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Questions tagged [zoology]

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

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39 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Nick Criswell's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
13k 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 ...
Alessandro Jacopson's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
3k 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.
Miguel's user avatar
  • 19
20 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
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8 votes
1 answer
9k 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 ...
Allmin's user avatar
  • 81
7 votes
2 answers
5k views

Bug Identification: Tiny Bugs

I have seen these on my hands recently and I am wondering what they are. Urban Setting. South Central Pennsylvania.
IanBrightblade's user avatar
37 votes
3 answers
16k 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 ...
James's user avatar
  • 11.3k
5 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Josh's user avatar
  • 153
4 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Panos's user avatar
  • 43
11 votes
1 answer
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?
Zo Has's user avatar
  • 385
6 votes
1 answer
657 views

What species of insect is this?

I saw this insect near a beach in Corsica France:
sebi's user avatar
  • 163
3 votes
2 answers
10k views

Insect identification - pantry moth vs clothes moth

Are the following insects a pantry moth or a clothes moth? I live in Europe, if geographical location is of importance in this case. The insects are about 7 - 10 mm in length. For several months I ...
lukeg's user avatar
  • 207
13 votes
3 answers
251k 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 ...
AndreKR's user avatar
  • 240
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is this animal that hides in dustlike structure?

I'd like help identifying the species of animal in these two photos. There's some dust(or dust-like substance) with something alive inside of it (possibly a larva or I don't really know what to call ...
chousa's user avatar
  • 51
1 vote
1 answer
175 views

Is this arthropod non-intrusive and recommended to be left alive?

I am in Portugal (Lisbon) at the moment, and when leaving my room late at night (12 pm ~ 04 am) I usually face about 4 of these arthropods in the corridors: (For reference, the "line" in the image is ...
Aloizio Macedo's user avatar
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 ...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 1,103
21 votes
3 answers
7k 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?
user14843's user avatar
  • 219
6 votes
2 answers
1k 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, ...
man's user avatar
  • 61
73 votes
6 answers
10k 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: ...
user avatar
54 votes
4 answers
10k 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?
Shep's user avatar
  • 2,515
26 votes
3 answers
39k 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 ...
Alex Stone's user avatar
  • 6,515
20 votes
1 answer
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 ...
AlanSE's user avatar
  • 311
10 votes
4 answers
958 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 ...
pikk's user avatar
  • 521
10 votes
1 answer
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 ...
James's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
4k views

Spider Identification Illinois

I noticed a really huge, beautiful web on my porch last week, and tonight, I discovered its resident. I'm thinking it's an Araneus diadematus (Cross Orbweaver), but I was hoping for some confirmation. ...
Dan's user avatar
  • 201
6 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Will Perry's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
8k views

Small black slow-moving insect showing up in the home

In the past few weeks (winter) I've started to notice these insects crawling about various places of the home. Slow-moving like a beetle. Black all over. Hard to see but they have two prongs sticking ...
Rotem's user avatar
  • 153
3 votes
1 answer
1k 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
Wayne Werner's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
590 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?
ritlax9's user avatar
  • 21
-1 votes
1 answer
570 views

What is this hard shelled insect in my house?

I moved to a new city in west India last year and I've since, on several occasions, seen this insect on walls and it's usually climbing using its head. It has a greyish long shell and moves in a very ...
Fenil's user avatar
  • 71
31 votes
1 answer
1k 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....
Capo Mestre's user avatar
18 votes
1 answer
4k 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.
Eirik Jensen's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Ahmed Abdullah's user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
595 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 !
Poshpaws's user avatar
  • 7,302
15 votes
3 answers
2k 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?
Gabriel Fair's user avatar
  • 4,529
8 votes
2 answers
11k views

Can ants sense food from a long distance?

I recently had ants find and then swarm to a food container that I put down on a desk. I'm curious as to whether an ant would have needed to get lucky (i.e., discovering the food after crawling up the ...
J.Todd's user avatar
  • 1,891
7 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
stochastic13's user avatar
  • 4,689
6 votes
2 answers
6k views

I found a bug on my bedroom floor. Is this a bedbug?

I found this insect on my bedroom floor. I'm worried. I hope this is not a bed bug. Size: 3-4 mm
Virginia's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
986 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 ...
hello_there_andy's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
5k views

Tiny dark-colored bug ID in Amman-Jordan

I live in Amman-Jordan and I keep finding this bug species on my walls. I saw four till now on the walls of another room. A little bit bigger than the first one. Click on all photos to open full-...
Rashah's user avatar
  • 13
39 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
Katai's user avatar
  • 483
36 votes
2 answers
25k 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 ...
dwjohnston's user avatar
36 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Arseni Mourzenko's user avatar
34 votes
6 answers
7k views

Why didn't Escobar's hippos introduced in a single event die out due to inbreeding

Today I read a BBC Report about how Pablo Escobar had once imported 4 hippos (1 male, 3 female) into his estate in Colombia for his private zoo. After his downfall, while other species were shipped ...
RedBaron's user avatar
  • 451
29 votes
2 answers
10k 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 ...
Luke's user avatar
  • 6,279
25 votes
1 answer
4k 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.
Gareth Stanford's user avatar
24 votes
1 answer
744 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, ...
www0z0k's user avatar
  • 343
19 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
SuperElectric's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
4k 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!
ansarob's user avatar
  • 515
13 votes
1 answer
9k views

Do any animals prepare food?

I was just wondering if any animals (are smart enough to) enhance the flavor of their food by, for example, mixing ingredients or seasoning or letting it cure in some ways. In the first episode of ...
amphibient's user avatar