Questions tagged [mammals]

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

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1answer
189 views

What is the evolutionary purpose of white spots in nails and how can they be characterised due to Leukonychia? [closed]

Suppose you haven't hit your nails so the white spots are due to Leukonychia. Are the discoloration i.e. the white spots due to lower porosity (less minerals absorbing) or some other factor? I ...
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2answers
2k views

Why only female mammals have well developed mammary glands?

In course of evolution (possibly), mammary glands became vestigial in male mammals, but became fully developed in females. Is there any plausible explanation for this characteristic?
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Are there any mammals whose males can feed with milk? [duplicate]

Are there any mammals whose males can feed the offsprings with milk from the breasts?
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2answers
162 views

How to determine externally that a whale is a mammal?

Mammals have external qualifying characteristics like body hair, ear pinna, etc. But a whale has none of that. So, can it be identified as a mammal just by external observations?
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38 views

Which agricultural crops attract rodents?

Are there any data on rodent populations per acre of different types of agricultural crops?
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1answer
244 views

What does it mean for the signals for transcription and translation to be “conserved”?

I was reading this article: "Overview of vector design for mammalian gene expression." for an explanation of why mammalian cell lines are used for expressing cloned genes, and one of the reasons ...
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2answers
11k 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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1answer
72 views

About the plight of Elephants and efforts to conserve them? [closed]

Poachers are only after the ivory horns right? I read this story from the New York Times ( I think) of saving a Rhinocerous by some Park Rangers and a Vet. ( forgive spelling) ; they tranquilized the ...
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5answers
53k views

Why don't mammals have more than 4 limbs?

Arthropods have 6 or more limbs and arthropods with 6 limbs appear to move faster than arthropods with 8 limbs so I wonder whether this might have something to do with fast and efficient locomotion. ...
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2answers
33k views

How and why did mammals go back to the oceans?

If I understand evolutionary biology correctly, mammals first evolved on land as small, rodent-like creatures, in a time when reptiles were dominant on land. Eventually, they diversified into the ...
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2answers
651 views

Why does botulinum toxin seem to be more dangerous to humans than to other mammals?

Various mammals seem to get away with eating parts of carcasses that we would prefer to not even touch, and that we assume will make us sick. Because of that, I assume botulinum toxin is more ...
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2answers
2k views

Why do rabbits often have white hindquarters?

There are several species of herbivores that have a very visible white hindquarters: several kinds of deer, rabbits, antelopes, etc. Does the white fur serve a functional purpose, or is it purely ...
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1answer
218 views

Why are recombination rates increasing in mammals?

I have recently become fascinated with an awesome topic in biology and evolution that I feel is rarely covered in biology courses. That is, rates of meiotic recombination, or the the amount that an ...
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1answer
461 views

Are there any arboreal mammals which eat leeches?

Are there any tree-dwelling mammals which might be found taking a living leech and eating it? (And do any hollow-dwelling birds of prey eat leeches?)
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1answer
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Mammal body density

Human body density is approximately 1 kg/l (same as fresh water) - which is not surprising (at first) given that we are 70% water, and is surprising (on a second thought), given that the other 30% can ...
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1answer
46 views

Book recommendation on mammal (or just primate) behaviour, especially in relation to child-rearing

I have a growing frustration with the lows 'new-age' parenting is reaching, along with asininity of so much of our public schools' (and summer camps') philosophies and policies in relation to our kids....
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1answer
388 views

Is there any evidence for secondarily poikilothermic vertebrate? [closed]

Is it possible that an endothermic physiology can evolve into an ectothermic (poikilothermic) physiology? I have a non-scientific gut feeling that it is irreversible. Whales and dolphins are evolved ...
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4answers
54k views

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
867 views

What species is this mammal?

I saw a mammal that looked like a large squirrel. I haven't seen anything quite like it. Can you help me identify it? Squirrel-like, "hunched over" posture. It was too large to be an eastern squirrel&...
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90 views

How important is the womb's environment?

- Background - Talking about one phenotypic trait, the total phenotypic variance $V_p$ is decomposed into genetic and environmental variance for this trait, represented by the symbols $V_G$ and $V_E$ ...
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2answers
1k views

Why haven't land animals evolved beyond urination?

It occurred to me (while urinating) that this would seem to be selected against because water is a scarce resource. Why are we constantly losing water we don't need to through urination? What is ...
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2answers
526 views

Does Science Say That We Should Die? [duplicate]

Excluding situations where you die from accidents, the main reason for death is -generaly- diseases. And usually it is about an organ which becomes "tired" after many years. These results are all ...
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1answer
79 views

In what circumstances does a mammalian egg copy its DNA?

In the 2nd episode of the new Cosmos series, the host Neil deGrasse Tyson shows how the white-furred bear could have evolved (reasonable scientific speculation, of course). If you haven't seen that ...
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1answer
1k views

Are females more flexible than males in all mammals?

It's common that human females have a more flexible body than males, (but I don't know why, so it'd be helpful if someone answers why so as well!) but does this apply to all mammals?
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1answer
3k views

How do Kangaroo mothers deliver the correct kind of milk to the correct joey?

Mother kangaroos are able to rear multiple joeys (young kangaroos) at different stages of development at the same time. According to Wikipedia, "the mother is able to produce two different kinds of ...
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3answers
6k views

What is the fastest marine mammal?

When I did a research, most of the sources say that orca is one of the fastest. But I could not find a source that says it is actually the fastest. Some sources say that Dall's porpoises rival orcas ...
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2answers
184 views

GULO only for mammals?

I am not a biology student, but just want to know if GULO gene are present only in mammals or all species possess it ? And is GULO gene active in human fetus?
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1answer
123 views

Why do mammals in the wild retain the “trait” of menstruating with blood? [duplicate]

This question intrigued me a lot since if animals in the wild did have menstruation with blood flow, wouldn't all that blood be attracting every other predator in the vicinity?
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2answers
19k 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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1answer
43k views

Cats, Dogs and Bears - how are they related?

What is the ancestral relationship between cats, dogs and bears? I presume they are more closely related to one another than other paraphyletic clades of mammal. Which came first? What did their ...
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2answers
4k views

What species is this rabbit-like animal?

This image was included in something I was browsing through. It reminds me of my lion head rabbit, but the head shape doesn't match. Is this some kind of Siberian wild rabbit?
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5answers
12k views

Why do most mammals have long snouts?

It seems like most mammals, e.g. dogs, have long snouts. My pet dog's snout would seem to me like an evolutionary disadvantage, since her canine teeth are way out at the end of her jaw, which acts as ...
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1answer
79 views

How do rodenticides with delayed effect work?

Most modern rodenticides are claimed to cause death no earlier than several days after ingestion. That's quite strange - once a chemical was ingested it will be absorbed in the digestive system and ...
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1answer
259 views

Are the byproducts of mammalian digestion simply depleted versions of the food or liquid consumed?

When mammals consume food and digest it or drink fluids that are then filtered by their kidneys, are the waste products generated simply depleted versions of what they consumed? Are there other ...
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3answers
4k views

Why is mammal coloration so dull?

I have seen species of birds, insects and fishes with splendid colours. But when it comes to mammals (including us humans), they almost always appear in shades of brown, grey, orange, or in black and ...
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2answers
889 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
2k views

Is there a difference between pig and cow anatomy that makes religious slaughter of the latter less painful?

This question is not for the squeamish. I was told that non-Kosher animals like pigs have a different anatomy in their neck compared to kosher animals like cows such that the Shechita method of ...
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1answer
1k views

How are blood vessels affected by UV and infrared radiation?

The lining of the blood vessel as an interface and boundary layer is of existential necessity to the life-support of mammals. My question is: How are major blood vessels and the blood vessel lining ...
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0answers
7k views

Can Squirrels Eat Every Mushroom? [closed]

Squirrels have the ability to eat toxic mushrooms as described below. Are there any mushrooms that they can't eat without dying? According to Dr. John Rippon, an IMA member and world expert on ...
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1answer
116 views

How compatible are mammal wombs?

I had read about science working towards the creation of artificial wombs however I wonder how compatible are mammal wombs and connected systems to develop fetuses. What species are so compatible that ...
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1answer
1k views

Why do sloths come down from the trees to defecate?

I'm under the impression that most sloths exhibit this behavior, but why? They are slow moving and so have no way of escaping from predators when on the ground. Not to mention the energy they expire ...
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1answer
1k views

What controls the size of breasts?

I am not a biology student, just a curious person. To be specific, I'm talking about female humans. I know that it might apply to other mammals. What controls the size of breasts? I have heard about ...
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2answers
139 views

Do dolphins really sleep?

I have always wondered, if dolphins sleep with one eye opened, do they really sleep at all? According to this article dolphins indeed shut down their brains. I already googled it. No help from ...
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1answer
678 views

Are ape communities more “anarchist” or “communist” in structure?

I am using these terms because we can imagine them quite good, I guess ;) By "anarchist" I mean that the ape wants to live without the rule of others apes(same biological race or other) and he pursue ...
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1answer
186 views

How compatible are mammalian digestive systems?

I'm interested in what kinds of nutrients mammals extract from food and would like to know how similar are the outputs of these systems. For example, if it is possible to successfully replace one ...
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1answer
133k views

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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2answers
3k views

How do bats distinguish between day and night?

How do bats distinguish between day and night? Do they hunt at night - if yes, how they know that? Are they afraid of sunlight?
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1answer
184 views

Are there any mammals in which polyspermy produces viable zygotes?

Are there any mammals in which polyspermy produces viable zygotes? In the wikipedia page it is mentioned that there is a delicate equilibrium between female defenses against many sperms, which ...
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2answers
781 views

Do any cells change in size or mass as mammals grow?

That is to say, are there cells that, between infancy and adulthood, get larger? Or is all growth done entirely via cell division? I'm wondering if it is safe to assume that the approximate number ...
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1answer
3k views

Could a fetus properly develop in micro/zero-gravity?

I suppose another way of looking at the question is: how important is gravity for the development of mammal fetuses? And if things would go wrong, what sort of things would they be, and what would be ...