The biological study of animals.

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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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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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Was the recent “conservation hunt” of a black rhino supported by science?

CNN recently covered a sanctioned black rhino hunt in Namibia by Texan Corey Knowlton, who bid US$350,000 for the license. In the story, he claims that the hunt was actually supporting conservation of ...
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How was the cama's life expectancy computed?

A cama is a hybrid between a male dromedary camel and a female llama. The first cama was born on January 14, 1998, yet on the Wikipedia page it is said that a cama's life span is 30–40 years. How was ...
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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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109 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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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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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 ...
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69 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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50 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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56 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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45 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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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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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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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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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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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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25 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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98 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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Parazoa as part of sewage plant

in our zoology lecture our prof was talking about parazoa, the sponges, and that they are getting more and more in the focus of the biotech research. As he described there way of getting food, as ...
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44 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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What anaconda species/variants/whatever (if any) would be plausible to keep as pets in Europe?

All my life I've had one favorite animal: the anaconda. I used to read up quite a lot of documentation on them, but as time went on, I forgot most of it & haven't really found the time lately to ...
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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 ...
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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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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?
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64 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 $V_E$ ...