The biological study of animals.

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What traits make mountain goats so well adapted to mountain living?

I've never really understood how mountain goats manage to survive so well in mountainous regions. I've seen them scale almost sheer cliff faces with apparent ease, and they can almost sprint ...
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19 views

Extiction of non-mammal Synapsida

I am following M.J. Benton's Vertebrate Palaeontology, which explains how many groups of Synapsida were already extinct in the Mesozoic Era, with one obvious exception being the group of Cynodontia, ...
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81 views

Do animals have different taste preferences within the same species?

Humans (especially children...) seem to dislike certain foods or drinks, that other humans seem to like. Common examples are coffee, french cheeses, olives, milk, fish and cabbage. Are there examples ...
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181 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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132 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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Venom Denaturing with Heat

My friend got stung by a stingray yesterday and the lifeguard quickly stuck her foot into hot water (she said the water burned slightly on contact) and remarkably, she was walking without pain in a ...
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23 views

Does increased calorie intake cause increase in libido in humans?

I'm interested in the effect of increased calorie intake on sex hormones and chosen mating strategy in humans. I'm aware that humans have a dual mating strategy - somewhere between pair bond and ...
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135 views

Chart of blood pH across different animal species?

How does blood pH vary across species? I can't find an article or chart listing this kind of information. So far I've found bits and pieces like: Human blood pH is nominally 7.4. 7.4 seems to be a ...
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59 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 accurate,...
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141 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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39 views

Are there insects who can or try to avoid colliding with raindrops?

Some insects are very fast. Does this mean that they are capable of finding a way through falling raindrops without getting wet? Probably they don't do that at all, because riding on a bike or in a ...
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62 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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37 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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125 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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51 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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29 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. Nevertheless,...
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77 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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74 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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74 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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52 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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88 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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75 views

Found an unknown species, whom should I contact?

My father has found a very queer looking insect. He'd been watching it for over half a year on the tree right next to our house and in all this time hasn't been able to find anything like it on the ...
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14 views

Could we restore some animal's muscle structure by it's bone?

Suppose that elephant dies out one day, nothing left to researchers but the fossil. Could fossil infer the existence of large nose? If there is possibility, how exactly should they perform the ...
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20 views

Cells of Zona pellucida

My textbook states: Blastocyst hatches out by lysis of Zona pellucida with the help of the enzyme strypsin, Later the cells of Zona pellucida gradually disappear. We know that Zona pellucida is ...
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35 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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30 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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116 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. Would ...
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38 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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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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36 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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348 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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54 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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19 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 scraps,...
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27 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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49 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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446 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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48 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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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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189 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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51 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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Can someone identify this snail? Thanks

Found in an almost dried out brook in Eastern Massachusetts. This is the lowest the brook has been in anyone's memory.
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Why do horses recycle their endometrial lining while humans don't?

How does not recycling the endometrial lining of the uterus benefit humans (and other organisms that menstruate), while recycling it is beneficial to horses (and other organisms that undergo estrus ...
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How much to larvae eat? (1. general and 2. specifically larvae of the bread beetle stegobium paniceum)

I'm no biologist or anything and thus the question might seem odd, but I couldn't find an answer anywhere on the web. I'm looking for information about how much larvae eat. To be exact I need to ...
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14 views

What did William Harvey discover from experimenting with deer?

On his wikipedia page, I read the following: In particular, Charles' hunting expeditions gave Harvey access to many deer carcasses; it was upon them that Harvey made many observations and ...
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16 views

Do all parasitic worms lack tango receptors on their skin?

I read that the parasitic nematodes lack tango receptors on the surface of their body. Is this true for all the parasitic worms?
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24 views

Body part in motion after decapitation?

I'm sure following video is totally different than of other mammal after their body parts decapitated. In this video apparently, the snake is cut into three pieces. But when we look closer to the ...
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21 views

Germ layer and platyhelminthes

Some introductory biology textbooks state that sometimes the body cavity is formed from pouches pinched off from the endoderm. So, I am interested in understanding what 'pouches pinched off' actually ...
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Does urchin metamorphosis involve two animals?

An urchin larva becomes an adult urchin through metamorphosis. This fascinating documentary about metamorphosis suggests that the urchin larva "dies", being partially eaten by the new individual, the ...
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31 views

Do elephants get thorns out of each other's skin?

I have watched Wild Kratts Elephant in the Room several times where a baby elephant named Thornsley has a big thorn in his foot and is nowhere near his mom. This along with herd members helping each ...
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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 ...