The biological study of animals.

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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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How do cockroaches resist the effects of ionizing radiation?

Cockroaches are very hardy insects. It is known that, among other things, they are able to withstand bursts of ionizing radiation that would kill a human being. The explanations of this observed ...
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What are the trajectories of flying insects?

Many flying insects tend to have very jagged trajectories. For moves of a fruit fly looks like a random walk. Is there any research on the properties of trajectories (e.g. their fractal dimension or ...
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Why do men have nipples?

I'd be tempted to call nipples in men vestigial, but that suggests they have no modern function. They do have a function, of course, but only in women. So why do men (and all male mammals) have them? ...
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Why do ants live so long?

I was surprised to learn that worker ants in some species live many years. I would have expected a lifespan of a few weeks or months (which is apparently the case for many species). What factors ...
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Are there dextral/sinistral higher animals?

For example, almost every dog I've met in my life (more than 20 subjects) uses their right paw touching one while asking for attention. Can it be used as a criterion for calling them dextral? If not, ...
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How is the blood volume of a living organism measured without killing it?

How is the blood-volume of an organism measured without killing it? NOTE: The blood-volume of an organism is defined as the total volume of blood present inside that organism.
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550 views

Do large animals often evolve into smaller animals?

There are several examples where the largest animals were killed off preferentially due to a major ecological shift: The KT extinction event The Holocene extinction, as well as the major megafauna ...
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How do porcupines keep from pricking each other while mating?

How do porcupines keep from pricking each other while mating? It seems like they would constantly be scratching each other.
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Why do we grow so much hair on our heads compared to our bodies?

I've been wondering about head hair, facial hair in particular. Human males can grow very extensive beards should they choose to not shave - however you do not really see this in our chimpanzee ...
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Why is there a difference in the rotation of the tail fin in fish compared to marine mammals?

I've been thinking about this one, but I can't seem to find what causes this difference. All fishes that I've seen have their tail fin positioned vertical: But all the marine mammals I know have ...
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637 views

Is there any relationship between heartbeat rate and life span of an animal?

Is there any relationship between heartbeat rate and life span of an animal? Do they belong to a cause-and-effect relationship or are they both caused by some phenomenons or a common cause?
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How do insects breathe?

Do ants even breathe? If they don't, how do they stay alive? On what resources do they depend upon to stay alive? How are they different form mammals?
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Do cows produce milk excessively?

Do cows produce more milk than it is required for their calves? It seems like cows are able to provide milk all the time (all year around). Is it so? Or do they, like other mammals, produce milk only ...
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What was the reason for some plant and animals to become giant in course of evolution?

The dinosaurs, mammoths, giant plants etc are known to be bigger than modern animals. I wonder why they had been lived and why they are not living now? I really don't know much but is it something ...
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Are there any pre-Holocene venomous animals?

The novel (and subsequently movie) Jurassic Park featured a dinosaur called Dilophosaurus, that was purported to be venomous and had an ability similar to that of the extant spitting cobra. ...
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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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How do baby animals that primarily subsist on cellulose get their initial gut flora?

In the case of mammals like giraffes and koalas, is that bacteria common on the plants they eat so when a baby starts to try to stick something besides its mother's milk in its mouth, it can't digest ...
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325 views

Why do pandas have a high probability of giving birth to twins?

According to the BBC documentary "Wild About Pandas", about half of panda birth result in twins. Why do they have such a high probability compared to other mammals? What factor(s) control that ...
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Fish “coming back to life” after being frozen

I've encountered a clip on Youtube showing a goldfish thrown in liquid nitrogen and immediately after to normal water and swimming normally. In the explanation to the clip it says: For everyone ...
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How do members of cryptic species know who to mate with?

According to Wikipedia: In biology, a cryptic species complex is a group of species which satisfy the biological definition of species—that is, they are reproductively isolated from each ...
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Do fish break a water molecule to absorb oxygen?

How do fish separate oxygen from H20 & consume it? Do they break the water molecule and absorb the oxygen only?
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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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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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What is the smallest scale at which blood vessels, nerves and other structures are deterministic?

Super simple question, but I can't find the answer on the Internet (and I'm in a foreign country so the library is not English.) As the title says, what is the smallest scale at which blood vessels, ...
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263 views

How can an albatross stay airborne for months?

Albatrosses, of the biological family Diomedeidae, are large seabirds allied to the procellariids, storm-petrels and diving-petrels in the order Procellariiformes. They range widely in the Southern ...
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Examples of animals that co-opt toxins?

It is known that there are animals that acquire toxins through their diet or through their surroundings. The examples I know of include butterflies stocking up on alkaloids/glycosides while in the ...
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How does a jumping spider manage to “jump” on the ceiling?

I just witnessed a small jumping spider jump on some kind of louse or bed bug on the ceiling. How does it do that without falling? I have yet to find a high-speed-camera video of a jumping spider ...
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Why does the butterfly have a cocoon stage in its life cycle?

Why does the butterfly have a cocoon stage in its life cycle? It could have simply grown up within the egg/cocoon, and emerged as a butterfly. Instead it is first an egg, then a worm, then a ...
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What kind of skull is this?

We found this skull on a beach in southwestern Sweden, and are curious as to what kind of animal it was.
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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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Will the “frog in boiling water not jumping out” work on warm blooded animals

There is the famous saying about a frog that is put in water that are slowly boiling will not jump out until it's too late. I realize it happens because of the frog's cold blood that adjusts to the ...
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Species with reproduction barriers that can both reproduce with a third species

To start with, I do not have a sound knowledge in biology or any formal education in the area. I was told that one of the definition of a species is a reproductive barrier, which means that if two ...
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Are there any structures in mammals that are used only by males?

There are examples of structures which only serve a purpose in females, but it seems like the opposite could also be true. Are there any structures which exist in both mammalian sexes and only serve a ...
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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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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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Did animals evolve from plants?

Did animals evolve from plants? Did animals' ancestors have chloroplasts in their cells?
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Do plant-animal cross races exist?

Plants and animals have the following distinct properties: Plants live from solar energy by photosynthesis, they use solar energy to make sugar and oxygen out of carbon dioxide, which gives them ...
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What are the frequency ranges of most marine mammal vocalizations?

I am trying to determine a list of frequency ranges into which marine mammal vocalizations fall. Ideally, I would like a list showing where the most popular marine mammal vocalizations fall, followed ...
8
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1answer
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Why does the gender 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 gender of the parent species determine the species of the offspring, in some hybrids. A male horse and a female ...
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832 views

Do any animals other than humans undergo menopause?

Do any animals other than humans undergo menopause? Also, is there any difference between animals in captivity and animals in the wild as regards menopause? For example, even if menopause has been ...
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Is there any documented evidence for suicide among vertebrates other than humans?

Is there any documented evidence for suicide among vertebrates other than humans? Lemmings not accepted !
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What's the name of this bird?

This morning I saw a bird that I have never seen before. Since it was quite big, I'm very interested in knowing its name. The bird was quite big, at least 2-3 times of a common blackbird. The wings ...
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Why is blood pressure higher the more distal an artery is?

Why is blood pressure generally higher in more distal arteries?
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Is the squid giant axon the fastest conducting unmyelinated axon known?

The conduction velocity of the squid giant axon can reach 30 m/s. Is there any known example of an even faster conducting unmyelinated axons?
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How strong is spider silk?

Spider silk is pretty darn strong and all sorts of comparisons are made to steel. I'm more curious about the various moduli of spider silk and how it compares to other materials. What is the Young's ...
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190 views

Which organism has the sharpest vision?

Which organism has the sharpest vision in terms of distance and spectrum. Please propose any other useful measure.
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1answer
91 views

Predators faking to be not hungry?

I believe that there are predator/prey combinations where the prey can easily spot that the predator is not hungry and will not try to flee from it. I’m thinking, for example, of gazelles who will ...
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Dogs bark at familiar person in Santa costume. Why? Don't dogs trust smell over vision?

Last night 10 humans and 2 dogs spent Christmas together. At some point, one human dissappears for a few minutes and comes back wearing a full Santa outfit. Upon respawning, the dogs start barking ...
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Why do animal teeth get darker if exposed?

I was wondering why the teeth of cats (And dogs, as far as I know, plus possibly some other animals or even humans) get darker if they are exposed to air / light? Example: (See the lower end of ...