Questions tagged [mammals]

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

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6
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1answer
434 views

What selective factors drove the evolution of lactose in lactation?

As far as I can determine, lactose, and the monosaccharide galactose have few biological uses outside of mammalian lactation. It not only required enzymes for its production, but enzymes in offspring ...
6
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2answers
242 views

Do omnivore mammals vary food preferences based on dietary needs?

I'm wandering if mammals that can eat many different kinds of food (omnivores) vary their preference for food not only based on the availability, but also based on dietary needs? I'm looking at this ...
6
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1answer
207 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?
6
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1answer
114 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 ...
5
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1answer
2k views

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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1answer
2k views

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?
5
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1answer
1k views

Whose horns are these?

Can anyone please help me identify these horns? I guess they belonged to either European or Asian species. I don't know anything about their history -- they are my grandparents' who are from Moscow, ...
5
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1answer
583 views

The ermine's colour and geographical range

Ermines turn white during the winter, with only the tip of the tail remaining black. However, in the southern regions of the ermine's range it clearly doesn't get so white. Encyclopedia of Life says ...
5
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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 ...
5
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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 ...
5
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1answer
200 views

Why do mammals produce more carbon dioxide than insects?

I understand that mammals produce more carbon dioxide than insects on a gram per gram basis, but why is that? I'm thinking it might be because mammals are warm-blooded, which require more energy ...
5
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1answer
339 views

Why was polyploidy not lethal in certain octodontid rodents?

As discussed in Why is polyploidy lethal for some organisms while for others is not?, polyploidy is normally lethal in mammals. However, two species of Octodontidae (South American rodents), are ...
5
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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 ...
5
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1answer
110 views

How does the Platypus grow before it eats?

From this fascinating documentary on monotremes it is mentioned that the Platypus is born less than 1 cm in length, but has doubled its size by day three when it begins to nurse. How does the animal ...
4
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1answer
77 views

How are the first mammary glands thought to have functioned?

I happened upon a book (not about biology) containing this text: A life-changing birth occurred on the planet about 190 million years ago [...] the first tiny shrew like creature brought forth an ...
4
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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, ...
4
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1answer
163 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 ...
4
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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 ...
4
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2answers
146 views

How can bobcats feel the mice under the snow?

I've just seen the Planet Earth II's second episode "Mountains" where they shock us with these North American bobcats that can feel mice from the distance of several meters, sneak to them and kill ...
4
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1answer
129 views

Identification of a small mammal

Could someone help with identification of this small mammal? Is it a possum? A dormouse? It was photographed in Sukhumi botanical garden, in Abkhazia (west of Georgia, on the shores of the black sea)....
4
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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 ...
4
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1answer
225 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 ...
4
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1answer
901 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 ...
4
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1answer
102 views

How does the bear mother ensure her cubs don't escape during hibernation?

I have some questions relating to bears- more specifically, the brown bears we have in Scandinavia. When they go into hibernation, do they fall asleep as we know falling asleep? If a bear mother ...
4
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1answer
68 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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0answers
34 views

Why is there such a long interval between ages of sexual maturity and of reproduction in female chimpanzees?

There seems to be some disagreement on the ages at which female chimpanzees typically reach sexual maturity and when they typically first give birth, but regardless, different sources seem to agree ...
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0answers
43 views

What do groundhogs and other subsurface-tunnel dwelling creatures do in heavy rains to avoid harm?

I notice groundhogs and many other tunneling creatures in my yard, the same yard which became pretty flooded during heavy rainfall. I don't see wildlife out during rain storms, but not long after, ...
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0answers
47 views

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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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 ...
3
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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 ...
3
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1answer
357 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 ...
3
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1answer
153 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?
3
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1answer
264 views

Why do surface mole tunnels follow directly below the electric fenceline

I have electric fencing enclosing five acres, and moles always seem to tunnel in a straight line just under the electric fence - are they following a force field? Can that be?
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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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2answers
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
634 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 ...
3
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1answer
265 views

Mammal vs Placental Mammal

So for Google Earth Day's quiz I ended up being a "Pangolin." Turns out I had no idea what it was so I looked into it and honestly it reminded me a lot of an Armadillo. So I decided to find out the ...
3
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1answer
12k views

Why do Guinea Pigs chirp / sing?

Ok, so this appears to be quite a mystery. Me and my girlfriend have 2 Guinea Pigs, 1 male and 1 female. My girlfriend once picked up the female one and took her outside into our garden. The Guinea ...
3
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2answers
135 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
183 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 ...
3
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1answer
320 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 ...
3
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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 ...
3
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0answers
215 views

How old is the action of sneezing?

Is there an estimate for when the ability of sneezing evolved? A little bit of research, and some critical review of my memories tell me that: Many, if not maybe all mammals sneeze. Some reptiles ...
3
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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 ...
3
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1answer
76 views

Was mammal body better suited for some type of the marine environment than the body of fish?

When some of the land mammals came back to the oceans, they seem to be successful in the competition with fish at least in some environment even though they seem to have a huge disadvantage in the ...
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0answers
34 views

How is the brain kickstarted during development [closed]

The brain is a complicated beast, that operates (generally) by electrical activity. During development, all cells originate from the a single "cell": the zygote. At some point during development, the ...
3
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1answer
269 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 ...
2
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2answers
765 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 ...
2
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1answer
85 views

What pigment is responsible for the formation of blue skin color in some animals?

Not long ago I read about Vervet monkey. Here's picture: My question is what causes this blue coloration of the scrotum? I don't mean evolutionary need (e.g. attracting females), but what pigment or ...
2
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1answer
352 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 ...