The biological study of animals.

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Are humans the only animal that requires “clean water”?

I've seen a number of animals - dogs, cats, squirrels, ducks and geese, etc drink from puddles, some of them were muddy, others had green flora growing under water. Same goes for lakes and rivers. A ...
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2answers
155 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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1answer
62 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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1k views

How does a woodpecker not give itself concussions?

How does a woodpecker go about smacking it's head into a tree without killing itself?
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66 views

What Aquatic Mammal has no Tail?

Found in a waterway in Butte County, CA. First thought it was a beaver kit, but it has no tail. What aquatic mammal has no tail?
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1answer
19 views

Why does temperature shock kill fish?

As is advised with most fish you should avoid sudden changes in water temperature (for example by introducing new water that hasn't been left to come to room temperature). I have, however, never ...
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1answer
101 views

Identification of this Salamander

This salamander was found in a small forest pond somewhat near the Oregon coast. In the area are many rough skinned newts and a small number of another type of salamander that I still can't find the ...
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1answer
58 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. ...
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1answer
115 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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1answer
56 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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2answers
161 views

Species of this White Dove

I visited a bird enclosure close to where I live in Australia. The enclosure had several different species. The birds that stood out most were these doves sitting right along the fence railing, making ...
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50 views

Identifying structures from anterior end of dissected prawn

Note: This image might be disturbing. I want to know what the red and the black structures (directly posterior to the red structure) are. I guess it's the heart.
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1answer
45 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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35 views

List of Asymmetric Animals

The (male) Fiddler Crab is a famous example of an animal whose morphology exhibits neither mirror nor radial symmetry: (Image source) List of animals featuring external asymmetry is a Wikipedia ...
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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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1answer
35 views

Which of the following demonstrates the pattern of development in Greylag Geese?

Which of the following demonstrates the pattern of development in Greylag Geese? {Please give specific answers, which among the following gives the best available demonstration?, If needed, have a ...
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2answers
87 views

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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0answers
32 views

What's the smallest organism that can produce voice?

What's the smallest organism (animal, insect, or any living creature) that can produce voice. And not just make sound, but has an organ to specifically to create sound, like how us mamals have vocal ...
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4answers
1k views

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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2answers
54 views

Maintaining purebred pedigrees and how to lessen chance of getting disease?

Many breeds of dogs are known for a high incidence of genetic disorders. German shepherd and Saint Bernard dogs are predisposed to developing a crippling condition called hip dysplasia. Q: What ...
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52 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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1answer
10k views

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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0answers
164 views

Do non-human animals suffer from insomnia?

And how do we know whether they do or not? ยง 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
62 views

Why are hens so different from other birds? [closed]

Hens lay many eggs during their lifetime (at least, I don't know of one which can lay more eggs) and they can't fly. Compared to other domestic animals it seems to me they are the least capable of ...
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1answer
87 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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1answer
120 views

What marine animals exhibit deep hibernation/aestivation?

Do marine animals exhibit deep hibernation/aestivation as land-based creatures do? If not, Why?
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Is the number of legs in myriapoda determined entirely by the genome?

Myriapoda (comprising, among others, millipedes and centipedes) can have hundreds of legs (Illacme plenipes having up to 750 legs). Interestingly, the number of legs (or leg pairs) appears to differ ...
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1answer
47 views

Why are some scorpion species fluorescent under UV light?

It's known for some scorpion species such as Pandinus imperator, Heterometrus Petersii etc. to be shining under UV light. That makes them easier to capture and collect by humans. Is there any ...
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1answer
83 views

Are Night Parrots (Pezoporus occidentalis) really extinct?

This incredibly rare animal has been reported to be extinct since 1990, however several cases has been raised that night parrot was spotted in the areas of Australia. What is the cause of their ...
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Why are fly not scared when landing on a monitor with changing graphics?

I have been wondering why would insects in general, not be scared when important changes happen on your monitor where they have landed... If you move even just a finger, they are scared to death and ...
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2answers
65 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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44 views

Help Needed Identifying Corvids

I'd appreciate some help identifying these three corvids I photographed in Austria during the Summer: I know identifying corvids can be difficult, I'm not an ornithologist, just an amateur bird ...
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1answer
37 views

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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3answers
455 views

How best to count bees entering and leaving a hive to measure hive activity?

This is my first question here, so I apologize for all mistakes I could have possibly made. I'm a high school student in East-Central Europe and I need to complete some research for a biology contest ...
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How important is the womb's environment?

Background Talking about one particular phenotypic trait, the total phenotypic variance $V_p$ is decomposed into genetic and environmental variance for this trait, represented by the symbols $V_G$ ...
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718 views

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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2answers
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translation of scientific names [closed]

I am trying to determine the "translated" meanings (not seeking the common names) of different insects, (presently some bees and wasps). Does anyone know of a printed or internet resource that ...
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2answers
134 views

What kind of bird species is this?

Every now and then I got a glimpse of this bird which I'm pretty sure is not native to Northern Germany where I live. There are at least three of these birds around but I usually only see something ...
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1answer
22 views

How do cats shed their fur?

Dogs shed their fur twice a year, so I assume this is the same with cats. What is the mechanism whereby the change in temperature (assuming this is what causes the shedding) leads to the falling off ...
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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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Transitivity of Species Definitions

There are many definitions of "species" which usually take the form Two individuals are of the same species if ... An implied (rarely made explicit) property of any sensible species definition ...
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Identifying internal structure of dissected prawn

Note: Some of the images might be disturbing. I have dissected prawn for the first time. Would like your help in identifying some structures . This is the dissection of the posterior part of the ...
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2answers
132 views

Does artificial high intensity light damage permanently dark ecosystems?

Popular science features on wildlife typically capture camera images using natural light, or high-speed exposures. This is not possible where the ambient light is extremely poor. E.g. Caves, Undersea ...
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71 views

In an open circulatory system, how is blood moved?

In the mollusks section, the powerpoint mentioned that gastropods and bivalves have an open circulatory system. According to the note, this means that the blood does not travel in vessels. How, then, ...
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2answers
66 views

Can I force evolution in a group of cells by removing all the smaller cells?

I actually have algae growing in water in a container. I was thinking if it was possible to filter the water so that all the small cells will be filtered out and only the bigger ones will remain to ...
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3answers
223 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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3answers
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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: ...
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3answers
337 views

Why are there ecosystems?

Why would things self-organize in such a manner? I'm a mathematician and I have no baggage in ecology or biology. If the question is too broad maybe someone can point me to formal sources where this ...
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41 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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1answer
32 views

List of the biggest companies that work in selective breeding

Looking at this question, I've been wondering, What are the biggest private companies which work in both animal and non-animal selective breeding? Let me know if Biology.SE is not appropriate for ...