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36 votes
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Why is a mosquito feeding on human blood not a parasite?

A mosquito is a biological parasite, it is not a medical parasite. There are two definitions of parasite. A biological/ecological definition and a medical/physiological interaction definition. A ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.9k
33 votes
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Earth overshoot day: is it a sound concept?

TL;DR: it's a simplified measure of sustainability, but accurate enough to be useful for public engagement EOD is hosted and calculated by Global Footprint Network (GFN), an international think tank....
arboviral's user avatar
  • 3,354
33 votes

Would fewer cows mean less methane emission?

Couple of thoughts: (The OP's article is a low quality source of info with either an interview taken out of context or an inappropriately vague or under-informed interviewee. Reasons why will become ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
22 votes
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How to get rid of mosquitoes in a small lake

There are a number of environmentally destructive methods that would be effective, including draining the lake, covering the surface with a continuous layer of oil, or adding toxins to the water, but ...
arboviral's user avatar
  • 3,354
22 votes

What exactly is this small puffer fish doing and how did it manage to accomplish such a feat?

A tiny Japanese puffer fish creates a grand sand sculpture on the featureless seabed by using his fins to dig furrows. He uses this to attract the attention of passing females. Why do puffer ...
brazofuerte's user avatar
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20 votes
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Inexperienced divers damage coral, but parrot fish eating coral doesn't do damage?

You are absolutely correct in regards that marine life does cause damage to corals. In particular, parrotfish have been found to play an important role in regulating the biodiversity of coral reefs ...
Sudachi's user avatar
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19 votes
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Are there phage-eating bacteria?

It's suspected that some protists (namely choanozoans and picozoans) are proper/direct "virus eaters" due to the size of their "eating apparatus" and scarcity of bacterial remains ...
got trolled too much this week's user avatar
17 votes

Earth overshoot day: is it a sound concept?

I think that your question comes from a misunderstanding in the definition of the overshoot day, here is the definition in your question: Regardless of how it's calculated, the claim that we have ...
A.L - say no to AI's user avatar
17 votes

Antibacterial soap impacts on septic system?

The quick answer is: Yes, it can cause harm. Think about it...The septic system (both the tank and your drain field) rely on bacteria, and antibacterial soap is not designed to kill only specific ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
16 votes

What exactly is this small puffer fish doing and how did it manage to accomplish such a feat?

This "nest" is created by a male pufferfish for both courtship and for rearing young. The male puffer fish uses its body and fins (a combination of pectoral, anal, and caudal -- see here) to ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
14 votes
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Why do birches have a white bark?

It is protection against rapid warming of the cambium layer. A lot of far northern timber has light colored bark which reflects sunlight. The rapid heating from very cold after sunrise can actually ...
John's user avatar
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14 votes
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What is the body density of insects on average?

A recent studya measured the volumes (using a 3D scanner) and dry masses of 113 different insect species. They found the following relationship between the dry mass of the insects and their volumes ($...
adjan's user avatar
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12 votes
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Does rainwater contain many fewer micro-organisms than river water?

According to a number of citations listed on Kenyon College's MicrobeWiki, rain can contain microorganisms via a process called "bioprecipitation." Essentially, microorganisms, dust and other small ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
12 votes
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Which anaerobic environments would exist without aerobic life?

In the question body it says: After the great oxygenation event, there was oxygen in the atmosphere but no layers of aerobic life to stop it from diffusing to the bottom of the ocean or deep ...
mgkrebbs's user avatar
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11 votes
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What is full form of r and K in r-selection species and K-selection species?

This article discusses the origin of the terms. They come directly from the equation used to describe population dynamics. As Canadianer mentioned the Wiki also covers it quite well. "r" stands for "...
John's user avatar
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10 votes
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Algae or Lichen identification. Coastal BC, Canada

I want to propose you expand your search to a broader taxonomic scope. Specifically, I think you might be looking at a species of "red" green algae (family: Trentepohliaceae). From Nelson ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
9 votes

Why is a mosquito feeding on human blood not a parasite?

Short answer Female* mosquitoes are generally not to be considered ectoparasites because they spend so little time with the host. Instead, they are sometimes classified as micro-predators. *Male ...
AliceD's user avatar
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9 votes
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Why do bumble bees run repeatedly into walls?

Crall et al., 2015, studied bumblebee collision avoidance (note the senior authors are the same from your link). It seems that, contrary to popular belief and experience, bumblebees are actually quite ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
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9 votes
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CO2 availability to phytoplankton in oceans and climate change impacts

Short Answer I do not believe that CO2 will become less available to phytoplankton on a global scale in the foreseeable future. Instead, I believe that rates of increasing concentrations of CO2 (and ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
9 votes

Ecology of the environment for the ruffed grouse

When I am curious how things were with American birds back 200 years ago, I read Audubon. https://www.audubon.org/birds-of-america/ruffed-grouse Although these birds are particularly attached to the ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 2,964
8 votes

How to get rid of mosquitoes in a small lake

My suggestions, based on mosquitoe projects I've heard about in Sweden, would be to: Thin vegetation along the shores Remove accumulated detritus Manage grasslands along the shore, by grazing if ...
fileunderwater's user avatar
8 votes
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Why do bulls have a hump?

Bison humps are made of muscles, huge muscles. According to this and this pages bisons use their heads for snowplowing. This hump provides head support. It seems that also other animals have ...
hfc's user avatar
  • 560
8 votes
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At what temporal scales do forest structures change?

This question is too broad. What type of temperate forest? The European Environment Agency recognized dozens of temperate forest types: ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
8 votes
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Population where most of the newborns die soon?

Yes, we talk about r/K selection theory: In ecology, r/K selection theory relates to the selection of combinations of traits in an organism that trade off between quantity and quality of offspring. ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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8 votes
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Identifying a shrub with unusual "many shoots" growth behavior

Possibly an example of a "Witch's Broom." Witch's Broom is a deformity in plants (typically woody species) which typically causes dense patches of stems/shoots to grow from a single point on the ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
8 votes
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What is the fate of the typical tree?

This is a great question. Without going into too much detail, there is a series of studies done in northeastern US temperate forests (specifically at Great Mountain Forest in Connecticut, USA) on the ...
Ben Bolker's user avatar
  • 5,434
8 votes

Do fish depend on plants for survival?

Yes, photosynthesis provides nearly all of the ocean's biomass and energy. The best is to study oceanic food chains and webs. It looks like there aren't enough plants in the ocean because they don't ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
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8 votes
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How to convert system of equations with explicit substrate consumption into an implicit one?

In general, no. You're trying to reduce the a three-dimensional dynamical system ({S, N1, N2}) to a two-dimensional system ({N1, N2}), which can't be done in general. One way to approximate a two-...
Ben Bolker's user avatar
  • 5,434
7 votes

Are thunder and lightning necessary for any organisms?

Lightning results in nitrogen fixation (Draphco et al., 1967; Hill et al., 1980). It is one of the main abiotic nitrogen fixation mechanisms. As you would know very well, nitrogen fixation is ...
WYSIWYG's user avatar
  • 35.6k

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