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39

A quick search on Web of Science yields "Polyphasic Wake/Sleep Episodes in the Fire Ant, Solenopsis Invicta" (Cassill et al., 2009, @Mike Taylor found an accessable copy here) as one of the first hits. The main points from the abstract: Yes, ants sleep. indicators of deep sleep: ants are non-responsive to contact by other ants and antennae are folded ...


28

The short answer is apparently yes. Studies on sleep in insects date back to papers published by Phil and Nellie Rau in 1916 and 1938. Hussaini et al. (2003) showed that sleep does affect memory formation in honey bees. They showed that retention of extinction learning is significantly reduced in bees that were sleep-deprived. More about sleep in honeybees ...


22

1. Sheep are fearless 2. English common names are misleading when it comes to the genetic differences between goats and sheep You posted a picture of Mountain Goats (Oreamnos americanus), which are a different genus than Domestic Goats (Capra aegagrus). Both Capra and Oreamnos are members of the Subfamily Caprinae, as are Domestic Sheep (Ovis aries). ...


13

Cats and dogs can both view tv screens & monitors ... though their viewing experience is a little different to ours thanks to differences in cone structure leaving them color blind and giving low acuity. Both species have lower levels of color vision than humans. Cats see slightly more color (in the blue green and yellow end of the spectrum) than dogs ...


10

Crows are omnivorous, and will eat almost anything they find or can kill. In this case the prey looks like a Yellow-Shafted Flicker.


9

Yawning is contagious in humans, which means that, in general, it is more likely that a person yawning after perceived (by sight, hearing, or both directions) yawning issued by another person. The frequency of infection varies throughout the day, with a peak in early morning and late evening. A recent study conducted by Ivan Norscia and Elisabetta Palagi ...


8

Among the great apes, chimpanzees and gorillas live in very hierarchical, male-dominated clans that are often in violent conflict with other clans. Bonobos, on the other hand, lead very peaceful lives, and are female-dominated, using sexual contact as a manner of communication to reduce tension within and between groups. Orangutans are largely solitary ...


8

You should also bear in mind that the fact that they are great climbers does not make them fearless. For example, if I were to find myself floating 500 meters above the ground, I would be terrified. The fact that birds do not appear to be scared in the same situation does not make them fearless, it just makes them fliers. Similarly, I am sure a fish would ...


8

The idea that we only love our family according to biology is not true, but its also not clear what people mean by the word 'love'. There are many ways to interpret that word! Hope this doesn't totally suck any romantic ideas out of you, but metaphysical concepts of love and romantic ideas of love are not always relevant when you talk about biology. A ...


7

Disclaimer: I'm an infectious disease modeler, and generally pretty skeptical of "We modeled X like an outbreak!" claims, because many are just an exercise in curve fitting. Given that, the answer is both "Yes" and "No". "No": Murder as an act really isn't transmissible, and if its not transmissible, it can't be modeled as an infectious disease. "Yes": It ...


7

"How come most animals never seem to evolve over millenia?" I guess the word "seem" in your question should not be disregarded. You seem to assume that cockroaches (or most animals as you say) did not change much the last tens or hundreds thousands of years. But what do you know about that? Have you actually reviewed many research that estimate the rate of ...


7

Flies use any object they can find as a landmark. The flies patrol well-defined airspaces underneath landmarks like lampshades. ... Male flies approach a landmark from below and, in the absence of other flies, settle to patrol an airspace close to the landmark. A second male approaching the same landmark chases, or is chased away by, the patrolling fly ...


6

The reason for their behavior is that exactly the fact that even though some of them do indeed get killed, most of them survive -- what you have said. The deer cross the river because that allows for the better continuation of the species rather than if they had stayed on the original side of the river. You could think of it this way: If there was a crowd ...


6

Yes, it is a common behaviour and is called necromone signaling (Yao et al 2009, see references in paper for many examples), and is probably used to avoid predators, parasites and disease. The chemicals used are often similar (unsaturated fatty acids), and seem to have an old evolutionary history (~400 million years). Many groups of species can also detect ...


6

In the world of physics, you can distinguish between random motion (e.g. thermal Brownian walk) and directed motion (called ballistic: think of a cannon ball) by studying the mean square displacement of the object: you'll be able to fit this displacement as a function of time by a linear law if it is random, and by a quadratic one if it is directed. ...


5

You will be hard-pressed to find any scientific data on this question. Psychology in humans is already a difficult study, at times failing to demonstrate results with real scientific rigor. When studying animal psychology, you face another substantial barrier - language. Although some primates have been taught to communicate with sign language, the best of ...


5

Aldridge et al. (2011) show a correlation between facial phenotypes and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in a sample of 8-12 year old boys. They studied two groups of boys, 65 that had been diagnosed with ASD and 41 who had not. They collected 3D images of the faces and looked for similar patterns among the two groups. They found a significant association ...


5

The species of wasp you're referring to is Glyptapanteles. I'm not sure which virus it is. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14053-zombie-caterpillars-controlled-by-voodoo-wasps.html?feedId=online-news_rss20 Is it possible? Of course, you have an example! Though, there is a small caveat. Some of the offspring sacrifice themselves to induce the ...


4

For these two phenomena to create the same feelings all of the time, the physiology that engenders these feelings would have to be the same. All I can do is point out that these have been separate and distinct even in yeast and bacteria and invoke a likelihood argument. The impulse for hunger is almost as old as living things. In bacteria, cyclic ...


4

The fungus releases toxins, but how exactly this alters behavior is unclear. You can read more here. Pathogen manipulation of host behavior appears to have evolved a long time ago, and cordyceps is not the only pathogen that acts like this.


4

I think it is a necessary test of self-awareness. In order to make the connection that "I am the being in the mirror" and that every action I do will be reflected in the mirror (or, vice versa, every action I see the being in the mirror take is a reflection of my own action), one must first have a concept of self. One requires a constant present-tense (at ...


4

It looks like it is trying too threat. Source: Individual differences in scanpaths correspond with serotonin transporter genotype and behavioral phenotype in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)


4

That is a threat face. Barbary macaque threat faces often appear with a brow raise, lowered head, and an o-shaped mouth, sometimes with and sometimes without a vocalization. Given the context you described it is not surprising the girl received a threat. *Based on personal research experience


4

What do you call an "evolved trait"? To my knowledge, the concept of "evolved trait" does not exist in evolutionary biology. Here are various definitions I can think of that could apply to the expression "evolved traits". Heritable Traits Does evolved traits mean heritable traits? A trait may be heritable or not. See for example my answer to this post to ...


4

Probably not. An immediate defense against predators requires an immediate response. The sting of Hymenoptera like the wasps and bees has an immediately painful reaction. In addition, in the eusocial (colony-forming) species, multiple individuals typically contribute to defense of their nest. One sting may not deter a predator or invader but dozens or ...


3

It is called a frisson, and actually, there has been a study about it, available here. The frisson is kind of the same you get from cold weather, fear, or... well, other things not suitable to discuss if not knowing how old people reading this might be. Actually, they found that this works best if you include familiarity. In their case, asking study ...


3

Sexual arousal, in and of itself, is pleasurable in a way that hunger is not. As to why this is, perhaps visual stimulation and anticipation improves the sexual function of animals more than it improves eating. One possible explanation is sperm competition. Either arousal state can be induced by visual stimuli. However, the respective hormones work ...


3

This is a hard question to respond to. Many things might make someone grumpy. There are also individual temperaments, making grumpy hard to quantify - a Grumpy to one person might barely be a blip on another individual's scale. Hormones like cortisol reflect stress, and can make people in general irritable, but I doubt any one combination of hormones ...


3

As the previous answers clarify, all organisms have heritable traits that may be manipulated through selective breeding. It is the pragmatics that can be prohibitively challenging. From an (zoo)archaeological point of view, few animals have actually been domesticated, and only recently in our species' history. The dog is an unusual case, perhaps domesticated ...


3

is this guess proven or affirmed by science? It is a debated topic. Such altruistic behaviors (toward non-kin) are extremely rare evolutionarily, with some theorists even proposing that they are uniquely human [1]. Experimental evidence indicates that human altruism is a powerful force and is unique in the animal world. [...] Current gene-based ...



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