The biological study of animals.

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204 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 ...
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33 views

How much do crocodiles eat`?

How much do crocodiles eat? The closest I found to an answer was on german wikipedia, where it says that adult nile crocodiles eat "only about 50 full meals a year." While interesting, without knowing ...
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1answer
24 views

What nocturnal animal sound am I hearing in the trees in Maine?

Every year, during late summer nights (usually around 9:00 pm) in Maine, I hear a noise coming from high up in the trees. The trees I hear it from are mostly maple or conifer, but where I live there ...
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67 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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160 views

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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117 views

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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29 views

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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22 views

Why is it called Nematocyst “Battery”?

I was reading an article on Hydra where they mentioned Nematocyst Battery. I know that Hydra and other Cnidarians have nematocyst but why are they called Nematocyst 'Battery'?
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84 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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46 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 ...
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27 views

Founders of Cnidarian colony

I know that colonial Cnidaria enlarge their colony by the means of asexual reproduction and sexual and asexual reproduction can originate individuals that will be part of other colonies. ...
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74 views

How did birds become so intelligent?

I have seen a Discovery Channel video of a bird throwing stones in a pot to raise the water level so it is able to reach and drink it. A similar experiment in this paper from Current Biology shows ...
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60 views

What fraction of biomass is cultivated by humans? Have we increased the number of large animals?

What fraction of "large animals" are domesticated by humans, compared to those who are wild? I mean cows, pigs, sheep, horses, dogs, cats in relation to comparable wild animals. Different measurements ...
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64 views

How did the roar evolve from snort?

When Lions roar, or Dogs show aggression, they do that snort-roar thing. They're producing sound while inhaling. How did that come to be when all (?) other forms of sound involve exhaling? Humans do ...
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49 views

What's behind the amazing colour combinations in pests & insects?

What's behind the amazing colour combinations in pests & insects ? Do this colour combination signals any character/ poison of the pest/insect ?
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85 views

Where are the gastralia (stomach ribs) attached?

Crocodiles and some dinosaurs have a second set of ribs between the sternum and pelvis called gastralia. Where are the gastralia attached to the rest of the skeleton?
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122 views

Green feather-like formations in tap water - what is it? (with pictures)

These things recently appeared in my tap water Copenhagen Denmark, this summer 2013. They are very small, and have a feather like structure. I've called the water supply, and they thought that it was ...
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42 views

Do animals demonstrate target practice (i.e., playful accuracy behavior)?

Do animals demonstrate any sort of accuracy-motivated play? (please provide examples!) Consider most human sports and related hobbies. Most share the common goal of hitting a target or being ...
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20 views

What are some examples of small-scale physical phenomena that snakes fear?

What are some ways to use technology to repel snakes? One idea I was researching is low-frequency sound, which I read snakes could "feel" even though they are naturally deaf. Would this be a viable ...
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19 views

Protostomia classification and characteristics

While working through a practice test for my final exam in an introductory organism biology course, I came across this question: Protostome characteristics include which of the following? a) a ...
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23 views

Is pathlength correction vital to be included while quantifying protein

I am trying to quantify protein in serum/plasma samples. I have carried out biuret assay for my samples using microplate reader. While performing I encountered the doubt whether I should include ...
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24 views

Which metazoans host anaerobes to aid in digestion? Do any host oxic digestive tracts?

Many metazoans (e.g., mammals, insects, earthworms) have anoxic digestive tracts that are colonized by anaerobic microbes that perform portions of digestion of food for the host. Some other metazoans ...
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37 views

Identification of this species of Toad

I found a short -- 20 second/s -- video on the Internet of a toad and I wonder if anybody could identify it? Here is the hyperlink; http://weloveshortvideos.com/post/132047898162 It was posted on a ...
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30 views

Is lung size/shape a factor in long-continuous running of animals?

Apart from other factors, does lung shape/structure/size play any role in long-continuous running animals. Is there any similarity in lung structure between different long-continuous running species? ...
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80 views

is a musk deer's musk pod in its abdomen, its back, or its bottom/rear end?

I have read/heard different things about where a musk deer stores its perfume Some links say it stores it in its abdomen just in front of its penis. Others say the rectum(by which I suppose they ...
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49 views

Was this snake behaving abnormally?

This morning, I walked out front of my house to find a medium-sized snake balled up on my driveway beneath my motorcycle. I spotted it from my porch so I didn't walk any closer. I believe it was a ...
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14 views

How much oil you can get from a dead animal

This is purely speculative, but is there a formula to calculate how much oil you can get from 1 Kg of biomass? I've seen bioreactors in farms where they put dung, vegetable scraps, and all bio ...
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21 views

can the regeneration mechanism be used in humans that of lizards?

how lizards grow their tail again like is there any mechanism or specific protein which helps them to regrow their tail? can the mechanism of regeneration be used in humans to regenerate our limbs is ...
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41 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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197 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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42 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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21 views

List of non-native terrestrial molluscs in California?

I'm looking for a list of non-native terrestrial molluscs in California. Ideally, I also need the date each taxon was introduced into California. Can anyone help?
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147 views

The skin color of bonobos

Why is that bonobos skin color on the areas not covered by hair are dark throughout life unlike the chimpanzee?
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49 views

Does sleep duration vary for animals based on time of the year?

I'm interested in the sleep patterns of wild animals, that still use sun for controlling their biological clock. Animals entrain their biological clock to the day/night cycle using light as the ...
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12 views

examples of animals losing their brains when losing their mobility

I'm looking for examples of animals with central nervous systems that start out mobile, but then become permanently attached to something, and lose their brains. One famous example is that of some ...
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36 views

What are the identifying characteristics of a Jellyfish?

I was walking down the beach today (Wollongong Australia, near Sydney) and saw this Jellyfish washed up on the beach. Then I saw another. I wanted to work out what type it was but didn't know ...
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33 views

Locomotion of Hydra: Why Somersaulting is better than Loop locomotion when moving to a larger distance?

In my text I read about different types of locomotion of Hydra where I learnt that generally Hydra moves by somersaulting and it is faster than 'Loop locomotion' which Hydra uses for moving to a large ...
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12 views

Are there more efficient forms of sleep among mammals?

We know that there are 4 distinct sleep stages among humans and we need about 5 sleep cycles each night. With this in mind, are there mammals that achieve their sleep needs more efficiently? I'm ...
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13 views

what is the role of gills in terrestrial crustaceans?

I would like to know why do crustaceans that live on land have gills. I know that gills play pivotial role in respiration, but terrestrial crustaceans use tracheal lungs.
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24 views

Can immortality of the Turritopsis dohrnii be learned or adapted by other species?

I have heard that Turritopsis dohrnii is a species of jelly fish which is immortal, as it can grow old and then back to growing young. So, how is it possible? Can other species (marine and/or land) ...
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41 views

small cocooned caterpillar found on bathroom door - what is this creature?

This larvae / moth has what seems to be a smooth gray cocoon which looks like a piece of cement. It can carry this cocoon with it as it crawls, and it can come out from both ends of this cocoon. ...
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11 views

Do other primates get gallstones?

Which non-human primates actually get gall stones the same as humans? All, some, none? References appreciated! Anecdotes about pet primates with gallstones also welcome if you have any...
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13 views

Steppe peoples method for healing horses' wounds

There was a custom among nomadic steppe peoples like Huns or Mongols of putting pieces of saltened meat in wounds of their horses to make them heal faster. Did it work? If so, how? I suppose it has ...
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32 views

Why do I often see male robins with female robins?

Even when it is not breeding season for robins I still often see male robins with female robins. But why? I know that the male robin often chirps to find female robins within his territory. I also ...
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63 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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57 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?
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68 views

How important is the womb's environment?

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