Skip to main content

Questions tagged [ethology]

The study of animal behaviour.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3 votes
2 answers
69 views

Can crocodilians differentiate their offsprings from other young crocodiles?

I read that some species of crocodilians can take care of their young for as long as a year. How do parents differentiate their offsprings from other young crocodiles? Smell, appearance, sound?
78 votes
3 answers
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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
88 views

How do animals that live in dens keep the dens from flooding?

When it rains heavily or flooding starts what do animals like foxes,wolves, and any other animal that makes a den or lives underground do.? Do their den's/home's flood?
2 votes
0 answers
55 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
76 views

How to quantify the strength of social bonding between the individuals of a colony? How to compare the strength of social bonding across the species?

Consider two different species of honey bees. If I have to compare the strength of social bonding between the two species i.e. in which species, social bonding between the individuals is stronger than ...
0 votes
1 answer
278 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
48 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
54 views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
39 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
24 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
35 views

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. ...
0 votes
0 answers
142 views

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?
4 votes
1 answer
228 views

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 ...
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Do birds grieve and feel emotion?

Crows are surprisingly clever with tool making/use and even understanding displacement water over sand! Clearly there's some relatively high level cognitive processes going on up in those avian brains....
2 votes
0 answers
38 views

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 ...
7 votes
2 answers
351 views

Why would a snake follow a kayak?

We live on the shore of Kentucky Lake in Middle Tennessee and kayak often. A common snake here is the Northern watersnake. Observing several of these snakes over a period of ten years, I am puzzled ...
4 votes
1 answer
664 views

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 ...
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why don't Australian magpies in Tasmania swoop at people?

I'm currently living in Tasmania (Australia) and I have noticed that Magpies don't swoop at you here, yet they do in other parts of the country. Just wondering: does anyone know why?
7 votes
2 answers
538 views

Are there any parasites that alter human behavior in a self destructive way?

There seems to be quite a few examples of parasites taking over the behavior of insects in a way that leads to the death of the host. A couple of examples include: Spinochordodes tellinii: A ...
4 votes
0 answers
89 views

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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
78 views

Predatory animal tracking methods

As far as I know, humans are the only animals that use visual references to track prey that is not immediately visible to them. Do any other animals do this? I'm not referring to stalking prey ...
1 vote
1 answer
70 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
51 views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
113 views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
244 views

Polyandry in birds

The Wikipedia article on Bateman's principle states: Until recently, most bird species were believed to be sexually monogamous. DNA paternity testing, however, has shown that in nearly 90% of bird ...
3 votes
0 answers
424 views

Do dingoes show wolf 'characteristics'?

I've read that Russians have been performing selective breeding on Red Foxes for about fifty years, aiming to make them tame. The wikipedia article says The experiment was initiated by scientists who ...
14 votes
2 answers
27k views

Where do birds and squirrels go to die?

This may sound like a silly question, but I have been wondering about this for a while. I live in a suburban neighborhood with a lot of trees. A lot of trees means birds and squirrels. You can hear ...
2 votes
1 answer
475 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
196 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 (...
0 votes
0 answers
58 views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
1k views

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. ...
1 vote
0 answers
30 views

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 ...
23 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do species other than humans have distinct daily feeding patterns?

I have a general interest in complex adaptive systems and I have found that nature and the organisms within it is a perfect natural case of a rich adaptive system with a lot of possibilities for ...
1 vote
0 answers
101 views

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 ...
5 votes
0 answers
143 views

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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
201 views

Why do spinner dolphins spin?

Spinner dolphins have a behavior where they jump out of the water and spin a bunch of times in the air. Wikipedia's article on this just states These spins may serve several functions and doesn't ...
4 votes
1 answer
6k views

The "truce of the watering hole" -- is it completely discredited?

In short, the idea comes from Kipling that animals observe a sort of truce around watering holes and prey animals do not have to be on guard (as much?) from predators in the vicinity. I have read ...
9 votes
1 answer
10k views

Crow branch pecking behaviour

I was walking through a small park when two crows started cawing at me, and followed me, flying from tree-to-tree as I walked. I speculate that this is a territorial or protective behaviour, but what ...
3 votes
2 answers
131 views

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 ...
-1 votes
1 answer
150 views

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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
117 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 ...
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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
377 views

What are the migratory patterns of Orcas in the Pacific Northwest? Do they pass by Vancouver in the Fall?

What are the migratory patterns of Orcas in the Pacific Northwest? Do the pass by Vancouver in the Fall? I know you can never predict the sightings of a wild creature, but I was wondering what the ...
1 vote
0 answers
36 views

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?...
1 vote
2 answers
180 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, ...
21 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why is wombat scat (feces) shaped like cubes?

I've heard that wombat scat is cube shaped, but I don't understand how that can happen. Has anyone studied the phenomenon? What would the evolutionary pressure have been to cause this?
0 votes
1 answer
195 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
407 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
143 views

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 ...

1
2 3 4 5 6