Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

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). ...


11

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 ...


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 ...


7

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

"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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


2

This seems to be rather impossible to answer! Very fundamental laws of nature are rather found in physics, mathematics or philosophy than in biology. The theory of evolution is generally considered as a field that brings light to the whole science of biology. T. Dobzhanski famously said: "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" So I ...


2

Shigeta brings up the question of altruism which Richard Dawkins famously explains in the context of evolution in The Selfish Gene. This is probably the easiest way to translate feelings of love into biology. EO Wilson has also addressed the idea of kinship and altruism, providing arguments on both sides of the issue at this point. He was an early champion ...


2

Music and Emotions The most difficult problem in answering the question of how music creates emotions is likely to be the fact that assignments of musical elements and emotions can never be defined clearly. The solution of this problem is the Theory of Musical Equilibration. It says that music can't convey any emotion at all, but merely volitional ...


2

All phenotypic traits have some part of the variance which is explained by the environment and some part that is explained by the genes. The heritability is then defined as: $$H_N = \frac{V_{genetic}}{V_{phenotype}} = \frac{V_{genetic}}{V_{genetic}+V_{environment}+V_{interaction. gene.environment}}$$ where $V_{genetic}$ is the Variance in phenotypic ...


1

The question of homosexuality and its role in nepotism is interesting. According to this wiki article, less than 10% of the population is homosexual. If you consider that homosexuality makes human eusocial because homosexual do not reproduce but help their brothers and sisters to reproduce, then you would have to consider any species where a few percentage ...


1

aside from the latter option, why haven't any differences in animals'(except humans) markup, morphology, intelligence, DNA, behavior, or any habits changed over thousands or (possibly millions) of years? What evidence is leading you to that conclusion? For horses, example. (From the talkorigins article): The first equid was Hyracotherium, a ...


1

This is a tricky question. First, evolutions tends to be slow, alsthough there have been recent examples of very fast evolution as well. So for most evolutionary processes we are not long enough present to see them either happening or see the outcome. Therefore its also hard to say that no evolution is happening - see your cockroach example. How do you know ...


1

In general, animal communication contains both "cultural" aspects and genetic components. As you suggest, the cultural aspects vary more across geographies and times. The genetic components might vary as well, with genetic differences among different populations, but you'd expect them to be more conservative than the cultural aspects. To make the matter ...


1

This seems to be a piece of pseudoscience commonly seen these days. The truth is that this effect has never been statistically observed. From the Skeptics Stack Exchange site: Ivan Kelly, James Rotton and Roger Culver (1996) examined over 100 studies on lunar effects and concluded that the studies have failed to show a reliable and significant ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible