The biological study of animals.

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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?
4
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2answers
36 views

How do birds avoid mid-air collision?

Across from me there is a large flick of Pigeons and Ravens that like to nest on the roof. They swoop and dive and fly all over. Sometimes the whole flock lifts off at once. My question is, how do ...
3
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1answer
37 views

Why do men grow facial hair?

Ancestral facial hair. Our closest ancestors, the chimpanzee and bonobo, both grow facial hair around the mouth area. What is noteworthy is that this is the case in both males and females of the ...
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0answers
28 views

How octopus develops its imitation skill?

I've watched one documentary about a Mimic octopus which they can imitate another animals in several form e.g. a Lion fish, a Sea snake, a Flatfish, etc. My question is how these octopuses can have ...
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0answers
41 views
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1answer
33 views

The heart of a Pigmy Shrew beats 1300 per minute then why is it so fast?

A pigmy shrew is such small animal. Even with such fast heart beat their average life span is 1.5 years. So can we consider faster heartbeat not good for health?
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3answers
78 views

Insect identification: white spotted beetle

3 pairs of legs, a pair of antenna, wings absent, compound eye, 4-6 centimeter approx. in size. I found this beetle at my door, in Pune, India.
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1answer
207 views

What kind of insect is this and what is it doing?

I live in Denmark, Europe and found these 2 insects on a tree. I'm interested in the big fly and have the following questions: What kind of fly is it? What is it doing with the little fly?
5
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1answer
58 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
89 views

Is it theoretically possible to restore the Tiger population to 100,000?

The current global Tiger population is roughly 5100 according to Wikipedia. With habitat destruction and poaching continuing and no effective improvement in conservation, most likely the Tiger ...
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0answers
30 views

Why do orcas eat only the tongue of whales, liver of sharks, etc.?

I noticed that although killer whales are clearly the top predator living in the present oceans, some of them appear to be very picky with their meals. After spending hours hunting down a whale, ...
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2answers
308 views
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2answers
226 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
224 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.
3
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2answers
37 views

Madrid, Noise by the river: Bird or cricket?

I currently live in Madrid, Spain. In July there was a loud animal near the river, in an out of town area surrounded by grassland, with trees along the river. It's continued into August, though it ...
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2answers
143 views

Why are lions the only social cats?

We know that almost all cats are solitary. How did the Lions (Panthera leo) end up social animals? Do we have an explanatory evolutionary path describing how the Lions became social while the rest of ...
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0answers
7 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
56 views

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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4answers
5k views

Why we have no enzyme to digest cellulose?

As we know, cellulose is the most abundant polysaccharide in nature. Why don't we have any enzyme to digest cellulose?
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2answers
83 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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4answers
3k views

Why do smaller mammals move intermittently?

I was watching a nice little video on youtube but couldn't help but notice how snappy smaller animals such as rats and chipmunks move. By snappy I mean how the animal moves in almost discrete states ...
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0answers
49 views

Can tree frogs modulate their infrared output?

In Jurassic World one of the scientists said that tree frogs can modulate their infrared output. Are there any real-life frogs that can do this? Is this based on any actual animals, or is it ...
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0answers
36 views

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
68 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
4k 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
41 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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0answers
53 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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0answers
42 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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2answers
175 views

Do animals exist which have great vision, but see only grayscale?

In computer vision the color information is often discarded, as most object recognition tasks seem to work just as well on the greyscale image (even better, because there is less unnecessary ...
10
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1answer
69 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
6k 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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3answers
921 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
177 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 ...
6
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1answer
163 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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3answers
2k 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 ...
7
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1answer
215 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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0answers
24 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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0answers
25 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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0answers
62 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
293 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. ...
4
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1answer
60 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
1k views

What is this droplet of liquid that comes out of a mosquito?

I have been looking at pictures of different species of mosquito and several times I came across pictures where the mosquito seems to be secreting some kind of fluid. In the pictures one can clearly ...
2
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1answer
49 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 ...
7
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1answer
397 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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0answers
44 views

Can Kit fox and Red fox produce offspring?

Can a Kit fox (Vulpes macrotis) and a Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) together produce offspring? Would such a hybrid be fertile?
8
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1answer
122 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 ...
5
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2answers
8k 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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0answers
41 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 ...
8
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3answers
7k views

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 ...
9
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1answer
261 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 ...