42 votes

Are there life forms that freely fly in the atmosphere?

It sounds like you are talking about aeroplankton, a general term for a wide range of tiny life-forms borne on the wind. While some of these are essentially passive while airborne (e.g., pollen, ...
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  • 6,937
40 votes
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Are trees the only source of large amounts of oxygen?

71% of the earth's surface is taken up by water. Not surprisingly therefore, the seas are an important source of oxygen. National Geographic claims that photosynthesis by phytoplankton (mostly single-...
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  • 51.2k
25 votes
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Can 'human' become a genus due to space colonization?

The concept you are referring to is speciation and it has been well studied in a wide variety of different natural organisms. I suppose here we are talking about the biological species concept. The ...
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  • 2,053
21 votes
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What are the environmental conditions for SARS-CoV-2 to survive?

Because "any" Coronavirus is so dangerous, much research have been done on viruses with similar properties. They are called "surrogates". Because nCoV is new, we don't have any studies, so we need to ...
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  • 1,209
19 votes

What is the maximum altitude where humans can survive?

Short answer Between 62,000 and 63,500 feet (18,900 and 19,350 meters) blood begins to boil at body temperature. This altitude, referred to as the Armstrong limit, is generally considered to be the ...
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  • 51.2k
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 ...
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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 ...
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10 votes
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Darwinism and the idea of being too successful

Photosynthesis. early photosynthesizers, which would have been adapted for a reducing atmosphere, drove themselves extinct as they dumped oxygen into the atmosphere as a waste product. They were ...
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  • 13.2k
9 votes

Are trees the only source of large amounts of oxygen?

I am not sure which class of organisms have the highest contribution in oxygen production but diatoms do have a significant contribution. The introduction in this paper says that diatoms account for ...
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  • 35.1k
9 votes
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Are there any animals that maintain white fur year round?

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have white fur all year long. There are probably several other examples. @L.Diago gave sheep as example. There are also all white troglodyte species.
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  • 67.6k
8 votes
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How do mushrooms react to being grown in a microgravity environment?

There were some experiments done in microgravity in longer space shuttle missions. The reports show that the fungi develop relatively normal but grow in random orientations instead of orientating ...
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  • 49.2k
8 votes
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Which class of animals constitute the largest biomass?

Following from MarchHo's comment, I have not been able to find class-specific (in the formal sense) estimates, but if you meant 'class' in an informal sense, the following may be useful. A nice ...
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  • 3,294
7 votes

Are trees the only source of large amounts of oxygen?

Trees are definitely not the only source of oxygen. First, all green plants do photosynthesis, not only trees. Moreover, about half of all photosynthesis on earth is done by microorganisms in the ...
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  • 5,595
6 votes

Can 'human' become a genus due to space colonization?

I do not believe it will happen. There are multiple roadblocks: First, speciation time is measured in generations, not years. The human generation time is long, the 3000 generations mentioned in ...
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5 votes

Questions about "parasite recursion"

Hyperparasitism is one possible term. According to the linked article it is commonplace in certain types of insects, but also in fungi. Apparently the cases of at least three levels are known: a ...
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  • 3,772
4 votes

Have there ever been as many mammals as there are now?

There can be perhaps 10 trillion rodents and bats on the planet, so the humans and livestock probably are small compared to a rainforest rodents and bats. The biggest bat colony is 40 million, they ...
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4 votes

What causes plants in the prunus genus to reach anthesis?

Here’s how it works. Every morning when the sun breaks over the horizon — no matter what time of year it is — a clock starts ticking inside the trees. After a specific number of hours, the plants’ ...
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4 votes

How is mankind important to nature?

The classical division of humans and animals has always been self-centered and artificial. Humans are animals, competing with other organisms under exactly the same rules. Evolution involves trade-...
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  • 7,579
4 votes

Why is Carbon Dioxide a Greenhouse Gas whereas Ammonia is not?

This is better suited for the Chemistry site, but there are two reasons. 1) The gas allows visible light to pass, but blocks infrared. (Which has to do with the nature of the bonds between atoms &...
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  • 3,613
3 votes
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Could habitat selection pattern be deformed in environment with low variability?

If I understand your question correctly, I've seen this idea in many papers, sometimes stated clearly and sometimes in more implicit terms. After a quick look I found a paper which should be relevant ...
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3 votes

Why does evolution not make our life longer?

I am assuming that by longer life, you mean slower aging, because evolution can do little if a mountain falls on a person! So, why don’t organisms have slower, or better, zero rate of aging? The ...
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3 votes

What are the negative consequences of a narrowed biodiversity to the planet?

From an ecological sense, cycles of living beings are intertwined. Breaking cycles affects life being able to live, reproduce, and die in a manageable way. Insects, animals, and plants help feed each ...
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3 votes
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Roughly speaking how stable are short sections of single-stranded RNA in exposed environments compared to double-stranded DNA?

The main difference in stability is due to the very high amounts of RNase in pretty much all fresh biological materials. Naked RNA is easily degraded by just touching it with skin. The first step in ...
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3 votes

Why does the SARS-CoV2 virus not remain infectious forever? Or does it?

Would it help to think a little differently? Rubber bands (for example) aren’t alive either, but there are several ways they can be destroyed, including physically pulling them apart or just by having ...
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  • 775
3 votes
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What are the environmental conditions for larval Haemonchus contortus to survive?

Lowest temperature 2, 3, 4 and 5 week beakers containing eggs and non-infective larvae in lamb faeces didn't develop into infective larvae (L3) when exposed to fluctuating temperatures ranging from -1 ...
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3 votes

Are there life forms that freely fly in the atmosphere?

Apparently yes. Caveat: the experimenters are are potentially biased because they believe in panspermia (the idea that life came to Earth from outer space), which is clearly fringe. However, I don't ...
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  • 469
2 votes
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Why are some chemical dangerous to aquatic environment only?

From some of the MSDS (1, 2) I come across, a major component of thermal grease is aluminum oxide. Risk Management for Hazardous Chemicals by Jeffrey Wayne Vincoli states in page 101 that aluminum ...
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  • 259
2 votes

About animal ecology and one view of this in science fiction

The answer to the question as stated is, certainly: No. Neither on a conscious level, nor at the level of instinct does an animal have the goal of keeping the ecological balance of its environment ...
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  • 3,266
2 votes

About animal ecology and one view of this in science fiction

There is a purely philosophical issue behind your question. What does trying mean? Does trying doing A means that an individual is aware of how to achieve A and will behave so to achieve it? The ...
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  • 67.6k
2 votes
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Limited space for animals - how is that bad?

The building of a bridge on a river seems like an example of habitat fragmentation. There are a number of reasons why this may be detrimental to the animals. Reduced resources available. I'm not too ...
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