Questions tagged [mammals]

Questions related to mammals, animals that nurse their young, have a neocortex, and three middle ear bones.

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105 views

When you lose weight, how does the mass exit your body?

As a thought experiment, consider the case of Angus Barbiery, who allegedly lost almost 200kg in about a year by not eating at all, save for necessary nutrients provided as supplements. My question ...
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3answers
152 views

What processes regulate the sex of offspring?

It is known that some species are more likely to born male than female (and some maybe vice versa). I understand that it is due to evolutionary perspective (average number of adult males is close to ...
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3answers
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Why have whales and dolphins not evolved to have gills? [duplicate]

It seems at first glance that it would be an evolutionary disadvantage for a sea creature to have to come up to the surface on a regular basis in order to breathe, so why are there animals (e.g. ...
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2answers
9k views

How do marine mammals control buoyancy?

Presumably, as a whale or seal dives, its lungs get compressed by the increasing water pressure, and it gets less buoyant. Under this model, for a given amount of air taken in at the surface, the ...
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0answers
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Are there mainstream views on the mandrill's coloration's being so unique?

According to the Wikipedia article: Mandrills are noted as being exceptionally colourful for mammalian standards. Charles Darwin wrote in The Descent of Man that "no other member in the whole ...
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1answer
114 views

Is there any research on wolf and bobcat interactions?

I'm studying interactions between North American predators, specifically wolves, coyotes and bobcats. There's evidence from data I've collected from game cameras that suggests a significant ...
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2answers
17k views

Are there any non-mammalian species known that lactate?

Are there any non-mammalian animals that produce milk to feed their young, or are mammals the only milk-producing animals?
3
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1answer
314 views

When did the mammalian outer ear evolve?

All Eutheria and Metatheria have outer ears, and as far as I found out, monotremes once also had them, so they seem to be universal for mammals. Did other synapsids have them, too? I know that soft ...
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0answers
62 views

Are insects really strong or just small?

It's a common statement that insects are stronger, faster and jump higher than almost anything by mass. However, this leaves out that compared to their mass, all large creatures are actually pretty ...
4
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1answer
58 views

Can bats echolocation discern what insects they are preying on?

Insectivorous bats feed on many different types of insects such as mosquitoes, moths, beetles, and bees. According to the Bat Conservation Trust, bats can discern insects from other objects but I'm ...
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138 views

Why are monotremes so rare?

There are currently only five species of monotremes remaining, and all of them are found in Australia. Additionally, I read a science article claiming that competition from marsupials essentially ...
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2k views

How conscious are mammals that mating leads to pregnancy and offspring?

Does a pregnant female mammal know that its pregnancy is the consequence of a previous mating? Or are humans the only mammals which are conscious of it?
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Do mammals and birds have a common warm-blooded ancestor?

Is it homogeneous or did they converge? Did we both evolve from warm-blooded reptiles that are extinct maybe?
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697 views

Why do animals have fur and feathers?

Does it give them protections from harm? Sphynx cats, being furless, can get hurt from thorns if they go through bushes So I'm assuming it's more like defense from animals biting them. A lion mane ...
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1answer
160 views

Can platypuses communicate via electroreception?

I know at least some electroreceptive fish are capable of basic communication with other members of their species via varying their own bioelectric signals. However, I can't find any information as ...
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132 views

Have there ever been as many mammals as there are now?

I apologize for the weird question, but based on a Google search it looks like this topic hasn't been discussed before. I'm hoping that enough information about population biology is stored in the ...
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2answers
103 views

What British bat is this?

What kind of bat is this? I saw it flying quickly between trees in Buckinghamshire, UK, at about 4pm in September (so about three hours before sunset). I think it might be a common noctule but I was ...
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0answers
126 views

Mammalian scales

Many small mammals have scaly skin on their tails and sometimes limbs. The examples can be found among rodents (rats, degu, scaly-tailed squirrels), insectivores (shrews, desmans), oppossums, musky ...
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1answer
134 views

Do squirrels and blue jays play a role in oak tree distribution?

White oak (Quercas alba) acorns have lower tannin levels than red oak (Quercas rubra) acorns, therefore animals tend to eat the white oak acorns before red oak acorns. Animals such as squirrels and ...
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1answer
49 views

Albino elephants

How many albino elephants are there across the world? There is no information on the total number of albino elephants across the world except for the few albino elephants captured by people.
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Tests for object size discrimination in mammals?

Are there common testing protocols for establishing whether an animal (mammals especially) can distinguish the size of objects? In particular, are there procedures or is there good literature on ways ...
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2answers
16k views

The number of nipples (breasts) a species has?

Only mammals have mammaries and mammary glands. What evolutionary factors determines the number of mammaries (nipples/teats/breasts) a species has? Is it always an even number?
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Picture of a camel's red blood cells

I'm an art student in need of a little help. I'm looking for microscopic pictures of camel's red blood cells, I need their shape for an art project. The pictures I find on Google seem a little ...
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1answer
268 views

How do marine mammals and penguins maintain bone density?

After much searching on Google with no results, I decided to ask my question here. If I'm not mistaken, swimmers' bone density is less than normal; at least for lifetime swimmers. Astronauts also ...
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1answer
29 views

Do the individual claws of a bear have names?

The question seems pretty self-explanatory (if perhaps a little odd). Anatomical names or colloquial names are both appreciated, especially the latter if they exist.
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151 views

How do marine mammals stay hydrated?

This is a question that has always bothered me. A quick internet search yields "metabolic processes" as the reason for how marine mammals obtain water, but what are those processes and why don't land ...
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1answer
119 views

Where to begin studying Biology in earnest, with preferably free sources?

I am a biology enthusiast and would like to study Biology in earnest. I have basic knowledge of biology (high school level) and some extended knowledge of small animals, mainly about mammals as I am ...
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4answers
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What sea animal is this?

I am in a remote village and a young boy (second pic holding tail) says this thing is his friend. This creature is safe, we held it for pictures and released it after. None of us know what this is and ...
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1answer
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Are there examples of animals that live in groups, where all have the same role?

For animals that live in groups, are there examples where all of them have the same role? For example, in animals we know there are bee queens or alpha, beta and omega mammals. But are there groups of ...
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820 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?
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1answer
139 views

Why do sea mammals die on land, and drown on sea?

It's quite confusing to me, why do sea mammals die on land, but also die from drowning if they couldn't reach the sea surface to breath? Excuse my ignorance but I am really confused!
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1answer
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Can a person really die quickly from biting their tongue?

A common trope in certain circles (like Eastern martial fiction), is someone committing quick suicide by biting his or her tongue. But is this really possible? The internet turns up millions of ...
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1answer
2k views

How did dolphins acquire their dorsal fin?

I had been thinking bout atavism when I saw a picture of a dolphin. I had seen it before, but suddenly the dorsal fin startled me. How did this dorsal fin evolve? Is it some atavism from eons ago, a ...
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2answers
769 views

Are humans the only mammals that are known to display homosexuality?

REQUEST: In this post I do not refer to, nor do I encourage reference to, any ethical/moral/emotional aspects of homosexuality. So please don't start an pro/anti- LGBT campaign in the comments section....
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Is the skin of feline jungle predators protected against ants?

I was watching a video of a jaguar stalking along a riverbank, killing prey, climbing up the muddy bank, then laying in thick brush to eat. My first thought about this is that there must be tons of ...
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Basic behaviour patterns of animals for a modeling project?

I am working on a project (a tool) for my GIS class that models natural habitat of an animal based on landcovers, distance to the nearest watersource and distance from developed area in Kansas, USA. I ...
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1answer
41 views

Which variables are controlled in the mammalian womb to ensure a healthy environment?

Recently, researchers have had some success with artificial wombs. Which aspects of the womb are difficult to replicate through technology?
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1answer
210 views

Are all non-breeding naked mole rats the same sex?

In many eusocial species, all the non-breeding members are the same sex. Honeybees are a good example, with only female workers. Are naked mole rats that do not breed also all either male or female, ...
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2answers
400 views

What Makes an Afrothere an Afrothere?

The mole-like golden moles. The hedgehog-like tenrecs. The shrew-like sengis. The rodent-like hyraxes. The anteater-like aardvarks. The whale-seal-hybrid-like sirens. The tapir-like ...
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1answer
63 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 ...
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0answers
29 views

How do bats manage lymph fluids?

We all know that bats hang upside down to sleep. I was watching some sleep for a while, and they don't move much while asleep. If I fall asleep sitting in a chair my lower legs will swell. Lymph ...
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1answer
634 views

What effect does a bat's echolocation have on other bats?

Bat echolocation is a perceptual system where ultrasonic sounds are emitted specifically to produce echoes. By comparing the outgoing pulse with the returning echoes, the brain and auditory nervous ...
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4answers
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Which organs do cats not eat on their prey?

My female cat is a very active hunter and brings me her prey daily. Except for shrews and birds, she always eats them entirely. This afternoon she brought me this: It was quite large (maybe between ...
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1answer
2k views

Why do squirrels have twitchy bushy tails?

Whenever I see a squirrel in the woods, it is always the big bushy tail flipping around that gets my attention first. A pray animal with a big bushy flag calling attention to it's self seems to be ...
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1answer
350 views

Why can one swim longer underwater by blowing out air?

I am a human. I take a deep breath. I swim underwater... After some time, I need to blow out some air. I blow out some air... By doing so, I can swim underwater longer. Blowing out some air gives me ...
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2answers
171 views

Can dolphins actually communicate linguistically?

Humans use "language." By language, I mean the thing I am using right now to talk to you. I know dolphins and orcas have very complex communication systems and also seem to process linguistic and ...
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2answers
4k views

What is the difference between the evolution of fins in whales and fish?

For a homework assignment I received the following question: Which statement best explains the evolution of fins in whales and fish? a. The common ancestor of whales and fish possessed genes for ...
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1answer
219 views

Gestation period of African savanna elephants?

I found out it is 22 months for African bush elephants, but is this also true for African savanna elephants?
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1answer
200 views

What is the biochemistry of love?

How is love induced between humans? (e.g. between mother and child,couples,etc)? Does the phenomenon of love exist in other mammals, too?
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627 views

Why do cats' claws retract?

Humans have nails, horses have hooves - but they are always exposed. Why are cats' claws retractable rather than always exposed? Is it related to "Why are there nail growth differences between humans ...