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Questions tagged [zoology]

Use this tag for questions involving animal biology; evolution, ecology, physiology, behavior, genetics, and marine biology.

16
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2answers
21k views

Can small bags of water repel mosquitoes?

I was in Nicaragua recently and noted many restaurants and convenience stores had small sandwich sized bags filled with water hanging at their entrances. When I asked why, they said it was to repel ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Is the total biomass of ants roughly equal to the total biomass of humans?

According to About.com The total biomass of all the ants on Earth is roughly equal to the total biomass of all the people on Earth. Is the above statement just a myth or its in fact real? Are ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Can dolphins accidentally detonate naval mines?

According to animal rights activists, U.S. Navy's usage of dolphins to locate naval mines is questionable, as they may cause mine to explode: The ethics behind using these mammals during war is ...
36
votes
1answer
20k views

Does a lobster feel little/no pain when boiled alive?

Image Source I have just read Cracked.com's "9 Ridiculous Cooking Myths You Probably Believe", that claims: [...] because [the lobster's] nervous system isn't very complex, so it's feeling little ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Are there no camels in the Qur'an?

It seems to be an often-repeated saying that "there are no camels in the Koran". But I just repeated this factoid in the presence of a guy from Syria who insisted it's not true and that there is a ...
-6
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3answers
1k views

Are pet RFID chips (eg: “HomeAgain”) capable of fulfilling Revelations 13:16-17?

Regardless of the veracity of the Christian bible in general, could the technology behind the microchips (RFID tags) implanted into pets--used to re-unite lost pets with their owners--be used to track ...
6
votes
1answer
400 views

Do maneaters exist?

Can an animal develop an affinity for manflesh? Would a tiger like human meat so strongly that it goes after humans?
6
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0answers
638 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?
4
votes
0answers
127 views

Do Vitamin B1 patches prevent mosquito bites? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is Vitamin B12 an effective mosquito repellent? This Denver Post article suggests that mosquitoes dislike biting people who have excess vitamin B1. The notion behind the ...
14
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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 ...
20
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2answers
12k views

Is the “dancing squid” odori-don dead?

In these videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ug6pVj0Lq9w http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzj95jHuPiw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqphVlp2VJI (shows what I think is the brain) Soy sauce is ...
18
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1answer
2k views

Did travelers by troika throw passengers before the wolves, to save others?

In several places, I have seen reference to the story that in the past in Russia, travelers by troika might throw one of the travelers before chasing wolves in order to save the other travelers (...
5
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0answers
167 views

Do electronic bug repellers work? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Ultrasound pest control devices Do electric insect repellers example work? For context, I live in a rented house that has several of these installed. My personal observation ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

Did Morocco provide 2,000 monkeys to the American-led effort in the Iraq War?

I've heard in various places - chief among them, Will Ferrell's 'You're Welcome America' - that Morocco contributed monkeys for bomb or land mine detonation in the 2003 Iraq War. Did this deal ...
16
votes
1answer
6k views

Are animals skinned alive or dead for their pelt?

An animal rights activist friend of mine recently went on a rant about how fur should be illegal. One of her main arguments was that all animals suffered greatly during the fur removing process as ...
29
votes
1answer
4k views

Can elephants jump?

Are elephants capable of jumping? The Internet has no clear answer: Some say yes, some say no. Examples: Dot Physics: No Elephants are one of the few animals that can't jump. Not even a little ...
43
votes
1answer
203k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
9k views

Is it impossible to tell a lobster's age?

Source Stephen Fry said in the QI episode "I-Spy": "You can't tell the age of a lobster " (watch video) From the American Lobster FAQ: There is no foolproof way to determine a lobster’s age. ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

Do goldfishes have a two or three seconds memory?

It is often claimed that goldfishes have a very short memory, usually of two or three seconds. Like most claims in the real world, I have yet to see a source provided for it. So, do goldfishes have a ...
7
votes
1answer
717 views

Do Americans spend 49 billion dollars a year on pets?

I heard that people in Germany spend billions on pets and didn't believe it. But actually Germans spend around 3.3 billion Euro a year. The source seems serious. The only hint I found for US is this ...
4
votes
1answer
425 views

A question about chicken eggs, which ones are best?

The eggs from my own chickens are different to the ones they sell in the stores. They are much smaller, have a whiter shell, have less egg white, and the yolk is lighter yellow. They also taste ...
14
votes
1answer
11k views

Is it safe for dogs to eat cooked chicken bones?

I've always been told not to let dogs eat cooked chicken bones since they can easily splinter/fracture and cause problems for the dog but I've never seen any satisfactory evidence of this and I am ...
48
votes
9answers
21k views

Can trained humans run faster than all other animals on a marathon distance?

During the athletics world championship, a commentator mentioned casually during the marathon discipline that humans are faster over long distances than all animals. I'm unsure if this can be said ...
6
votes
1answer
495 views

Are bugs and other pests “crawling with disease”?

This is heard very commonly when someone sees an unwanted animal, especially near food. Flies, roaches, pigeons, rats, etc. are all claimed to be filthy and disease ridden, warranting their ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

Did humans see fish at the bottom of the world's deepest trench, the Mariana trench?

Several Wikipedia articles, (Bathyscaphe, Trieste and Challenger Deep), about the 1960 Bathyscaphe Trieste trip to Challenger Deep, the deepest part of the Mariana trench, mention observations of ...
21
votes
1answer
4k views

Do ducks sink in soapy water?

It is often said that if one were to add surfactants to water ducks would not be able to float as their feathers would start soaking water instead of repelling it. Has anyone actually tried this ...
21
votes
2answers
25k views

Do cats and dogs have saliva that has antibacterial or antiseptic properties?

Do cats and / or dogs have saliva that has antibacterial or antiseptic properties? Are these any more effective at preventing infection than the saliva of humans or any other animal (is cat or dog ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
90
votes
3answers
56k views

Does every species get around a billion heartbeats on average?

I read this webcomic today: From: abominable.cc I have no idea where the author got his factoid about the billion heartbeats. But it sounds interesting. The examples I can think of (rabbits, humans,...
42
votes
6answers
6k views

Can a frog be slowly boiled alive without it noticing?

It's commonly believed that a frog will not perceive a rise in temperature, and will boil alive. And, of course, if it were to be put in already-boiling water, it will immediately jump out. Any ...
7
votes
0answers
1k views

Can cows accurately predict when it is going to rain?

And do they show when they know it's going to rain by lying down, as the common saying suggests. Or is this just folklore? A quote on this Discovery Channel discussion board says this: Cows are ...
18
votes
2answers
4k views

Can any fish climb trees?

I recently came across the following quote on the twitters, attributed to Albert Einstein: Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole ...
17
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2answers
6k views

Did Catherine the Great die of injuries from a horse?

Perhaps I have been reading the wrong kind of scurrilous literature, but I have seen it asserted that the Empress Catherine the Great of Russia died from injuries received by committing unnatural acts ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Do fish grow to the size of their fishbowl?

There are many variations of this popular idea, but some the main formulations would be: Fish will never "outgrow" their fishtank (small fishbowls will result in smaller fishes than larger ones, for ...
16
votes
1answer
21k views

Are birds pushed out of the nest?

Is it true that most birds learn to fly by being pushed out of the nest? I've seen this most often in cartoons and quoted all over the net. Here is an example quote: A fledgling is a baby bird ...
12
votes
1answer
7k 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, ...
19
votes
1answer
10k views

Bumble bees shouldn't be able to fly?

There is a common belief that according to the known laws of physics, bumble bees should not be able to fly. The quote usually goes something like this: “Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn'...
48
votes
1answer
3k views

Do mice love cheese?

It's common knowledge that mice love cheese. Do they, or is it just that they'll eat anything that's available? What's the origin of the mouse-cheese belief?
15
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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 ...
25
votes
1answer
27k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
6k views

Will rats eat/burrow through human flesh?

I remember reading about this as a form of ancient torture, but I am unable to find evidence that is suggestive of that. I did however find on this wikipedia page uses a heavy chain to tie a ...
12
votes
1answer
7k views

Can dogs love their owners?

A common assumption about household pets is that there is a mutual endearment between owner and pet. Searching the internet finds handfuls of people asking the same question and there are plenty of ...
32
votes
4answers
28k views

Do other animals have non-reproductive sex?

You can view the lecture here. At about the 11:40 point the claim is made that humans are the only species that engage in non-reproductive sex. Is there solid evidence for or against the idea that ...
19
votes
3answers
10k views

Can a cat's purr heal injuries?

I've read it on Wikipedia's article about purring (in French), which I will paraphrase as follows: Veterinarians think that cats heal fractures etc. more rapidly than dogs. [citation] A ...
36
votes
1answer
2k views

Can cats be herded?

On the site for this year's Amazing Meeting, there's a little joke about how organizing skeptics is like herding cats It's a common belief that (possibly) due to their strong will and independent ...
24
votes
2answers
5k views

Can dogs smell fear?

Ever since childhood I've been told that if you encounter an unfamiliar dog, you should not show fear, because if you do, the dog is more likely to become aggressive. I have been told that this is ...
13
votes
1answer
629 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 ...
7
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1answer
683 views

Is there a negative correlation between parenthood and pet ownership?

That's what a friend of mime recently stated. I.e. if one owns a pet one is less likely to be parent and vice-versa. Are there any data available to support such a claim? I'm sceptical, because there ...
19
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3answers
3k views

Has there ever been a cryptid proven to exist?

Has there ever been a cryptid proven to exist? A creature that general scientific consensus had regarded as being a myth for a long time, but finally proven to be real.
22
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1answer
16k views

Can kangaroos walk backwards?

Source From Exploring Nature: They cannot jump backward because of their thick, muscular tail. Their long feet and heavy tail also make walking impossible, forward or backward. The ...