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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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Do sharks fart?

My son is 5 and I'm encouraging him to be curious and ask questions of the world around him. He asked if sharks fart and how does it smell? He feels that it would smell of fish and be disgusting. He ...
Cameron's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
7k views

Why do crabs spit?

Last year I photographed this juvenile Sally Lightfoot Crab (Grapsus grapsus) 'spitting' (click for larger view): I thought I'd look up more information on this behavior, but couldn't find any ...
p.s.w.g's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
22k views

Did animals evolve from plants?

Did animals evolve from plants? Did animals' ancestors have chloroplasts in their cells?
Anixx's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
923 views

Identification of colorful jelly-like marine creature

I'm on my trip to Gulangyu Island, Xiamen, Fujian Province, China. Today(4th February 2017), at 12:13 A.M., I saw a beach filled with huge rocks on which various dry shells reside. Among the shells, I ...
nalzok's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
1k views

Hippos in infrared

Watching Netflix's "Night on Earth", I discovered that Hippos, or at least some Hippos, have quite a weird appearance in infrared. They seem to be covered by IR bright spots all over their body, ...
user35915's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
1k views

Owl identification. Winter in Haliburton, Ontario, Canada

Is this owl a 'Great Grey Owl' or 'Barred Owl'? I'm thinking a Great Grey because it was quite huge - about 1.5 to 2 feet tall.
OrbitRob's user avatar
  • 647
14 votes
1 answer
110k views

Dorsal vs Posterior and Ventral vs Anterior

From prior reading, I thought that Dorsal is the same as Posterior and Ventral is the same as Anterior. However, when I checked in google images for these anatomical terms for a horse (just to ...
MrAP's user avatar
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14 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why is Portuguese man o' war considered a colony?

The wikipedia entry on the Portuguese man o' war says: ... the Portuguese man o' war is ... not actually a single multicellular organism but a colonial organism made up of many highly specialized ...
yshavit's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
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How does a jumping spider manage to "jump" on the ceiling?

I just witnessed a small jumping spider jump on some kind of louse or bed bug on the ceiling. How does it do that without falling? I have yet to find a high-speed-camera video of a jumping spider ...
Kal's user avatar
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14 votes
4 answers
3k views

Skull mystery on beach

The skull was found on a beach on the Sechelt inlet on Canada's pacific coast. A marine environment. What species is this skull from?
Rusty biologist's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
609 views

Name and Behaviour of Arthropods near a Cactus

Background Story I have a small, old cactus on my sunny, south-facing window sill in southern Germany. Since a few years, small black dots gathered around its pot. At first, I thought the dots were ...
Socowi's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
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Are there any pre-Holocene venomous animals?

The novel (and subsequently movie) Jurassic Park featured a dinosaur called Dilophosaurus, that was purported to be venomous and had an ability similar to that of the extant spitting cobra. ...
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13 votes
1 answer
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Have elephants (or any species other than humans) been known to cover their dead?

I was just reading this blog on HarperCollins website about 5 animals that grieve. Of elephants, the following claim is made: They bury their dead and pay tribute to the bodies and to the bones. [my ...
Curious Layman's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
231 views

How do baby animals that primarily subsist on cellulose get their initial gut flora?

In the case of mammals like giraffes and koalas, is that bacteria common on the plants they eat so when a baby starts to try to stick something besides its mother's milk in its mouth, it can't digest ...
mring's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
27k views

Identify fuzzy black quarter sized spider with orange on abdomen, in Minnesota

Found this spider on my car in Minnesota near St Paul (USA). Total size including the legs (end of rear leg to end of front leg in picture) is probably about the size of a quarter.
Smern's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
3k views

What species of fox is this?

I found this picture of a fox in a news article about arctic foxes in Sweden (source), but I'm not sure whether it is actually an arctic fox. On the one hand, it has white fur, which is the correct ...
Gwen's user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
17k views

What animal has the longest juvenile period?

I just heard the following complaint from a comedienne. Humans are the only animal that is completely useless for the first twenty five years of life. Obviously this is just a joke but it is true ...
William Rosenbloom's user avatar
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
13 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why do sparrows jump instead of walk when they are not flying?

I want to talk about sparrows, one of the most common birds around the world. I noticed that when one slowly walks into them (so that they are not frightened enough to fly away), these tiny birds ...
nalzok's user avatar
  • 487
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
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13 votes
1 answer
302 views

Identification of an animal building

I live in south-west Germany and today while mowing the lawn I discovered a strange structure. It looks like a molehill on which additional branches were placed. This kind of branches are easy to find ...
Michi_666's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why does the butterfly have a cocoon stage in its life cycle?

Why does the butterfly have a cocoon stage in its life cycle? It could have simply grown up within the egg/cocoon, and emerged as a butterfly. Instead it is first an egg, then a worm, then a chrysalis,...
Everyone's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
64k views

If I put a cup over a spider, and leave it there for a day, will the spider survive?

Will it travel more slowly since it hasn't had food for a day? What if I left the cup there for longer?
InquilineKea's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
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How much energy does a lion contain? [closed]

I was looking into the following problem: Obviously, the solution lies in how much energy either can output per unit of time. The total energy output of the sun is $3.8×10^{26} \frac{J}{s}$. The ...
Etheryte's user avatar
  • 296
12 votes
4 answers
4k views

Are humans Gnathostomates?

Gnathostomates are vertebrates having jaws. But when I search on the internet for Gnathostomates, I always find out that they are sharks and fish-like organisms. But are humans not also ...
Taylan's user avatar
  • 339
12 votes
1 answer
3k views

Identify blue/translucent jelly-like animal on beach

A few weeks back a beach in California had lots of this animal (if it is an animal?). Can anyone identify what it is? They had a distinct blue bottom and a see-through top.
JenserCube's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

From which animal is this derived?

I know only that it is not a bird and an insect. I am really interested in from what it is.
user32309's user avatar
  • 121
12 votes
6 answers
53k views

What makes humans omnivores, and not herbivores?

Some vegans claim that humans are herbivores, not omnivores, and that we are not physiologically designed to eat meat (see here: http://www.peta.org/living/food/natural-human-diet/). "According to ...
Big Skeptic 's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
1k views

What are the frequency ranges of most marine mammal vocalizations?

I am trying to determine a list of frequency ranges into which marine mammal vocalizations fall. Ideally, I would like a list showing where the most popular marine mammal vocalizations fall, followed ...
Spacey's user avatar
  • 583
12 votes
3 answers
3k views

Species with reproduction barriers that can both reproduce with a third species

To start with, I do not have a sound knowledge in biology or any formal education in the area. I was told that one of the definition of a species is a reproductive barrier, which means that if two ...
SIMEL's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
9k views

Do animals get sick from eating dirty food or eating off the floor?

Humans have very strict tradition of hygiene, such as washing hands before eating, using utensils, and in general keeping as much distance between food and dirt as possible. At the same time, most ...
Alex Stone's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
2k views

What kind of crow is this? [duplicate]

Years ago, when I lived in Greece, I saw crows from a close distance, but never with this peculiar colouration. Today I saw two individuals, both with these gray parts. Location: Austria, Vienna. ...
Ludi's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
8k views

Will the "frog in boiling water not jumping out" work on warm blooded animals

There is the famous saying about a frog that is put in water that are slowly boiling will not jump out until it's too late. I realize it happens because of the frog's cold blood that adjusts to the ...
SIMEL's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
4k views

How best to count bees entering and leaving a hive to measure hive activity?

This is my first question here, so I apologize for all mistakes I could have possibly made. I'm a high school student in East-Central Europe and I need to complete some research for a biology contest ...
user6774's user avatar
  • 223
12 votes
1 answer
4k views

What causes notches in elephants' ears?

What causes the elephants' ear to rip like this? Is it a natural process as they get old, or it's injuries, like consequence of fighting with other elephants?
Wes's user avatar
  • 223
12 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why do bumble bees run repeatedly into walls?

I have noticed on dozens of occasions that bumble bees will run repeatedly into a wall. Usually between 1 - 5 times before clearing the obstacle or flying away. Credit: Spine Films This source ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why do animals have more heavy nitrogen and carbon than plants?

There are two stable Isotopes of nitrogen N14 and N15. The ratio of 15N/14N tends to increase with trophic level, such that herbivores have higher nitrogen isotope values than plants, and ...
Marijn 's user avatar
  • 2,765
12 votes
1 answer
240 views

Can a lizard shed a regrown tail again?

Some lizards are famous for their ability to voluntarily shed their tail to elude predators (Autotomy). After a while, the tail will be regenerated, though with slightly different qualities, as ...
user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
986 views

Is there any math formula that can be used to describe shape of leaves?

There can be great variation in shape of leaves. Neverthless they are fairly simple shapes. How far are we in describing the shape of leaves in a mathematically rigorous way? Do we have a general ...
Ahmed Abdullah's user avatar
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
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Does interspecies breastfeeding occur in the wild?

Does interspecies breastfeeding occur in the wild? Say, for example, a zebra feeding a wildebeest, or a bushbuck feeding a gazelle. There is a Wikipedia page on this topic but it only shows animal-...
Samid's user avatar
  • 307
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

How did zootoxins evolve?

I've always wondered how toxins in certain organisms have evolved. Particularly, organisms that produce toxins as a deterrent to predators as opposed to organisms that use it to paralyze their prey. ...
humanoid's user avatar
  • 221
11 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is this bird similar to a seagull but with a forked swift-like tail?

I observed these birds in Saint Petersburg, Russia this June, mainly in the evening when the sun was setting. They are similar to seagulls and often fly (presumably hunting) at the same location as ...
Ruslan's user avatar
  • 425
11 votes
1 answer
3k views

Strange Striped Insect identification (Northern Indiana)

These bugs are coming out of some wood that I cut and burned in Northern Indiana (USA) . I am not sure if it is coming out of a white ash, cherry or oak. We did have the emerald ash boarer come ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 247
11 votes
2 answers
697 views

Help Needed Identifying Corvids

I'd appreciate some help identifying these three corvids I photographed in Austria during the Summer: I know identifying corvids can be difficult and I'm not an ornithologist -- just an amateur bird ...
p.s.w.g's user avatar
  • 1,427
11 votes
3 answers
755 views

Why do pandas have a high probability of giving birth to twins?

According to the BBC documentary "Wild About Pandas", about half of panda birth result in twins. Why do they have such a high probability compared to other mammals? What factor(s) control that ...
qazwsx's user avatar
  • 495
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why does the sex of the parent species determines the species of a hybrid offspring

I've read a little about hybrid animals, and have been amazed by the fact that the sex of the parent species determine the species of the offspring, in some hybrids. A male horse and a female donkey ...
SIMEL's user avatar
  • 1,243
11 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is this woodlouse doing?

I picked an apple from the ground, it was wet with dew and a woodlouse was stuck to it, with its back against the apple. When it got loose, it started flexing its "tail" like this for a while. Why?
picapica's user avatar
  • 2,039
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

How can an albatross stay airborne for months?

Albatrosses, of the biological family Diomedeidae, are large seabirds allied to the procellariids, storm-petrels and diving-petrels in the order Procellariiformes. They range widely in the Southern ...
Lorenz Lo Sauer's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do animals identify their offspring?

Recently I was watching a documentary about penguins and how a mother penguin lost its chick. Then it went looking for it, and among a horde of penguins it was able to find its chick and take it back. ...
K Split X's user avatar
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