Questions tagged [zoology]

The biological study of animals. Very broad use so be sure to add additional clarifying tags

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
34
votes
1answer
5k views

Insect identification - Is this a bedbug?

This bug was found on a couch in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The couch, and the two beds in the room show no signs of other bugs. Is this a bed bug that I should worry about or something harmless? It ...
19
votes
2answers
923 views

Transitivity of Species Definitions

There are many definitions of "species" which usually take the form Two individuals are of the same species if ... An implied (rarely made explicit) property of any sensible species definition is ...
35
votes
3answers
14k views

Why do parasites sometimes kill their hosts?

It's bothered me for a while now. I understand why a parasitoid would do this, as it only temporarily requires the host, and that not all parasites kill their hosts. There seems to be no evolutionary ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

What kind of insect can this be? This appears to be just a shell after and insect went through a metamorphosis process

What kind of insect can this be? This appears to be just a shell after an insect went through a metamorphosis process.
10
votes
1answer
5k views

Questions about insects eating flour and living in the cracks of a wooden cutting boards

I have a large wooden cutting board which is used in my kitchen mainly for preparing egg pasta. The wood type is Populus (poplar or aspen or cottonwood). The main ingredients used with the cutting ...
6
votes
1answer
564 views

Identification of an insect from midwest US

I have been seeing them more and more frequently indoors. I am currently in the Midwest United States, weather has been unusually warm for December, and there are many trees nearby. Can someone ...
11
votes
1answer
4k views

Do fish break a water molecule to absorb oxygen?

How do fish separate oxygen from H20 & consume it? Do they break the water molecule and absorb the oxygen only?
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Identify this smooth-cocoon worm from Southern India

I couldn't identify which species these worms belong to. I believe they're insect larvae. They measure approximately 5 to 10 mm in length, and are common in the southern states of India. They carry ...
69
votes
4answers
7k views

Why are there no wheeled animals?

In physics, "almost everything is already discovered, and all that remains is to fill a few unimportant holes." (See Jolly.) Therefore, on Physics SE, people are veering off into different directions: ...
54
votes
4answers
7k views

Why do men have nipples?

I'd be tempted to call nipples in men vestigial, but that suggests they have no modern function. They do have a function, of course, but only in women. So why do men (and all male mammals) have them?
21
votes
1answer
2k views

Do large animals often evolve into smaller animals?

There are several examples where the largest animals were killed off preferentially due to a major ecological shift: The KT extinction event The Holocene extinction, as well as the major megafauna ...
26
votes
3answers
31k views

Are humans the only animal that requires “clean water”?

I've seen a number of animals - dogs, cats, squirrels, ducks and geese, etc drink from puddles, some of them were muddy, others had green flora growing under water. Same goes for lakes and rivers. A ...
11
votes
4answers
488 views

What was the reason for some plant and animals to become giant in course of evolution?

The dinosaurs, mammoths, giant plants etc are known to be bigger than modern animals. I wonder why they had been lived and why they are not living now? I really don't know much but is it something ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

What is a subspecies?

Within a species there may be subspecies that are named using trinomial nomenclautre. For example the Grizzly Bear, Ursus arctos horribilis is a subspecies of the Brown Bear Ursus arctos. The ...
6
votes
1answer
990 views

How do sharks and other fish conserve and gain water in marine environments?

With the osmolarity of the average vertebrate being around 300mOsml, and salt water having an osmolarity of 1000mOsml, why does the water from the shark not leave to the salt water around it? I ...
2
votes
2answers
64 views

Bug Identification: Tiny Bugs in Fairport NY

We have been finding a ton of these tiny bugs (pin head size or smaller) outside on our patios, outdoor tables, on the grill, etc. What are they and how do we get rid of them?
20
votes
3answers
6k views

Do animals other than humans have different blood types?

Humans have the ABO and Rhesus blood typing systems. I have two questions about it: Why have we evolved these blood types? Do other animals have different blood types as well?
70
votes
2answers
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 ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

What kind of skull is this?

We found this skull on a beach in southwestern Sweden, and are curious as to what kind of animal it was.
5
votes
1answer
675 views

Body size, what are the evolutionary trade-offs?

Background Considering just the "Kingdom Animalia" branch of organisms. It is clear that bigger does not necessarily mean better - there is large variation in body size... From the 94 µm long ...
17
votes
1answer
599 views

Help me identify this insect from Bangladesh

I have seen this insect flying literally everywhere in Dhaka city (Bangladesh) over the last two months. It's small -- around 1-1.5 inches long. It's not an agile flyer and can be easily grabbed by ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the appendix a vestigial structure in all vertebrates?

In humans the Appendix is a vestigial organ. Does it serve no apparent purpose in all the vertebrates that have one?
6
votes
1answer
322 views

What species of insect is this?

I saw this insect near a beach in Corsica France:
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Polymorphism in cnidarians?

To me, the phenomenon of polymorphism in cnidarians is particularly troubling. I gather that it essentially refers to existence of various different forms or kinds of individuals, i.e. zooids and ...
17
votes
4answers
519 views

Is there any documented evidence for suicide among vertebrates other than humans?

Is there any documented evidence for suicide among vertebrates other than humans? Lemmings not accepted !
5
votes
2answers
577 views

Species Identification - small insect

I found a few of these walking in the middle of the night (about 3 AM) on a wall in my room near the floor. They are at most a few millimetres long (no more than 2 I would say). I am living in Poland, ...
29
votes
1answer
944 views

What strange jelly-like thing is shown in the photo?

What is shown in the pictures below? The photo was taken at the Australia's south coast (Queenscliff). The length of the thing is no longer than 50 cm... It doesn't move and has jelly-like consistency....
34
votes
1answer
726 views

Does this recording sound like the pulses emitted by bats?

Out of curiosity, I recorded sounds in an area with lots of bats, hoping to be able to "hear" the bats communicating by lowering the ultrasound to a level down to the frequency which can be heard by a ...
29
votes
2answers
9k views

Why do we grow so much hair on our heads compared to our bodies?

I've been wondering about head hair, facial hair in particular. Human males can grow very extensive beards should they choose to not shave - however you do not really see this in our chimpanzee ...
33
votes
2answers
18k views

Who are humans' closest relatives, after primates?

This question here addresses the controversy of whether humans are more closely related to bonobos or chimps. My question is - which group of animals are are closest relatives, beyond primates? Or ...
12
votes
3answers
191k views

Small worm living in some kind of cocoon, what are these animals?

I am curious what animal is this. It is/lives inside some kind of cocoon, about 1 cm in length. They are attached to walls and to the ceiling, but sometimes they fall off. Inside the structure there ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do small organisms make faster movements than big organisms?

I hesitated to ask this question because it seems so obvious and intuitive. However, I am not able to explain this tendency. Background It seems to me that small organisms make faster movements than ...
39
votes
2answers
3k views

Do homing pigeons fly straight home or follow certain “highways”?

Homing pigeons (Columba livia) have been prized for their navigational abilities for thousands of years. They’ve served as messengers during war, as a means of long-distance communication, and as ...
18
votes
2answers
4k views

How do birds deal with their eyes drying out at high speeds?

My eyes tear up when cycling at 15 mph, which is nothing compared to bird airspeeds. Do birds continuously produce lots of tears and blink a lot, or do the eyes self-moisturize from the inside ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Horned Mohawk looking insect. What is it?

Any ideas? I didn't know any other way to explain it. I live in Indiana, USA if that helps. Someone said it might be a "stink bug" but I'm not sure and not willing to find out!
11
votes
3answers
483 views

Can any species be bred selectively/engineered to become as diverse looking as dogs?

I've done some research and it appears that dogs are the most diverse looking single species of mammals. The questions that interest me is - are dogs special in respect to genes/gene activation ...
6
votes
2answers
301 views

Do smaller intelligent animals have a higher neuron density to account for their seeming intelligence? Otherwise, what?

It seems like there's a lot of very small animals that have a much higher intelligence than what you would expect if you linearly projected intelligence as a function of brain size. There's ravens, ...
4
votes
1answer
338 views

Why are cancer rates low in large animals?

Large animals generally have more cells and live longer than smaller animals. For example, bowhead whales live up to 200 years and weigh up to 100 tonnes, as opposed to humans (living ~71 years and ...
24
votes
1answer
3k views

What kind of creature is this?

I saw this on Facebook today and have tried researching it myself, but I have had no luck.
23
votes
1answer
672 views

Are there dextral/sinistral higher animals? [duplicate]

For example, almost every dog I've met in my life (more than 20 subjects) uses their right paw touching one while asking for attention. Can it be used as a criterion for calling them dextral? If not, ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Insect identification: white spotted beetle

3 pairs of legs, a pair of antenna, wings absent, compound eye, 4-6 centimeter approx. in size. I found this beetle at my door, in Pune, India.
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Regarding the kingdom Animalia, which phylogenic tree is more common: Molecular Comparisons or Body-Plan Grades

In the picture below, which I obviously do not own: it depicts two different phylogenic trees, one which is based on molecular comparisons and another one which is based on body-plan grades. My ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

What are these shrimp-like insects in my cat's water bowl that appear overnight

Our family has 2 cats and a dog. We keep food and water bowls outside for them. We clean and refill the water bowls every day. Almost every morning, the water bowl is teeming with small aquatic ...
6
votes
2answers
152 views

Can I force evolution in a group of cells by removing all the smaller cells?

I actually have algae growing in water in a container. I was thinking if it was possible to filter the water so that all the small cells will be filtered out and only the bigger ones will remain to ...
3
votes
2answers
163 views

Tiny white very hard cell bug! Please help to identify!

I found these bugs walking on the floor/ wall and on my laptop. And unfortunately I think they could be in my bed, too, since I bring my laptop to bed sometimes. I live in a big city in the ...
11
votes
1answer
15k views

Why do humans seem so much more prone to disease than animals? [closed]

It seems like when we observe animals in the wild, the occurrence of noticeable disease in adult individuals is much lower than in humans. Why? There are a number of reasons that this could happen, ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Are there animal species that sense infrared light with their eyes?

I asked a question earlier today about birds with infrared vision but this time I am asking about animals in general. I know that many snakes have receptors between their eyes and their snout that ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the theory of evolution being disproved by bats?

For some species the Darwin's theory evolution makes perfect sense. I can easily imagine how, for example, the giraffe has evolved to its current appearance: the natural selection was favoring ...
3
votes
1answer
715 views

Is it possible to identify this chrysalis?

At least I believe it's a chrysalis. I found it hanging from my gate the other day. I'm in Western Arkansas: More photos here
2
votes
1answer
131 views

What is this bizarre insect?

Well, a friend of mine sent me this picture of an creepy insect. I'm wondering if the picture is photoshoped or if it is real. It is said the insect lives in Indonesia, but I'm not sure. Can anyone ...