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Questions tagged [behaviour]

The set of actions performed by an organism within a given environment

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1answer
45 views

Has an ape ever drawn/painted something?

I know there are plenty of examples of apes making paintings and drawings, but has there ever been a recorded case of one representing something in their art?
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70 views

Is feeding birds only after a snowstorm helpful or harmful?

We had a very rare snowstorm here which left the ground covered in 8" of snow and trees covered in snow and ice. It'll likely all melt away in the coming days as we have sunny days and temps rise ...
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99 views

Why don't intelligent animals like primates use plastic bags?

I'll be honest here. Although this is a serious question, what made me wonder about it is this comic from Wumo: This question is not specific to monkeys. It applies to animals that live with or ...
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43 views

How much of human's behaviors and preference can be explained by evolution? [closed]

I'm talking about things like the tendency to feel sleepy after eating, avoidance of excrements, general preference for sweet foods, etc. Do all those characteristics have biological or evolutionary ...
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1answer
275 views

How exactly do birds get drunk eating fruit? Fermentation should be anaerobic

The Washington Post article Drunk birds are causing havoc in a Minnesota town. Police say they’ll sober up soon. describes birds becoming intoxicated after eating berries: “The Gilbert Police ...
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2answers
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How can skull size difference alone explain behavioral differences using evolutionary theory?

I just started Robert Sapolsky lectures series on Youtube on Human behavior biology, and on the second lecture, at this point, he is explaining how evolutionary biology can be used to predict lots of ...
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1answer
48 views

Why ravens play with garbage?

Why ravens play with small plastic details and other garbage? Could you explain how this behavior was formed by evolution for birds-scavengers?
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1answer
72 views

Why do (some) cats chase their own tail?

Is this just playful behaviour or are they unaware that it's their own body part ?
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22 views

Honeybee relatedness: workers and nephews

This is my first question on this site. If anyone could help me get to the bottom of it, I would be very grateful. I am currently working on a lecture on kinship in animals. It goes without saying, ...
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0answers
21 views

How do insects recognize their host plants?

Many insects, like butterflies have specific host plants on which they feed or lay eggs. While researching about some butterflies, I found that they lay their eggs on certain specific plants and their ...
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2answers
79 views

Birds brewing beer?

There is a slight bend in the rain gutter next to my window. Over the last 4 years, I observed birds (ravens, magpies and newly doves) to dip their beaks in. I observed ravens to dip what I think was ...
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0answers
33 views

Are wasps attracted to UV light emissions?

I remember seeing a documentary where it was shown that bees and wasps are attracted to UV components of a flower colour (please correct me if I am wrong). Does this mean that they could be attracted ...
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24 views

Efficacy of sonic kangaroo deterrents

Bender (2003) tested the efficacy of sonic kangaroo deterrents. Their device is static (and apparently ineffective). Has there been any rigorous testing of the whistle-like 'kangaroo deterrent' ...
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36 views

Abrupt movements of birds and reptiles vs. smooth movements of mammals

How can it be explained (in evolutionary and/or neuronal terms), that the spontaneous movements of birds and reptiles are seemingly "abrupt" and not so "smooth": Their spontaneous movements seem to ...
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1answer
51 views

possibly unusual spider behavior?

In Cambridge UK there is this spider: I know not what species but it is common - I think they look good. But look at this behavior. What are they doing? I thought malting but do spiders do that? Why ...
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31 views

What do groundhogs and other subsurface-tunnel dwelling creatures do in heavy rains to avoid harm?

I notice groundhogs and many other tunneling creatures in my yard, the same yard which became pretty flooded during heavy rainfall. I don't see wildlife out during rain storms, but not long after, ...
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32 views

Is it possible to guide animals to a new breeding ground?

(This is a question for a book I'm working on.) One of the threats to some animal species is the disappearance of breeding grounds (because of the spreading human population, or for example because ...
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1answer
121 views

Do cows chew in a preferential chirality?

One of the enduring myths in molecular physics, when talking about chirality as pertains the existence of enantiomers and the differences between them, is that the way cows chew is also chiral, i.e. ...
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1answer
58 views

Factors That Would Promote Eusocial Development In Mammals?

What would cause mammals to evolve to be more eusocial, like the naked mole rat did? What advantages does eusociality give in such scenarios?
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Hamilton's rule: When to change the equation?

So, in class, my teacher gave two examples of using hamilton's rule. Let b= 4 and c=2.5. The first was whether altruism would evolve between two diploid full siblings given these values. Since r=1/2, ...
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1answer
23 views

Does the repellence of an insecticide affect its efficacy (measured in insect mortality)?

I am currently working on assessing the efficacy of a suspected insecticide on a particular species of insect. I happen to be looking into any repellence caused by the substance. I test for both ...
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2answers
114 views

What are these four large snails doing?

Hiking in some hills near Taipei after a rain, I saw lots of large snails out and about. Here "large" means the shells are say 8 cm long, and the snail itself fully stretched out 10 to 15 cm perhaps. ...
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0answers
19 views

Which parent teaches a young hawk to fly?

I originally wanted to ask this question but I got the answer from you in a question about eagles. I want to share something with you that i had never actually seen before until recently. Over the ...
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1answer
126 views

What advantages do birds gain when they mimic other bird species calls in the wild?

I've read that birds such as crows and blue jays often mimic other bird species calls. There seems to be evidence that birds do learn and react to other bird species calls, specifically when they ...
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1answer
41 views

Aside from Homo Sapiens, do the males of any other species care for the offspring of those unrelated to them?

Elsewhere I heard that male Long-tailed Tits will care the offspring of their brother if they're unable to have their own. However, I'd like to know if there is a case of such behavior where the two ...
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1answer
131 views

Do hornets remember and recognize a human? Do they have any (kind of) memory?

hornetology So it happens that a hornet (vespa crabro) flew inside my house today and now is being held in a plastic container (I made some holes to let it breathe). But it also happens not just this ...
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1answer
80 views

Why would a bumblebee regularly hover over a arborvitae hedge?

I have observed bumblebees hover over an a abrborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) hedge. A bumblebee will hover in a in one spot over the hedge for about 5-7 seconds, zip to another spot, hover for about 5-...
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Are opposite sexes as obvious to other animals as they are to humans?

So I'm not very good at biology, but something I wondered while being outside and looking at animals is that they were (for me) hard to tell apart by sex. However, when I look at someone, usually I am ...
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20 views

Stems sticking out of soil

In the gaps in my stone path there are several places where there are a group of thin plant stems sticking out of the ground, usually among a pile of smaller stones. I suspect the action of earthworms....
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2answers
138 views

Does human behaviour that is caused by inheritance depend on the environment and lifestyle in general?

Different breeds of common domesticated animals such as horses and dogs clearly show different behaviour, instincts, social relationships and similar, due to their biological inheritance. Still they ...
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What is the neurological requirement for an animal to pass the mirror test?

NOTE: This is related to this question. According to Wikipedia, there seem to be only a few species that manage to pass this test: Very few species have passed the MSR test. As of 2016, only great ...
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1answer
133 views

Do mosquitos excrete blood?

Since insects like mosquitos ingest only blood, and insects generally excrete their solid and liquid waste at the same time as frass, I was wondering: is mosquito defecation more like iron pellets or ...
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1answer
53 views

What to do if someone breaks a bone?

What is the best first aid someone an do in events of fractures? I am sports physician - just wondering if there is a specific certification for something like this. thanks
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How fast animals habituate to wearing shoes

You probably have seen hilarious videos of dogs wearing shoes for the first time. Animals usually very uncomfortable and try to "shake it off", as they seem to consider shoes be some sort of sticky ...
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Does imprinting occur at different life stages?

For example, consider the offspring of a bird species. Can offspring get imprinted by other individuals of the same population at various life stages (e.g., hatchling, nestling, fledgeling, juvenile)? ...
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1answer
427 views

Why ambidextrous persons are so rare?

According to this article, only about 1% of all humans are ambidextrous: About 90 percent of people are right-handed, says Corballis. The remaining 10 percent are either left-handed or some ...
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1answer
156 views

Is it fine to state every learned behavior has an innate component ? ie. Behavior X is largely/ mostly laerned with an innate component

For example human acquisition of language, can we say it is learned, but has an innate component -- because there is a particular structure of the tongue, and perhaps also a specific cognitive ability ...
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How does the “giant mosquito”, Psorophora ciliata manifest it's “aggresive and vicious” behavior?

On Psorophora ciliata Wikipedia states: Not only are these mosquitoes vicious and aggressive towards humans and other animals as adults but, P. ciliata larvae are known for preying on other ...
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1answer
68 views

Octopus behaviour

When visiting a museum in Malmo my friends and I came across this little guy. While we observed him wandering around his tank he suddenly opened a channel on the side of his head and shot some red ...
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1answer
47 views

What advantage do dogs have in clearly disclosing whether they are afraid or unafraid in a conflict?

Dogs are known to clearly show whether they are afraid or unafraid with the posture of their tails during a conflict. How and why is this beneficial? My limited understanding makes me feel that, in ...
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2answers
76 views

Do birds change their diet before migration?

Migration takes up a lot of energy, so I am wondering if birds (in my case mallards) change their diet / food preferences in the weeks before migrating. Do they select for more energetic foods to fuel ...
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1answer
175 views

What is the mechanism behind cats' geolocating homing behavior?

Some cats, which are separated from their home, have the ability to travel back to their original home - even over long distances and land that they haven't encountered before. E.g., see the Time ...
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1answer
469 views

Why don't humans typically drink human milk after infancy?

Does any human culture routinely do this? Typically taboos have some evolutionary basis. So what would that be? Does any mammal drink the milk of its own species, besides nursing?
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1answer
98 views

Which bird species/families worm-dance and is this learned behaviour?

Today I saw a Herring Gull and a Common Gull (UK common names) "worm-dancing" on an area of wet grass. Worm-dancing is when the bird taps its feet on the ground rapidly in order to drum worms to the ...
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1answer
113 views

Why are dogs so selective about choosing a spot to defecate?

Anybody who walks a dog knows that dogs are normally selective about choosing a spot to defecate. They sniff around for a long time, while I just want to be on my way. I understand about marking ...
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1answer
77 views

Typical firing patterns of (some) motor neurons

Since it is not so easy to imagine and visualize the behaviour of the muscles in the fingers, hand, and arm of a violinist performing a fast and accentuated trill vs. a slow and soft vibrato, I try to ...
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23 views

Evolutionary explanation for hypoxia causing euphoria? [duplicate]

Why would something potentially very dangerous, such as hypoxia induce something pleasurable like euphoria? Are there any evolutionary hypotheses for this link? I'm thinking that something like the "...
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3answers
3k views

Do adult mosquitoes have color preferences?

Do adult mosquitoes get particularly attracted or repelled by any colour, or darkness or light? If so, what are they?
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46 views

Do prey animals fail to see incoming pythons/snakes?

I understand that pythons are considered ambush predators, and I was under the impression that they tend to employ the sit-and-wait strategy: quietly staying in a coiled position near a trail ...
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1answer
145 views

Why are bees eating the wax?

I left outside a piece of wax few weeks ago and each day I saw lots of bees "eating" it. Why do they do this when they can create new wax? (it seems a really hard work considering how little was taken ...