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36 votes
Accepted

Specific mechanism behind lethality of yellow coat color in mice

Really interesting question: The lethal yellow mutation (also abbreviated Ay) affects the agouti signalling protein which plays a major role in pigmentation. Heterozygous expression of it leads to the ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 51.6k
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
21 votes

Does interspecies breastfeeding occur in the wild?

Yes, interspecies adoptions have been observed. They're rare enough that study is limited to case reports, and the causes are guessed at but not fully understood. However, I think it's clear that ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 45.7k
13 votes

What is the difference between the evolution of fins in whales and fish?

I agree with you that the question is ambiguous, and also that the most sensible answer would be C. However, one could make a more or less reasonable argument in favor of several other answers, too. ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

What species of fox is this?

This is a white morph red fox, not an arctic fox. As noted in the question, this fox has larger, more pointy ears than an arctic fox, and the second picture shows it to have a longer muzzle as well. ...
Gwen's user avatar
  • 883
11 votes

What sea animal is this?

It's probably a dugong, based on the location, lack of a dorsal fin, split tail, lack of a blowhole, and narrowing of the snout. The prominent vertebral column looks unusual, but that might come from ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 45.7k
10 votes
Accepted

Are Sloth tongues soft or rough?

Sloths have long, thick, sticky tongues covered in a carpet of tiny, rear-ward pointing spikes that they can pull leaves in with. So the tongues are quite different from human tongues and likely much ...
Kenshin's user avatar
  • 2,078
10 votes
Accepted

Biggest change in size from birth

@JM97 is correct. According to National Geographic >> The gestation period of a Red Kangaroo is 33 days and it's baby at birth weighs a mere 0.03 oz. To put it into a more precise perspective, on ...
Imtiaz Raqib's user avatar
  • 1,278
9 votes
Accepted

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
  • 68.1k
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
8 votes
Accepted

When you lose weight, how does the mass exit your body?

as CO2 and water in respiration sugar (or fat) is combined with oxygen to produce energy(ATP and heat), water, and CO2. fats are converted to Acetyl Co-A just like glucose is, the rest of the ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.7k
8 votes
Accepted

Mystery rodent in Winnipeg

That is a Franklin's Ground Squirrel Winnipeg is part of its range: Have a look at a gallery of such photos here: https://inaturalist.ca/taxa/179937-Poliocitellus-franklinii/browse_photos
JimN's user avatar
  • 1,992
7 votes
Accepted

Why can one swim longer underwater by blowing out air?

This is purely a psychological response, and it does not help in decreasing the speed of CO2 level rise. As CO2 level in your blood rises, you instinctively want to breath out the 'bad' air and breath ...
kubanczyk's user avatar
  • 236
7 votes
Accepted

Are all non-breeding naked mole rats the same sex?

Naked mole rat colonies contain individuals of both sexes, with one breeding female and one to three breeding males, and the rest non-breeding individuals of both sexes. The other individuals in the ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 45.7k
7 votes

How are the first mammary glands thought to have functioned?

the production of liquids to nourish offspring has evolved separately in several lineages, mammals have simply taken it further than any other group. it is pretty easy to see how it could evolve, any ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.7k
7 votes
Accepted

What pigment is responsible for the formation of blue skin color in some animals?

Blue coloration in animals is caused by structural color rather than blue pigments. In the case of vervet monkeys and other mammals studied this is due to collagen fibers in the skin being arranged ...
tyersome's user avatar
  • 5,598
7 votes
Accepted

Are there any animals that are unable to hear the human voice?

Are there (apart from those with no sense of hearing at all) any animals that are unable to hear human voices at all? I don't know of any examples off the top of my head, but let's think about this ...
S Pr's user avatar
  • 6,222
7 votes
Accepted

Did my wildlife camera take pictures of coyotes?

Short Answer Yes, these are likely coyotes. Long Answer Your options of dog-like carnivores (i.e., Canidae) in BC include the following: Coyote (Canis latrans) Grey wolf British Columbia Wolf (...
theforestecologist's user avatar
7 votes

What are these animals, and what happened here?

That's likely a raccoon and a dead fish (salmon, perhaps). For the animal on the left: notice the ringed tail, foot anatomy, and lighter foot color, and variable (light/dark) fur color: University ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Why is the sex ratio of male and female cats close to 50/50 (with males actually being more prevalent)?

Don't forget that while species evolve, it is individuals that are acted on by selection. Individuals that are successful cause more of their genetic material to be present in the next generation. ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 45.7k
6 votes
Accepted

What are these curious cetaceans?

I am completely shooting in the dark here, but do you mean the ones between 1:06 - 1:13 minutes in the video? (After Hammerhead and before Baby and Mama white Shark :) ) SPECIES IDENTIFIED: Pseudorca ...
Devashish Das's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between the evolution of fins in whales and fish?

Short answer d) is definitely correct. Background The crucial element is that whales returned from land to the sea and re-evolved fins. a) is incorrect, as the common ancestor may not have had fins. ...
AliceD's user avatar
  • 52.4k
6 votes
Accepted

Are humans the only mammals that are known to display homosexuality?

Although intuitively it would seem unlikely that there could be an evolutionary advantage to homosexuality (other than some theories regarding population control), homosexual behavior has been clearly ...
airhuff's user avatar
  • 290
6 votes
Accepted

Do beavers' tails hurt from being dragged?

No, it does not, otherwise beavers wouldn't walk with their tails dragging. Here is a picture of the bottom of a beaver's tail: Found here and here is a closeup (probably of the top, but they're very ...
MattDMo's user avatar
  • 15.3k
5 votes
Accepted

Gestation period of African savanna elephants?

The African bush elephant and the African savannah elephant are the same species (i.e., they are just different names for Loxodonta africana). According to here and here, the African savanna/bush ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
5 votes

What Makes an Afrothere an Afrothere?

The word "Afrothere" comes from Latin Afer (referring to Africa) and Ancient Greek θηρίον ‎(thēríon, meaning “beast”). In other words, "Afrothere" etymologically refers to animals ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

How did dolphins acquire their dorsal fin?

Short answer I reckon that the dorsal fin of sea-faring mammals are a new development altogether. Background The presence of a dorsal fin is one of the defining characteristics of fishes like sharks. ...
AliceD's user avatar
  • 52.4k
5 votes
Accepted

Why does snow not stick to the fur of wolves and some breeds of dogs?

I couldn't find scientific references, but regular web searches basically indicate that long fur as well as webbed toes promote formation of ice and snowballs in certain breeds. From Hubpages: The ...
AliceD's user avatar
  • 52.4k
5 votes

Whose horns are these?

A single picture of aged and polished horns is not going to be that easy to give a confidently correct answer, but I can at least say that they appear to me to be horns of a yak or cattle steer. See ...
theforestecologist's user avatar

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