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40 votes
Accepted

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
16 votes
Accepted

Was iron important for the first life on Earth?

Cyanobacteria require iron for photosynthesis and can be found as fossil stromatolites dating back to 3.5 billion years ago. Stromatolites are layered structures made up of cyanobacteria and sediment....
wanderweeer's user avatar
  • 2,743
11 votes

Why do pink rain lilies flower only after rains, and not from being watered?

It looks like sustained or consistent moisture might be (at least part of) the phenological cue for flowering: The wikipedia article mentions that consistent humidity will induce flowering in at ...
Oreotrephes's user avatar
  • 5,829
8 votes
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What animal has the longest juvenile period?

As you indicate in your question, the average age of sexual maturity is probably the best way to approach this, since immaturity is usually how juveniles are defined. Age of puberty is also different ...
fileunderwater's user avatar
6 votes

Why do pink rain lilies flower only after rains, and not from being watered?

It's a nice question, I've tried looking for research papers to no avail. But I will add a few things that I hope will help: Firstly, tap water's composition is quite different from rain water- two ...
HelloWorld's user avatar
5 votes

Was iron important for the first life on Earth?

Summary It has been proposed that iron was indeed important for the first life on earth, specifically in combination with sulphur. This is because conditions are thought to have existed in volcanic ...
David's user avatar
  • 26k
5 votes
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Wasn't extinction of dinosaurs necessary?

Basic misunderstand about how one can make sense of nature Nature is not a conscient being (or at least not falsifiable conscient being) trying to optimize the amount of flora or whatever you would ...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.1k
5 votes
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How to find the age of a memory stored in the brain?

We are only barely beginning to understand how the brain works, including memory. We do know that it is a very complex thing. There are many different kinds of memory; many different processes are ...
Oosaka's user avatar
  • 3,245
3 votes

In life history theory, does trade-off between reproduction and growth and maintenance imply longer health span for a sexually inactive organism?

I am not sure if life span could be extended in such circumstances but the probability of survival could probably increase, given the high metabolic costs of growing and raising offspring. I work ...
Maddie Matei's user avatar
2 votes

Why is one phase of a plant dominant (Alternation of generation)?

Short answer: Many of the evolutionary developments in plants developed in the sporophyte life stage. Because increased fitness of these increasingly sporophyte-"dominant" plants would result in a ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
2 votes

Real-world examples of Darwinian extinction

Although you don't mention it in your question, I guess you'd like examples of extinction in (more or less) constant environment? Then I guess you'd like cases of extinction due to the introduction of ...
Joce's user avatar
  • 1,127
2 votes

Is a microspore diploid?

Short answer: A microspore is haploid. Long Answer: Gymnosperms are heterosporous, and therefore create two types of spores: male and female -- microspores and megaspores, respectively. These spores ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
2 votes

Is a microspore diploid?

The spores (microspores or megaspores) in gymnosperms are haploid. The microspores came from the microsporocytes which are diploids cells of the sporophyte, divided via meiosis. So the haploid ...
Maso's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes

What animal has the longest juvenile period?

This article provides general facts about Tuataras, one of which is: Tuataras reproduce slowly. They take 10-20 years to reach sexual maturity. Males can mate every year, but females breed every two ...
Proscriptus's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Did bilateral symmetry evolved just once?

A lack of strong evidence causes the field to be mostly hypothetical. Detailed pre-cambrian fossils are necessary, from the 1bn-600 million years ago, to find a protostome - deuterostome ancestor. ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
  • 10.4k
1 vote

What is an accessible book about plant evolution for a non-biologist?

I have Fossil Plants by Paul Kenrick and Paul Davis, published by The Natural History Museum in London. It takes the reader through a well-researched but accessible illustrated history of the ...
Jay Moore's user avatar
  • 827
1 vote

What animal has the longest juvenile period?

The Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) has been reported to need at least 156 ± 22 years reach to sexual maturity1. This is also thought to be the vertebrate with the longest lifespan. ...
tyersome's user avatar
  • 5,598
1 vote
Accepted

How have single-celled organisms learned to survive?

Nothing more than physics Simple physics If you drop a rock, the rock will fall to the ground. If there was a table underneath, the rock would stop its fall when reaching the table. Clearly the rock ...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.1k
1 vote
Accepted

Why would a human female have a sexual display despite male biased operational sex ratio?

Sexual arms race. There is a fine and internally consistent theory that this strategy by females evolved to oppose the strategy of infanticide by males. Males of many species including primates ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 2,964
1 vote

Female mosquito fate in absence of food

It depends which part of the world of the mosquito's habitat. An Anopheles gambiae. in Africa has a life-span of 10 days maximum, the failure of the female to take a blood meal is pretty devastating ...
M__'s user avatar
  • 159
1 vote

Why are the fertility rates of large predators kept low?

The premise, A mutation that increases fertility among the predators should quickly spread in such a population probably isn't true if there are tradeoffs involved. It also wouldn't be true if the ...
David Bahry's user avatar
1 vote

Is the missing "life-ingredient" in today's Earth's existence the reason why we cannot recreate life?

This is really quite a question. And many leading biologists have tried (very hard) to answer it. In my opinion, most of our incapacity to study which conditions can favor some form of "life" is due ...
TumbiSapichu's user avatar

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