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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
43 votes
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What do butterflies eat?

Adult butterflies don't eat! I mean.... not in the sense of chewing on food. They rather drink. They get their nutrients via ingestion of liquid substances. Their mouth consists of a long tube called ...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.2k
40 votes
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How long before robin no longer needs the nest on my porch?

According to Cornell's All About Birds website, you will have to wait about a month for the nest to be cleared. The egg incubation period is 12–14 days. Following hatching, the nestlings will remain ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
25 votes

Why is wombat scat (feces) shaped like cubes?

I'm almost certain that your question is based on the press that Patricia J Yang's research is receiving (e.g., here and here). Yang and her co-authors examined the structure and mechanics of some ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
24 votes

What do butterflies eat?

Several species of the order Lepidoptera don't feed at all in adult form, surviving entirely on the reserves made while they were larva. Two examples I'm aware of are the Atlas moth (as well as most ...
Dmitry Grigoryev's user avatar
23 votes
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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
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
  • 1,582
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
15 votes
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Where do birds and squirrels go to die?

A major cause of squirrel death is predation: Survival and mortality of the Arizona gray squirrel (Sciurus arizonensis) Causes of red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) mortality in England You won't see ...
iayork's user avatar
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10 votes
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Are there examples of animals that live in groups, where all have the same role?

Yes, there are many examples. Those species are said to be gregarious. See below for examples. Level of sociality When it comes to social behaviour, it is common to categorize species into one of four ...
Remi.b'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

Why is wombat scat (feces) shaped like cubes?

On a more serious note than my comment, and as a supplement to theforestecologist's answer, it's worth pointing out that a cube with rounded corners and edges has larger surface area to volume ratio ...
it's a hire car baby's user avatar
9 votes
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Do birds grieve and feel emotion?

Your "grieving bird" is a video of a peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) and its (nearly?) dead chick on a hot summer day in Phoenix, Arizona (USA) in 2016. Photo credit: Arizona Game And ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
9 votes
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How do beavers learn how to build dams?

Question summary: is dam building learned or instinctive in beavers? A blog post from 2011 references an article in the Juneau Empire titled Running water is sound of spring for beavers. This article ...
acvill's user avatar
  • 8,296
8 votes

Why would a mother reject her offspring if it has been "interfered" with by humans?

Several ungulates and other species such as seals and primates are known to initially use odour to discriminate their offspring. Most relevant work to study this has been done in sheep; sheep are ...
arboviral's user avatar
  • 3,354
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
8 votes
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What do you call clearly different sub-groups within a species?

In eusocial insects, especially ants and bees, these groups are called "castes" (see e.g. Hölldobler & Wilson, 1990. This is the same term that is used for social stratifications in some human ...
fileunderwater's user avatar
8 votes
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Are there any pairs of animal species that regularly prey on other?

Caiman and Anacondas - though each hunts the other at a stage of development when the hunter is larger.1 2 Occasionally this occurs with Orcas and Sharks.3 Some species of shark3 Spiders and mantids4 ...
brazofuerte's user avatar
  • 1,582
7 votes

Is it one queen bee per hive or per colony?

Every beehive contains one colony, and every colony has one queen. (Of course there are exceptions, like if a queen dies or is about to be replaced, but I don't think that's what you're asking.) A ...
picapica's user avatar
  • 2,039
7 votes

What's the relationship between snail movement and rain?

The movement of organisms towards water is termed hydrotaxis. 'Hydro-' refers to water and '-taxis' refers to movement. Hydrotaxis has been investigated in animals such as the nematode Caenorhabditis ...
Jam's user avatar
  • 1,506
7 votes
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The "truce of the watering hole" -- is it completely discredited?

Cleaning stations offer a pretty strong individual incentive not to attack, those that attack do not get cleaned and thus get riddled with parasites. Watering holes are just the opposite there is no ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.8k
7 votes
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Do some birds really clean themselves using wet leaves?

Yes, birds do clean themselves using wet leaves. It is called leaf bathing. Mainly small birds do it but this behavior can be observed in big birds too. Leaf bathing is the term used when birds make ...
ermanen's user avatar
  • 1,117
6 votes
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Can a zombie apocalypse really occur?

There are many examples of parasite manipulation in nature, if you want more examples you can look up the paper of Lefevre and Thomas (2008). I think the key is, in order for a parasite to develop ...
Tessa Visser's user avatar

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