Questions tagged [behaviour]

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

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73
votes
2answers
6k views

Do animals exhibit handedness (paw-ness?) preference?

I have been observing my cat and found that when confronted with an unknown item, she will always use her front left paw to touch it. This has me wondering if animals exhibit handedness like humans ...
64
votes
2answers
9k views

Do ants or other insects sleep, and if so why?

I was thinking yesterday about insects (as there was a spider in the house, and I couldn't help but think of anything else, even though they aren't insects), and I started to wonder if ants sleep? ...
15
votes
1answer
5k views

Why do flies “rub” their front legs when resting?

I've noted that every time a house fly is resting on a surface, it appears to "rub" or "scrub" its front legs in a repetitive movement. And they do it continuously. Why?
6
votes
2answers
743 views

How significant is the genetic component of homosexual behaviour?

From some basic googling, I found that nobody has ever proven that people are born gay and that environment plays a great part in homosexuality. I wish to know if there is a genetic component to ...
4
votes
1answer
163 views

How is instinct carried from one generation to another?

How can non-structural information, specifically instinct (a fixed pattern of behavior that an organism reverts to as a response to certain stimuli), be passed on from generation to generation (such ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What biological functions does crying serve?

Tears suddenly start flowing out of our eyes when we find our long lost friend or when someone unexpectedly decides to break up with us. Do tears really save us from harm? Or are they just the reflex ...
6
votes
1answer
9k views

Why do people sing?

I was wondering the why people sing, but from a biological point of view. Is it necessary for our body? If it is so, then why can't everyone sing well? Is it in direct relation with neurotransmitter ...
12
votes
1answer
53k views

Why can cats interpret things on a monitor/tv, but dogs cannot?

E.g. you can see a lot of videos where cats are smashing some mouse or spider on an ipad, but I have never seen it with a dog. I have a dog myself and I know that he sometimes responds to the sounds ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Do ants really dispose of their own dead, and how/why?

I just read this from Wikipedia's Swarm Behavior article: Despite the lack of centralized decision making, ant colonies exhibit complex behaviour and have even been able to demonstrate the ability ...
6
votes
1answer
249 views

Why social animals attack odd members of their own group?

Some social animals are known for attacking odd members of their own group, for example, chicken: If you have a large group of one type of chicken, they will usually gang up on the one or two ...
23
votes
3answers
6k views

Why do humans suffer anxiety when they view “Trypophobia trigger images”?

When you type Trypophobia Trigger Images in google, you see a variety of images with irregular lumps and bumps among some more gory images. Many people report that these images induce phobia like ...
8
votes
2answers
852 views

Goats are so fearless but sheep are not. Is there any genetic difference responsible?

As you see in the picture goats (not only wild goats) are so fearless, but I never saw any sheep do this. What is the source of this difference in behavior?
6
votes
5answers
5k views

Why do most animals never seem to evolve over millenia?

People often say, including those with extensive knowledge in biology, that a certain species of animal will evolve in one way or another: From changing environments. Mutations. Possibly even genetic ...
10
votes
1answer
561 views

Cat's tail movement as an indicative of tension

It appears to me that tail's twitching in the cats indicates how much tension the individual is under. During a hunt, when a cat tries to stay invisible, while approaching a target it is almost ...
10
votes
1answer
351 views

Why would deer continue to cross a river full of crocodiles even though some of them have been killed?

I recently watched a clip on Discovery Channel, where I saw deer crossing a river full of crocodiles, ignoring the fact that some of them would have been killed doing so. Is there a possible ...
8
votes
2answers
321 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
193 views

Are there any animals that gradually approaches the predator to search for food?

I was wondering if there is an animal (or insect, bird, etc.) that eventually comes close to its predator to search for food, but only does so if it couldn't find food in the environment it is in. So ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Do insects respond to the detection of dead insects?

Are there insects that change their behavior upon detecting the nearby presence of other dead insects? If there are, can you provide an example?
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Are domesticated animals really “more intelligent,” or is that a myth/misunderstanding?

Often do I hear people speaking of how the domestic house cats are more friendly, less ferocious, less savage-like, and smarter and/or than their distinct but equivalent feline-species friends, like ...