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93 votes
Accepted

Do animals exhibit handedness (paw-ness?) preference?

Short Answer Yes. handedness (or Behavioral Lateralization) has been documented in numerous vertebrates (mammals, reptiles and birds) as well as invertebrates. This includes domestic cats (see Wells ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
30 votes
Accepted

Do ants really find the shortest path to a food source?

Short answer Do ants really find the shortest path to a food source? No! But they can find a decent path Longer answer Optimization algorithms are used to search through a possibility space that ...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.1k
23 votes
Accepted

What is this grasshopper doing?

It's its ovipositor & it's trying to dig a hole to lay its eggs. "How Do Grasshoppers Dig Holes to Lay Their Eggs? After breeding, female grasshoppers dig a hole in the ground in which to lay ...
Pelinore's user avatar
  • 811
23 votes

Do spiders learn how to build webs?

Spiders’ ability to weave webs is a classic example of an innate or instinctual behavior. They do not learn to make webs. The earliest English-language scientific publication that I can find to back ...
acvill's user avatar
  • 8,296
20 votes
Accepted

Why do humans suffer anxiety when they view "Trypophobia trigger images"?

Trypophobia is not a recognised specific anxiety disorder (Washington Post). It is worth mentioning that anyone can have a phobia to anything, this is merely a question of whether many people ...
James's user avatar
  • 11.3k
16 votes
Accepted

Identify this giant green moth(?) with great taste?

That appears to be an Oleander Hawk-moth a member of the Sphinx moth family. I think the only other possibility for Taiwan is the quite similar Jade Hawk-moth, but that supposedly has a dark ...
tyersome's user avatar
  • 5,598
13 votes

Do spiders learn how to build webs?

For many species the mother abandons the eggs after laying them and there is no maternal care (sometimes the mother dies after laying eggs, so really no possibility of maternal care). Paternal care is ...
user3067860's user avatar
12 votes

Why do humans suffer anxiety when they view "Trypophobia trigger images"?

As someone who is very disgusted by this kind of image, I think it is a caused by an association with maladies like burns, infections, and especially parasites. It is difficult for me to even describe ...
Paul S's user avatar
  • 129
12 votes

Do ants really dispose of their own dead, and how/why?

Eating the dead makes far more likely you will catch whatever killed them. They transport and dispose of the dead for the same reasons we do, to reduce disease vectors. They dispose of their garbage ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.7k
9 votes
Accepted

Why do chameleons move back and forth?

The movement you observed serves two functions: Imitation of leaves to protect against predators Improved stereoscopic vision while scanning for their own prey Imitation of leaves (mimesis) ...
problemofficer - n.f. Monica's user avatar
9 votes

Birds brewing beer?

I think you're observing drinking and food moistening. Since birds have no teeth, food like bread, especially if dry, is easier to consume if it is moistened first. Drinking from a gutter is ...
mgkrebbs's user avatar
  • 9,054
9 votes
Accepted

Why do birds legs' not get frostbite?

Birds have a few adaptations and behaviors to keep their legs warm in cold weather: Blood vessels (veins and arteries) run very close together or are intertwined: The arteries and veins intertwine ...
JYelton's user avatar
  • 945
8 votes

Why do some people become more aggressive when tired?

From Poor sleep as a potential causal factor in aggression and violence In most people poor sleep will not evoke actual physical aggression, but certain individuals, such as forensic psychiatric ...
Ebbinghaus's user avatar
  • 2,603
8 votes

What is the mechanism behind cats' geolocating homing behavior?

It is explained with path integration in behavioral neuroscience. Not only cats, but other mammals, birds and even insects use path integration to return to a starting point. Here is a relevant ...
ermanen's user avatar
  • 1,117
7 votes

Why do people sing?

Nice question, I'll answer it in parts: Is it necessary for our body? Well, there can be many perspectives for why humans like singing. Let's talk about the evolutionary perspective first. I found ...
another 'Homo sapien''s user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

What are the factors that contribute to genetically identical individuals behaving differently?

Your question has actually more to do with developmental biology and the origin of phenotypic variance in populations than with neuroscience. Here is a list of factors which variance explain observed ...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.1k
7 votes

Why do fruit flies go so close to large reservoirs of liquid when they are likely to fall in due to surface tension?

Although this is from a popsci article, a biologist says that fruit flies can normally land on liquids and take off from them thereafter: However, simply leaving a shot glass full of fruit-vinegar ...
against very long user names's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Do Scrubjays weigh peanuts by picking them up?

I doubt anyone knows the answer to which aspect of variation jays are considering when sampling nuts (although my guess would be mass). Langen (1999) did do experiments that explored the sampling ...
Ben Bolker's user avatar
  • 5,364
7 votes
Accepted

Would it be possible to create logical circuits out of insects?

In short, yes, it appears to be possible, and a number of people have performed investigations in this area. For example, see the "Ant-Based Computing" article suggested by @Roland, whose ...
jakebeal's user avatar
  • 6,987
6 votes

Why ravens play with garbage?

Ravens and other corvids are among the most intelligent birds. Of note, crows and ravens are known for their ability to solve problems that require tool use, memory, and delayed rewards (patience). ...
JYelton's user avatar
  • 945
6 votes
Accepted

How exactly do birds get drunk eating fruit? Fermentation should be anaerobic

The insides of fruits are relatively anaerobic environments. Natural fermentation, as in berries that get birds intoxicated, is primarily from yeast, and it seems most likely that humans recognized ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 46k
6 votes

Are there any animal species other than humans & chimps that engage in tribal conflicts?

In the introduction of an article by Gavrilets and Fortunato, the authors give (with references) some examples of intra-specific group conflicts: Social organisms living in stable groups often ...
mgkrebbs's user avatar
  • 9,054
5 votes

How significant is the genetic component of homosexual behaviour?

This is not an area I know well, but I'm familiar with a couple of studies that have tried to estimate the heritable (genetic) component of homosexuality in humans. A review paper by Rice et al (2012)...
fileunderwater's user avatar

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