Questions tagged [ethology]

The study of animal behaviour.

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How do Addax defend itself from predators?

The addax (Addax nasomaculatus) is a critically endangered antelope adapted to live in extreme desert conditions. It has long impressive horns that can potentially serve as a weapon because they are ...
Triceratops's user avatar
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What is the mechanism behind scruffing?

Also called 'clipnosis' or pinch-induced behaviour inhibition. It prevents cats from moving around when you hold the nape of their neck. There's a lot of veterinary research on how effective this ...
FriedCurry's user avatar
-1 votes
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176 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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Comparing the role of fathers in different species

In species where the male of the species is involved with the life of his offspring in what species is the role he takes is the same as the role of the mother, and in which species is it overlapping ...
Abijah's user avatar
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Phonotaxis and Preference

(Am I losing my mind?) I could have sworn there was solid research indicating that phonotaxis evidence for preferences (during ex situ experiments) was "held up" by en situ experiments...(by ...
Maddy M's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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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
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Chronic-stress of predation risk in vertebrate prey

Prey must be vigilant when their predators are around. Predators may affect mortality (and morbidity, i.e. loss of quality of life) through these mechanisms: Direct attacks, including injuries ...
Kevin Kostlan's user avatar
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Do songbirds prefer clean water?

The other day, the water in our backyard birdbath (Eastern US) had become fairly murky. So my wife cleaned it out and replaced it with fresh. Seemingly immediately began an amazing run on the thing. ...
Paul Tanenbaum's user avatar
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Do some animals have a notion of cooking? [duplicate]

Humans turned the concept of feeding themselves into a whole field in which they rearrange ingredients so as to obtain specific flavours and so on. It's more effort than just feeding ourselves. Do ...
xpsf's user avatar
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Do lions crabwalk?

Cats turn sideways arch their back and puff their fur, to apppear bigger, when trying to intimidate someone. Do lions do that? What is the largest feline that does that?
Euphorbium's user avatar
4 votes
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How do bees and wasps react to carnivorous plants?

I seem to recall that bees and wasps have alert pheromones, so that if a few of them are killed or attacked in the proximity of others, they will attract backup. I assume it's pretty straightforward ...
TheChymera's user avatar
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Can the concept of fisherian runaway be explained using simple models?

I want to understand the concept of fisherian runaway. Dawkins' book tells about this, but it's not clear enough. It can be seen that the essence of Fisher's idea is that when a male peacock with a ...
Linkey's user avatar
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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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How do mosquitoes know if they are going 'up'?

I have read articles that say mosquitoes detect humans through carbon dioxide exhalation and body odour. When we wave our hand around a mosquito, it usually flies away from ground (even if it ...
sato's user avatar
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Do moose usually browse woody foilage approximately perpendicular to the long axis of the branch?

I am trying to improve my understanding of moose browsing behavior. One basic question is whether browsing on woody vegetation can tell us anything about the orientation of the moose's head. The ...
Galen's user avatar
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The pollination of lupins

Do lupins produce nectar? According to this study it seems like there are conflicting conclusions regarding this. And in this study the supposed inability for Lupinus argenteus to produce nectar is ...
BreadFromOuterSpace's user avatar
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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 ...
tryst with freedom's user avatar
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Is there "limbic mimicry" in real life to distract animals? (like it was portrayed in "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore")

In the movie "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore", one of the characters comes up with the idea of "limbic mimicry" to distract dangerous animals from violent behavior. ...
ermanen's user avatar
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Do *Ambystoma macrodactylum* predate on *ceuthophilinaens* like the one I observed?

I observed this Ambystoma macrodactylum within half of a meter of this Ceuthophilinaen under an old board. I can imagine salamanders eating cricket-like things, but this question is far outside my ...
Galen's user avatar
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Has anyone seen/read interspecies competition that is different at spatial scale for the same group of animals?

I work at a highly fragmented wildlife sanctuary in North Borneo, Malaysia. We have 8 species of hornbills here and from our observation they've grown to be less territorial in terms of where they ...
Ashraft Yusni's user avatar
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Can we infer the orientation of a moose's head from the teeth patterns on tree trunks?

Background I am interested in studying the distribution and patterns of behaviour of moose (Alces alces). Moose chew bark off of the trunks of trees, especially Populus tremuloides. See some of the ...
Galen's user avatar
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Giant inflatable laboratory in the jungle. How to find it?

When I was a child (circa year 2000), I watched a documentary (in English) about some biologists doing research about jungle (perhaps Amazon). The biologists lived in a base which was a huge ...
user46147's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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What is the phenomenon when animals mimic other animals in order to survive?

The caterpillar Hemeroplanes triptolemus adopts the appearance of a snake when it detects danger. What is this phenomenon called in which animals mimic other animals in order to survive? Is it ...
Samyak Marathe's user avatar
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How many of their caches do chickadees retrieve?

Chickadees are scatter-caching birds and I've heard they can hide as many as 10,000 seeds for retrieval over the winter. How many of these cached seeds actually end up getting used in a typical winter?...
Empiromancer's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why is this bumblebee attracted to a methane leak?

In this video from Bloomburg Quicktake, the reporters discover at a methane well (Skip to 14:21) a GHG leak that has attracted bumblebees. Does natural gas smell sweet to bees? Why would the bees be ...
Gabriel Fair's user avatar
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1 answer
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Do the activity patterns of an owl species determine their eye colour?

Recently I've been thinking about the colour of owl eyes, and trying to figure out if there is a pattern anywhere between species. I have read for example, that yellow-eyes implies they are day time ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
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Why is this giant water bug out of the water?

I recently took a picture of a giant water bug actually out of the water. Every instance that I have seen these of critters they have always been in the water (sometimes even feasting on frogs), but ...
Galen's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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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
39 views

Little owl as decoy for skylark

I read that hunters used (now is forbidden) little owls tethered to attract skylarks. They say this is due to their magnetic look of the eyes. I didn't find any scientific documentation of this. Any ...
Vilnius's user avatar
5 votes
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I had an encounter with a cougar (mountain lion). What does the recurrence time look like?

I had an encounter with a cougar recently. I was walking down a muddy old forest service road when approximately 15-20 meters behind me a deer burst out of the brush with a cougar chasing it close ...
Galen's user avatar
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1 vote
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What is the term for the physical and behavioral changes that occur in an adult species due to the change in their hierarchy?

For example, when a chicken becomes a rooster its crest becomes larger and their feathers become more colorful. Dominant male lions get larger and darker manes. Also, can these changes also occur ...
Sorb's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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Is it possible to put 100 live black ants and 100 live fire ants in a glass jar without them fighting each other immediately?

Background: There is a claim falsely attributed to David Attemborough: If you collect 100 black ants and 100 fire ants and put them in a glass jar nothing will happen. But if you take the jar, shake ...
mma's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
170 views

Can apes have schizophrenia?

Many animals can become mentally ill, but I could not find any account of animals showing schizophrenia, not even apes. I could only find this, but it seems very vague. Is there any evolutionary ...
1__'s user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
161 views

Do whales ever just hang out on the surface breathing?

You only ever hear of whales surfacing for a brief second to exhale/inhale before they dive back down. But do they ever just stay at surface level, laying there with their blow hole up in the air, ...
o01's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
127 views

Why don't bees sting hornets for defense?

Why don't honeybees sting hornets for defense when their hive is attacked? It seems like a good weapon against bigger animals - why not against hornets?
pi a's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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Do the posterior legs of mosquito plays the role of antenna?

I have had this question for years and this stems from the observation that when I bring my hand close to a mosquito lying on some surface (e.g : wall) I see its posterior legs - which are in a ...
jihed gasmi's user avatar
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
64 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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Why do Oak Processionary caterpillars form processions?

Firstly ,I don't live in Europe. I live in South India, and my garden has a Night Flowering Jasmine tree. And these trees are quite popular, but notorious for their caterpillars. In our region ,there ...
Amarylis Vaselaar's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
502 views

What changes do ants make to the soil they use for building ant hills

I live in South India ,and among the many species of ants in and around our house, some of them except the weaver ants build the typical small ant hills in the garden. I have examined the coarse sand ...
Amarylis Vaselaar's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
363 views

Why do mosquitoes appear to be repelled by magnets?

A few days ago, I was playing with magnets and thought of placing one near a live mosquito (I had it held between my two fingers so it had no chance of escaping). When near the magnet, it twitched and ...
Ali Sahad's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
73 views

Can ants distinguish individual ants in the colony?

I am aware that ants have the ability to distinguish which female is the queen and which ones aren't. However, can ants also uniquely distinguish other individual ants in the colony? Is the ...
user0193's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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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
2 votes
2 answers
125 views

How do crickets get away with being so loud without getting eaten?

How do crickets get away with being so loud without getting eaten? There are a number of bugs that reproduce by blatantly advertising their location. For instance fireflies advertise their location ...
Steven Sagona's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
338 views

Why do wild lizards often tap with their front leg?

I have a lot of wild lizards (possibly Podarcis muralis) in my garden, and I have noticed some of their behavior I'd like to understand: whenever they are in 'still' position on any surface, they are ...
David Belohrad's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
116 views

Why do bees fly inside the gaps between the decoration on the exterior wall of a building and the wall?

My house has decorations around the windows on the exterior wall: There are gaps between those decorations and the bricks of the building: During the summer, there are always bees looking for those ...
Claire's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
3k views

How do beavers learn how to build dams?

I was wondering whether all beavers, from all around the world, know how to build dams and lodges? Do they need to learn it from their parents? If you release a group of beavers in the wild that haven'...
Wagner Gascho's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
188 views

Frogs stop croaking at same time

I know frogs start croaking at the same time to attract a female. Why do they all stop at the same time?
nak5120's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
165 views

Do some birds really clean themselves using wet leaves?

While researching native shrubs to put in my garden for bird habitat, I read that some birds will take advantage of bushes to clean themselves by rubbing themselves against a wet leaf after rainfall (...
Empiromancer's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
191 views

Why are these nesting magpies building another nest

Pair if eurasian magpies occupy a nest visible from my balcony. It's the nesting season for them here, and I assumed they have laid eggs. I can't see the eggs directly, but one of the magpies has been ...
antizaba's user avatar

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