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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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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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20 votes
2 answers
3k views

Are there any animals that celebrate communally?

Are there any animals that are known to celebrate events? For example, we humans might celebrate a birthday or passing an important test. An event causes us to perform some sort of celebration that is ...
Bryant Makes Programs's user avatar
19 votes
2 answers
7k views

What is this animal looking like an Axolotl?

My friend caught a strange looking animal and he's saying it is an axolotl. I keep telling him it's almost impossible, since they are almost extinct in their natural environment and he caught it in St-...
Samuel Fyckes's user avatar
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
19 votes
1 answer
2k views

How do porcupines keep from pricking each other while mating?

How do porcupines keep from pricking each other while mating? It seems like they would constantly be scratching each other.
J. Musser's user avatar
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19 votes
1 answer
769 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 ...
M.A.R.'s user avatar
  • 573
19 votes
2 answers
586 views

Was the recent "conservation hunt" of a black rhino supported by science?

CNN recently covered a sanctioned black rhino hunt in Namibia by Texan Corey Knowlton, who bid US$350,000 for the license. In the story, he claims that the hunt was actually supporting conservation of ...
MattDMo's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
13k views

Are there cats with black skin?

Some mammals can have a black, pink or spotted skin, depending on race - see for example humans or pigs. But I recently learned that this is not the case with mice. Even black furred mice have pink ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 3,362
18 votes
3 answers
3k views

Public database of animal specifications

I'm a math teacher looking for data to help my students interested in biology complete a quantitatively flavored study of animals. (As a math person, I apologize if I'm not using discipline-...
Jared's user avatar
  • 289
18 votes
3 answers
6k views

Help identify this worm-like thing

Many instances of this worm-like creature were found in a water system for a mountain cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains of the US, in late June / early July. The water system collects water from ...
Jeff Amelang's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
13k views

Is there any relationship between heartbeat rate and life span of an animal?

Is there any relationship between heartbeat rate and life span of an animal? Do they belong to a cause-and-effect relationship or are they both caused by some phenomenons or a common cause?
hello all's user avatar
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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
18 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do we explain the white feathers of an albino peacock?

Peacock feathers are supposed to produce colours by surface structures modulating the light (in addition to the usual absorption/reflection mechanism)... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
Jug's user avatar
  • 283
18 votes
1 answer
56k views

Fish "coming back to life" after being frozen

I've encountered a clip on Youtube showing a goldfish thrown in liquid nitrogen and immediately after to normal water and swimming normally. In the explanation to the clip it says: For everyone ...
SIMEL's user avatar
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18 votes
4 answers
853 views

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 ...
Jude's user avatar
  • 181
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do the majority of fish lack scales on their heads?

Based on pictures, it seems to me that a vast majority of fish species that have scales do NOT have scales on their heads. Is that fact true? To make this properly answerable: lets' define a "...
DVK's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
1k views

Would a shark whip into a frenzy from smelling its own blood?

Sharks normally respond very quickly to the scent of blood in up to a mile radius, but what if the shark itself simply got injured? Would it respond to its own blood at all?
RayOfHope's user avatar
  • 557
17 votes
4 answers
39k views

Can any other animal choke on food?

I read somewhere (I think it was Bill Bryson's book on the origins of the English language) that of all animals, we are the only ones that can choke on food (having something to do with how our larynx ...
Yevgeny Simkin's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
1k views

A weird-looking fish with a shield

I found this photo in a local news page. The page claims that this fish is a new species that was found by a Malaysian fisherman. Is this true or is it a known fish and already has a name?
user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
12k views

Why Crocodiles don't eat Hippos?

I have been following documentaries about crocodiles and amazingly, crocodiles and hippos apparently seem to live happily in the same pond together without attacking each other. Why is it so? Like ...
Failed Scientist's user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
7k views

Why is there a difference in the rotation of the tail fin in fish compared to marine mammals?

I've been thinking about this one, but I can't seem to find what causes this difference. All fishes that I've seen have their tail fin positioned vertical: But all the marine mammals I know have ...
Simon Verbeke's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is this little owl-like bird?

I was walking outside (location: Netherlands) and just saw this little bird: Unfortunately I had to take a long range picture with my cell phone so the quality is quite bad, however I hope still ...
KingBoomie's user avatar
  • 2,380
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
17 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why are the bodies of the Risso's dolphin covered in scratches?

Risso's dolphin in wild population seem to obtain scratches with aging. What is causing them and what do they mean?
Mackenzie Smith'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
17 votes
2 answers
729 views

Help identifying what this is in Crayfish gills?

this is my first time posting here. I was in my Zoology lab doing a dissection on a Crayfish when I noticed these hairlike structures within the gills. They were very "snappy" and fine, and would ...
Lyawake's user avatar
  • 171
17 votes
1 answer
499 views

Worm inside a millepede

I found a dead millipede lying on the ground in Wayand, Kerala (India). I put it in a bottle and brought it home. After around 5 hours a worm came out of it. It is about about 1.5 cm long and ...
AdDate's user avatar
  • 439
16 votes
2 answers
17k views

What species is this black, blue and white bird?

I think this species is native to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, as I see it regularly, especially around the urban locality (Downtown Edmonton). Season: Early Spring Date: May 18, 2017 Basic ...
Imtiaz Raqib's user avatar
  • 1,278
16 votes
4 answers
27k views

Why do we have no enzyme to digest cellulose?

As we know, cellulose is the most abundant polysaccharide in nature. Why don't we have an enzyme to digest cellulose?
Sagar's user avatar
  • 177
16 votes
3 answers
4k views

Do insects with compound eyes have depth perception?

Do insects with compound eyes have depth perception? They fly as if they do, but their eyes are so close together it seems like the image would be 2 dimensional.
J. Musser's user avatar
  • 3,737
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why do mosquitoes hover over our heads?

So I play soccer in evening at a nearby park. I noticed many times that after the game and even during it many mosquitoes hover over some of us. They sort of form a structure like a tornado. The more ...
AScientist's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
1k views

How does a woodpecker not give itself concussions?

How does a woodpecker go about smacking it's head into a tree without killing itself?
Sciiiiience's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
317 views

What made this black cluster on a leaf?

I found this black slug-shaped thing on a leaf by my pond in western Sweden. It's about 15 mm long, positioned on a vertical leaf (I bent it to take the picture). And I don't even know where to ...
picapica's user avatar
  • 2,039
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is this insect in North Carolina?

This insect is in my house in North Carolina, USA. I think it shares similar body features of that of a wasp, but it is far too narrow and has what appears to be a long stinger. What is it?
Evander C's user avatar
  • 163
16 votes
4 answers
592 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
16 votes
1 answer
38k views

How many mice are on the Earth?

We are 7 billion human beings on the Earth. But how many mice are there? How would you estimate such a number?
Gianpaolo R's user avatar
  • 3,884
15 votes
5 answers
5k views

Are there animals that have evolved a resistance to human activity or encroachment?

There are countless sources, both peer-reviewed and popular, explaining how overuse and misuse of antibiotics is breeding a new generation of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" such as MRSA (Methicillin-...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why do animals excrete excess nitrogen instead of recycling it?

I am aware of the different ways animals excrete excess nitrogen (mainly ammonium, urea, uric acid). My question is: why do we excrete excess nitrogen instead of recycling it? How can we explain that ...
tlorin's user avatar
  • 331
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

What kind of bird species is this?

Every now and then I got a glimpse of this bird which I'm pretty sure is not native to Northern Germany where I live. There are at least three of these birds around but I usually only see something ...
Christian's user avatar
  • 253
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
15 votes
3 answers
689 views

How do we know that dinosaurs were related to lizards and/or birds?

Do we clearly know what the living closest relative of the dinosaurs are? And connected to the first question, in scientific manner how do we know these relationship between extinct species and living ...
pikk's user avatar
  • 521
15 votes
2 answers
9k views

Are 'homeothermic' and 'endothermic' synonymous?

I got this question from the comments below this answer. So, do homeothermic and poikilothermic have the same meaning as endothermic and ectothermic, respectively? A user also suggested that the ...
Mesentery's user avatar
  • 3,293
15 votes
3 answers
7k views

How many cells does the smallest animal have?

Note: question rewritten to prevent misunderstanding and make it more answerable I know that some small animals like C. elegans display surprising sophistication with a very small number of cells. ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 3,362
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

What insect is this? (Central Africa)

I live in Africa (DR Congo). Here we have these insects that look like ants. They appear between May and June. These insects give severe damage if crushed on the skin. They contain something like ...
esQmo_'s user avatar
  • 337
15 votes
2 answers
4k views

How do insects breathe?

Do ants even breathe? If they don't, how do they stay alive? On what resources do they depend upon to stay alive? How are they different form mammals?
user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
808 views

Are there specific features of birds that cats/small predators are attracted to?

I've recently heard a podcast, in which a professor describes one of the theories as to why we like abstract art. In his talk, he mentions an experiment with seagull chicks, in which the seagull ...
Alex Stone's user avatar
  • 6,515
15 votes
1 answer
718 views

How do members of cryptic species know who to mate with?

According to Wikipedia: In biology, a cryptic species complex is a group of species which satisfy the biological definition of species—that is, they are reproductively isolated from each other—...
Douglas S. Stones's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
756 views

Examples of animals that co-opt toxins?

It is known that there are animals that acquire toxins through their diet or through their surroundings. The examples I know of include butterflies stocking up on alkaloids/glycosides while in the ...
user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
1k views

Do animals suffer from "Human" mental disorders?

It is tragic, but apparently Killer whales and Dolphins can commit suicide too (e.g. here)... This suggests they can become depressed. I wondered whether they were "clinically" depressed like many ...
hello_there_andy's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
40k views

Why do snails come out after the rain?

Many times, when there is rain after a long time, snails come out afterwards, and you can see snails and slugs everywhere! I have two questions: Why do they come out after the rain? Where are they ...
TanMath's user avatar
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