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Jul
11
comment Why do chickens not try to get up if laid on their backs?
Sharks do the same thing! I'd link to the Wikipedia article on tonic immobility (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonic_immobility).
Jul
6
comment Application of Latin names for Taxonomy
Goniotrichum is a genus name, which are usually singular nouns -- a name like Homo sapiens means "[a] sapient [adjective] Human [noun]". IMO you would refer to "Goniotrichum species", rather than "Goniotrichums".
Jul
2
comment How many animal species are larger than humans?
EOL knows about (268 species of mammals with a mass >= 80.7kg)[eol.org/… and (5,701 species of mammals with a mass <= 80.7kg)[eol.org/…
Jul
2
answered Application of Latin names for Taxonomy
Jun
23
comment If dinosaurs could have feathers, would they still be reptiles?
I believe the "velociraptors" from Jurassic Park are really Deinonychus, not Velociraptor (the dinosaur on the right). Great point about them having feathers, though!
Jun
19
awarded  Constituent
Jun
9
comment How much heat can a human sustain?
AFAIK the main difference in steam's behavior comes from "latent heat", in which the energy absorbed by the liquid as it changes into gas is released when it changes back into a liquid. But that'll only happen above 100 deg C -> scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=1322
Jun
8
awarded  Caucus
Jun
7
awarded  Yearling
Jun
5
answered Why do insects avoid being on their back?
Jun
5
answered Which tree's root can grow the longest?
Jun
4
comment How can we create a living dinosaur using DNA technology?
Woolly mammoths were around a lot more recently than that. According to Wikipedia, they diverged from the steppe mammoth around 400,000 years ago and didn't start going extinct until around 40,000 years ago. Isolated populations of woolly mammoths are believed to have existed 4,000-7,000 years ago.
Jun
3
comment More general usage of the term 'congener'
Can you give us an example sentence where you'd like to use this term? I'm finding it hard to understand why you wouldn't just use the family or order name itself (i.e., "Tigers, like other big cats, ..." instead of "tigers, like their confamiliars, ...")
Jun
3
awarded  Commentator
Jun
3
comment How to decide which is the correct scientific name for a particular species
For completeness' sake, the Melbourne code is now up at iapt-taxon.org/nomen/main.php
Jun
3
awarded  Quorum
Jun
3
comment Why is it called “Ebola virus disease”, not just “Ebola” or “Ebola disease”?
I notice that a lot of the examples you provide are geographical names. Maybe the convention is to use the name of the disease if there is one (encephalitis, chikungunya) and to use "[geographical place] virus disease" where it's a geographical term to avoid confusing it with the place name (St. Louis, Ross River, Ebola River, the town of Marburg, and so on).
Jun
3
answered Referencing the homologous chromosomes
Jun
2
comment From a computer science perspective, how is DNA compared for various purposes?
DNA sequences are usually compared using BLAST (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BLAST), which breaks sequences into short words which can be searched efficiently. However, that does require having entire sequences around somewhere, which might be a privacy violation.
May
29
comment Has a new functional structure ever been observed arising spontaneously?
@r2d2 I've updated my answer to reflect your point. Don't forget that for most (all?) animals, every individual starts as a single cell, so everything is "just the phenotypic expression of a bunch of stupid base pairs", plus whatever else was contained in that cell.