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Questions tagged [behaviour]

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

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Do ants and termites form standoff lineups?

Someone sent me this video. It has a description: A Termine line (top) and an Ant line (bottom), each protected by its column of soldiers who face each other without attacking. Here is a screenshot ...
Galen's user avatar
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-1 votes
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Why do gulls spend so much time flying?

I live in Ramsgate, Kent which is a harbour town. I often see gulls circling apparently without purpose. If they were birds like swifts or shallows that eat flying insects it would make sense but ...
Christopher Bradley's user avatar
2 votes
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41 views

Are humans unusual, compared to other animals, in not understanding the mechanics of sex instinctively?

To begin with a personal anecdote: there was a period in my childhood, which I can remember clearly, in which I was aware of sexual reproduction as a fact, but the mechanics of it remained a ...
chancellorofpaphos's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
99 views

Can instincts disappear after a long period of non-usefulness?

I recently dived into the topic of instincts and now I have a question, where I haven't found anything about. There's this thesis (I think mentioned here amongst others) that, through epigenetics, ...
eliosar's user avatar
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Why do (some?) flies aggregate on both sides of a window even when there is no passage between the two sides?

I've observed an interesting behavior in flies that often invade old houses. When flies accumulate on the inside of a window, I've noticed that other flies start to accumulate on the outside of the ...
Adrian Maire's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
257 views

Which predator / prey pair of species have the most drastically different body size?

I'm trying to identify which 2 species, one predator species and one prey species that have the biggest size difference. Specifically, which predator hunts the largest prey relative to itself? I'm ...
Harthag's user avatar
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What happens to silverfish when we throw them out the window?

I'll find a silverfish from time to time in my flat. I don't mind them but usually I catch them and throw them off the balcony (second story) into the bushes and lawn below. I was wondering, since ...
Ron's user avatar
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Behavioural experiment on Nasonia Wasps

I want to see how two male Nasonia vitripennis interact with each other. I have been using enamel paint on their heads to distinguish them, but I am wondering if any other methods of marking them ...
Aavani Babu's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
249 views

Why do spiders hang up dead bugs?

I used to think the reason we see a lot of dead bugs wrapped and hanging on spider webs was that they get caught by spiders and after the spiders are done with the bugs they leave them there. But I ...
desmo's user avatar
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How can animals defecate or urinate in fear if the nervous system seems to opposes it?

How do animals defecate and/or urinate in fear even though their 'flight or fight' response seems to oppose it? I have seen many cats and dogs urinate and defecate when they experience extreme fear. ...
Aurelius's user avatar
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Which horn configuration is more effective as a weapon?

For horned animals, there are two common configurations of cranial horns. One long horn above the nose (Styracosaurus, Rhino). Two long horns above the eyes or forehead (Triceratops, cattle, African ...
Triceratops's user avatar
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How selective are wolves about the size of their prey?

For an animal that lives and hunts socially like a wolf, is there a lower threshold to the size of prey items they will hunt? A pack wouldn't have much trouble with catching say a rabbit, but would ...
pbuchheit's user avatar
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Do animals have the notion of fair share and fractions?

There are already several experiments showing that animals (not only humans) can do some math: counting and problem solving. My question is: what about the notion of fair share and fractions? I am ...
Humberto José Bortolossi's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
66 views

Should I scare the swan to help him survive?

There's a young swan in my local park. He is young and I don't see his parents around. The young swan isn't affraid of humans and one can easily feed him from one's hand, and even pet on his head. But ...
user46147's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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Which animals do bait hunting?

By bait hunting I mean some predator which first collects or finds some bait (food of its prey) and then uses the bait to lure and catch its prey. This question is inspired by this video showing an ...
quarague's user avatar
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Source for Squirrels Dislodging Nuts to Drive-Off Predators

I was reading a recent article by the Boston Globe on Harvard's Arnold Arboretum and it off-handily mentioned something very interesting: ‶I love the hickory collection,″ [Michael] Dosmann admits. ‶...
E Tam's user avatar
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Maternal Effects

Does anyone know of a good review of non-human maternal effects, preferably the most recent? I'm looking for a breakdown of the most well-studied/least studied biotic and abiotic cues. Perhaps ...
Tavaro Evanis's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
109 views

What do Wild Silverfish Eat?

Silverfish are famous for eating wallpaper paste. The paste is made of starch mixed with water. Wikipedia says silverfish love starch They consume matter that contains polysaccharides, such as ...
Daron's user avatar
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53 views

Are there any examples of social animals which show collective behavioral change in response to disease?

When Covid-19 happened, collective behavioral changes were taken in order to curb the spread of the virus by the human race. Do things like these happen in other animals as well? Like isolating a ...
Babu's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Photo attached of flies ‘injecting’ into spider egg sacs. Why? What’s going on here?

Brisbane, Australia. While no image is available, direct observations were made of flies doing something to the egg sac.
Rose's user avatar
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What are the definition of pecking order? [closed]

Pecking order is the phenomenon that dominating individual usually eat first. It is commonly observed in animals. In animals, it is often due to the fact that the strong individual won the fights for ...
High GPA's user avatar
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The evolutionary advantage of sending the most fearless to the front

Let species A be prey to another species B. Assume that predators B only attack isolated individuals A (because they are afraid of larger groups of A's). So it is good for species A to be on the way ...
Hans-Peter Stricker's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
85 views

How to interpret this statement on missing heritability

I'm currently studying a behavioral genetic course, but still, I feel that I'm lacking many basic concepts. A particular topic I don't understand is missing heritability. Here's an example regarding ...
Mirko's user avatar
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Hive building animals

Many species of animals build nests to live in. However, a beehive is a structure built by Homo sapians that houses Apis mellifera (or a related bee species). Are there other species of animals that ...
Kevin Kostlan's user avatar
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32 views

Is it possible to "triangulate" the location of a termite colony in a horizontal space using light sources as attractive bases?

So we have termites and I noticed that one of the can lights in our subfloor (the 1.5 foot vertical space between our first and 2nd floor) was a lift off point for many swarms. I put some tape over ...
LeanMan's user avatar
  • 101
12 votes
2 answers
6k views

Do spiders learn how to build webs?

Concerning spiders, is there any research on whether web-building is an inherited behavior, or if it must be observed and learned? e.g. Has anyone hatched spider eggs in isolation and observed whether ...
Martin Fürholz's user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
107 views

Grasshopper vs Tarantula?

This past weekend (October 2021) while hiking west of the VLA in New Mexico (near Datil, NM, ~2200m elevation) my wife and I came across a strange sight. A small (5cm long), likely immature, ...
Jon Custer's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
226 views

Do animals lie?

Have there been any studies that show or suggest that species known to be able to communicate information between individuals ever intentionally communicate false information i.e. lie? (Apart from ...
Greendrake's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
95 views

Would it be possible to create logical circuits out of insects?

Could one organise ants, bees or any insects to do addition using logical gates: AND, OR, NOT, XOR. As inputs/signals one could imagine for example that 1 would be food and 0 would be no food.
Athos's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
233 views

Are there some natural instances of thermosensitizer?

Let's define thermosensitizer as any chemical or biological agent that can sensitize the cells to heat. In lab setting, thermosensitization seems to be achievable, such as by inhibiting chaperone ...
Josuke's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
460 views

Do crabs actually "rip the legs off of other crabs" if they try to escape a bucket?

I read this strange remark: Picture a bucket full of crabs with no lid. The moment a crab tries to get out, the other crabs will literally rip its legs off. It was said as something that is common ...
Sebastian the Crab's user avatar
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1 answer
47 views

How does DNA encode high level features like animal behaviour and language?

We know there are complex features which animals supposed to develop based on their genes as opposed to learning from the environment and the collective, also sometimes being very specific to certain ...
J. Doe's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
100 views

Do Scrubjays weigh peanuts by picking them up?

I have been feeding scrubjays where I live (Monterey, California) with peanuts in the shell. Something interesting I've noticed them do is, after I've laid out a selection of peanuts for them, they ...
B. Clay Shannon-B. Crow Raven's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
23 views

Will carpenter bee larvae die if trapped or find a way to bore out?

I had a carpenter bee problem last year, beginning with the awful sounds the larvae make! The exterminators couldn’t find the bore holes (they were/are inside a gap between top of the foundation and ...
Audrey's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
172 views

How does this small brown crescent-headed land planarian(?) "look around" and sense its envirnoment?

This 2-3 cm long, thin brown worm with a wide "anchor" or hammer or crescent shaped head was seen in northern Taiwan slowly moving along a damp tile outdoor surface. It moved by contraction/...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 5,588
7 votes
1 answer
302 views

How do rats open a walnut?

What techniques do rats use to open a walnut? What are the traces they leave in nature? I have a book on traces that wild animals leave in nature, but it only explains squirrels (splitting the walnut ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
62 views

What is the duration between: the moment we stop breathing and to body's and involuntary mucle movement? [closed]

I studied that if someone stops breathing by pressing their nostrils with fingers and start to starve without oxygen, the body will automatically cause the hands to leave the nostrils in a certain ...
Fghj's user avatar
  • 3
0 votes
1 answer
783 views

How do frogs fight? [closed]

I've seen a video in this link, where two frogs fight. One of commenters asks How...exactly...does one establish dominance in their world? I mean, they’re fat, slippery, no claws, their teeth are ...
user46147's user avatar
  • 305
2 votes
0 answers
111 views

Is there any non-human animal social group that punishes members with "imprisonment" or a similar method?

I was reading this blog on Scientific American, which discusses whether wild animals are happier than domesticated ones. I've also read about strong territorial instincts in some species. This reading ...
Whirl Mind's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
67 views

Bats observed hunting insect prey - any evidence of "handedness" (laterality) in circular flight pattern?

Whilst watching a bat hunting on the wing at dusk (most likely was a species common to my urban UK location, e.g. pipistrelle) its flight pattern around the garden comprised circles, several metres in ...
Jimbo's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
39 views

Do bees from different continents have different "taste"?

This question was already asked by me at Gardening Stack Exchange, but I was advised to ask it here instead. I see there is already a closely related question: Do animals have different taste ...
Aleksandar M's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
113 views

Harbor Seal behavior and personality

I'm doing some research on Harbor seal behavior, but I haven't been able to find much on general behavior such as personality, quirks, ect. Does anyone have anyone have any firsthand experience with ...
Elsie Anderson's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
39 views

Term for a prey animal's recognition that something potentially threatening is looking at it?

On my daily walks I frequently see individual or small groups of cattle egrets. At first I would try to photograph them but they would fly away. This vexed me because they ignored everyone else ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 5,588
7 votes
1 answer
154 views

Why do birds legs' not get frostbite?

In a nature documentary I watched a while ago, there was a scene where a flock of flamingos slept in a lake that froze overnight. Each morning they just had to wait until the lake defrosted ...
Whelkaholism's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
84 views

What do we know about "continence" in animals?

What do we know about continence in animals? In particular, what do we know about the development of continence in animals? By "continence", I'm referring specifically to whether or not a wild animal,...
Matthew's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
37 views

Do animals suffer in agony or pain the same way like homo sapiens suffer?

When an animal suffer in agony or pain, do they feel it the same way as homo sapiens or human beings? I saw a documentary where it showed that while the child cattle were being slaughtered mother ...
user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
3k views

Identify this giant green moth(?) with great taste?

One evening in late February I sat down to eat dinner after a day of hiking in hills around New Taipei City and discovered that someone else shared my taste in clothes. A very large green moth-like ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 5,588
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can you explain the behavior of this snake?

I just saw this video in which a snake is swallowing grapes. ("Whip snake eating grapes"). In the video, the snake just doesn't eat but goes on to swallow 2-3 grapes. I did some research on the ...
Abhishek Kumar's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
125 views

Genetic variance for a behavioural trait among human populations

From this article from The Guardian: We instinctively assume that differences in behaviour that are in fact due to culture must be linked to – even caused by – characteristics of appearance. That ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
25 views

What's the technical terminology for call-and-respond type behaviour?

The groups of some species such as water birds display a behavior that once out of line-of-sight a member will periodically initiate an interaction by make some type of sound, which will be followed ...
norlesh's user avatar
  • 257

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