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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). ...


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

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

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 ...


6

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


2

Of course. As you quoted from Wikipedia: It is commonly associated with tiredness, stress, overwork, lack of stimulation and boredom. Insomniacs, because they can't get a good sleep, are more tired and stressed than the others.


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

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

You might want to look at the Danish Data archive: http://www.sa.dk/content/us/about_us/danish_data_archive I have never used their data and I don't know what barriers there might be to accessing it, but the impression I got at a talk by Soren Brunak (http://ctbr.hunter.cuny.edu/Brunak), was that this was one of the most complete databases for studying ...


1

I'm going to hazard turning my comment into an answer.... Even if the answer might be no, you know this is a good thought and there is something there... lets dig a little. Eusociality in evolutionary biology is by many like Dawkins and Wilson pointing to the evolution of sterile castes of animals, which are very closely related to the breeding caste. ...


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

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

I cannot find any definite articles on why there would be a reason for this behaviour other than the same ones that you have mentioned in your article. It could be because it wants to mark its territory or the dog wants to hide its scent. One point that I would also like to add is force of habit. As Charles Darwin (the father of evolutionary biology) had ...



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