as the major megafauna ...
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2answers
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How do cockroaches resist the effects of ionizing radiation?

Cockroaches are very hardy insects. It is known that, among other things, they are able to withstand bursts of ionizing radiation that would kill a human being. The explanations of this observed ...
11
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1answer
313 views

Examples of animals that co-opt toxins?

It is known that there are animals that acquire toxins through their diet or through their surroundings. The examples I know of include butterflies stocking up on alkaloids/glycosides while in the ...