The scientific study of animal behaviour, and a sub-topic of zoology.

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Have cats hunted at least 33 species to extinction?

I heard recently that cats have hunted numerous species to extinction, but I couldn't find a reliable source for this. Several sources say that they have been blamed for these extinctions, but is ...
3
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1answer
278 views

Did lions in Ethiopia save a 12 year old girl from rape?

The story goes, with a youtube video: A 12-year-old girl was kidnapped in Ethiopia, beaten, and almost forced into an awful and disgusting marriage, but luckily, that marriage didn't happen ...
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275 views

Can chickens be hypnotized by drawing a line in front of them?

It's commonly said that if you hold a chicken's beak to the ground and draw a straight line in front of it, it will stare at the line and not move. There's no shortage of footage on youtube to prove ...
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305 views

Does a monkey/ape flee from half peeled bananas?

There is a claim by a German philosopher, named Max Scheler. Ein Affe, dem man eine Banane halb geschält in die Hand gibt, flieht vor ihr, während er sie ganz geschält frißt, ungeschält aber ...
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1answer
74 views

Do dogs bite more during a full moon?

In various cultures throughout the world there is the widespread belief that animals, including companion dogs, are more likely to bite when under the influence of a full moon ...
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755 views

Do barking dogs seldom bite?

There is a very famous proverb that "BARKING DOGS SELDOM BITE". According to the saying: The dogs which bark too much in loud tone, bite very rarely. It implies that the people who threaten you more ...
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460 views

Do crabs possess “crab mentality”?

Is there any verifiable evidence that crabs, in fact, demonstrate "crab mentality"? Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the pot, but instead, they grab at each other in a useless ...
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2answers
774 views

Do animals commit suicide?

I've done some Googling and only found case stories without any scientific backup. Most of the case reports about animal suicide online can by easily debunked by logical reasoning. For example there ...
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2answers
376 views

Do roaches die (naturally) on their backs? [closed]

First, a major qualifier here; by naturally, I mean not forced to die on its "stomach" (like by being stepped on). Secondly, I live in the U.S., so maybe this applies to only American roaches. ...
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1k views

Do Japanese fishermen put sharks in their tanks to keep fish fresh?

I saw the following story on Quora and when I Googled it, I got a lot of inspirational websites like Patheos.org that were hosting this same story without any citations. I would like to know if the ...
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1answer
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Do spiders intentionally wear water droplets on their heads?

I discovered today that there are a lot of pictures of spiders "wearing" water drops as hats. (More research: Warning -- Spiders!) However, I can't find anything related to why they might do this. ...
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Do sea otters rape baby seals to death?

Popular facebook group Nature isn’t always kind and cuddly. A study showed that sea otters will restrain baby seals and then begin copulation; sometimes drowning it during the 105-minute-long ...
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Can a skunk spray with its feet off the ground?

A colleague has a family story that if confronted by a skunk, if you can get its rear feet off the ground, it's unable to release its foul-smelling spray. Evidence for or to the contrary?
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1answer
244 views

Can dolphins learn a symbol based language?

I recently stumbled across the following article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1240334/Dolphins-clever-humans--treat-like-people-say-scientists.html which makes the claim that ...
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2answers
1k views

Do wind turbines kill many birds each year?

It has been claimed that due to their large size, and the velocity of their blades that wind turbines kill large numbers of birds that run into them at night, or in fog, and die. ...
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3answers
75k views

Do male penguins search for pebbles to present to female penguins?

I came across the following unsourced claim: When a male penguin falls in love with a female penguin, he searches the entire beach to find the perfect pebble to present to her. And when he ...
2
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1answer
637 views

Did large herbivorous dinosaurs have any predators?

I went to the Natural History Museum in London today. I saw the dinosaur exhibition, and in the exhibition was this image, of an Allosaurus attacking a Diplodocus: Image by John Sibbick This ...
14
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1answer
6k views

Do birds eat chewing gum they think is bread?

This image popped up in my facebook feed today. Roughly translated it says that chewing gum thrown on the street might be seen as pieces of bread by birds. The birds will then eat it, but it gets ...
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2answers
3k views

Do cats get stuck in trees?

There are a number of movies and cartoons that humorously have a hero saving the day by rescuing a cat from a tree (the first one that pops into my mind is in the movie The Incredibles). There are a ...
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4answers
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Is 94% of male giraffe sexual behaviour homosexual?

I've been trying to track down the source of a claim that research has shown giraffe exhibiting a really high rate of male homosexual relations. Going through the blog spam leads me to a site without ...
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0answers
1k views

Are “banana traps” effective at catching monkeys?

There is a famous claim that says the way to trap monkeys is by placing a staked container with a hole cut into it just wide enough for a monkey to stick its empty hand into. The container is baited ...
10
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1answer
3k views

Can an elephant be trained to be lightly leashed?

Is been claimed that the way you keep an elephant leashed is with a chain pegged to the ground which they can easily break, just since they have learned when they where younger they could not escape ...
4
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1answer
632 views

Do bitter apple or actual orange peels prevent cats from scratching?

This article - http://www.allourpets.com/feline/stop-scratching.shtml - mentions that bitter apple or actual orange peels prevent cats from scratching? If your cat still scratches in appropriate ...
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0answers
280 views

Does chicken manure keep cats away from garden areas?

This article mentions that chicken manure can keep cats away. Chicken manure around established plants can also deter cats as they don't like the smell. Is it true?
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4answers
2k views

Do we know why animals have evolved to have sex for reproduction?

I've been reading 13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Intriguing Scientific Mysteries of Our Time (2010) and Chapter 10 concentrates on the subject of Sex. The author argues that we do not know ...
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1answer
111k views

Do pigs have 30 minute orgasms?

A widely circulated internet meme (see e.g. the oatmeal) states that pig orgasms can last up to 30 minutes. I've been trying to find any source or reference to back up (or refute) this claim, but ...
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635 views

The statistics of paternal discrepancy

From the book The Red Queen by Matt Ridley: In an astonishing study recently undertaken in Western Europe, the following facts emerged: Married females choose to have affairs with males who are ...
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Are there examples of exclusive homosexuality in non-human animals?

I have often heard the claim that homosexuality exists in non-human animals. Sheep and dolphins seem to be common examples. I find it easy to believe that homosexual activity exists - some animals ...
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1answer
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Does swatting/killing a bee cause the hive to attack?

I used to hear this all the time when I was growing up. Just ignore bees, don't swat at or try to kill them, because if they die, they'll send a "signal" to the hive that will attract dozens more. ...
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1answer
6k views

Do dolphins attack dangerous sharks?

I've heard numerous anecdotal claims of people being rescued from shark attacks by dolphins. One source mentions that such rescues happen "surprisingly often", and cites three unreferenced incidents, ...
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4answers
2k views

Are some breeds of dog inherently dangerous, despite training?

On another SE site, this report was cited as evidence that some breeds of dogs are inherently more dangerous than others. I have some serious issues with that report (not least of which is that it is ...
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1answer
20k views

Will cats eat their deceased owner, but dogs will starve to death instead?

A friend of mine is a former prosecutor for the Crown/State. He's observed that it was often harder to investigate whether a deceased person was murdered when they own cats because the cats will eat ...
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1answer
399 views

Do elephants never forget?

There is a ubiquitous belief that "elephants never forget". I know we aren't suggesting that elephants have unlimited memory, but have there ever been any scientific studies/case studies that suggest ...
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3k views

Do elephants like to get drunk?

While answering the question about elephants and mice, I was reminded of a clip I saw on The Big Bang Theory. The common lore is that they eat the fermenting fruit of the Marula Tree. But that ...
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2answers
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Do cats always come back home from anywhere?

It is said that no matter how far you take away a cat from home, it always come back from anywhere. Is that true? Obviously, this pre-supposes that: Home is some place that the cat lived in for a ...
65
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1answer
5k views

Do Ostriches bury their heads in the sand

I have always believed that Ostriches when frightened bury their heads in the sand. Upon closer re-examination of this belief, I came to the following conclusions: Ostriches typically live in arid ...
130
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3answers
22k views

Will a mother bird abandon her young if touched by a human?

Welcome to installment #2 of my "the science of animals falling" series of questions.... I've heard it said many times since childhood that if you are to find a baby bird on the ground which ...
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2answers
3k views

Do dogs know when their owner is coming home through some form of telepathic link?

My friend cited a study by Rupert Sheldrake which ran an experiment over several years that video taped dogs, showing that dogs knew when their owner was coming home due to some psychic link. He ...
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3answers
6k views

Is eating cloven-hoofed animals, bottom-feeders or ruminants bad for you?

The Torah and Talmud claim (and I have Christian friends that also claim) that eating animals that are bottom-feeders or ruminants—That is, eat the crud off the sea-floor, like shrimp, or digest ...
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3answers
4k views

Do lemmings commit suicide by jumping off cliffs?

Lemmings have become widely known for their supposed tendency to run en masse off of cliffs to their deaths. The term "lemming" has even become a commonly used metaphor to describe the behavior of ...
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2answers
12k views

Are humans the only species to have homophobes?

Here's a quote that's being passed around: Homosexuality is found in over 450 species. Homophobia is only found in one. Which one seems unnatural now? With all the good intentions behind what's ...
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5answers
2k views

Are humans the only species that hunts down competitors, denies and destroys food for others?

In the book Ishmael, there's a passage that claims "Takers" (i.e. modern man) are the only thing in nature that hunt down competitors, destroy or otherwise deny someone else food. Are there strong ...
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2answers
2k views

Insects as food: Is it feasible for humans to replace traditional “livestock” meat with insects?

I have heard of some benefits of insects as food, but are there any drawbacks? I've never heard of a human culture whose primary protein intake came exclusively from insects. Would someone ...
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4answers
809 views

Can a fungus or other parasites turn a high order animal into a zombie that carries out specific actions?

The discovery of several new ant zombie fungi got a lot of media attention over the last two weeks. The fungi take hold over ants and cause them to carry out specific actions beneficial to the ...