Questions tagged [zoology]

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

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Can whales send each other 3D images?

I recently asked this question on Biology Stack Exchange but didn’t get any answers. Russell Arnott, apparently an oceanographer, who currently works as a project manager at the Sainsbury Laboratory, ...
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48 votes
1 answer
8k views

Has a mole stored over a thousand earthworms in its underground larder?

On the wikipedia article for moles, I found some remarkable assertions: Because their saliva contains a toxin that can paralyze earthworms, moles are able to store their still-living prey for later ...
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13 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are the British to blame for Israel's stray cat problem? [closed]

Stray cats are extremely common in Israel and there is a common urban legend that they were imported by the British during the mandate period to combat a rat problem. For example, you can see this ...
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10 votes
1 answer
8k views

Did a cheetah refuse to race against dogs?

This speed race wanted to know the fastest, the dogs or the cheetah. But the cheetah did not move a finger and sat in place. People asked the race coordinator what happened. He responded after seeing ...
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6 votes
2 answers
684 views

Have pacu fish castrated people?

Supposedly In Papua New Guinea, the invasive species has reportedly earned a reputation as the "ball-cutter" after castrating a couple of local fishermen. It doesn't sound totally ...
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11 votes
0 answers
964 views

Do cows need their tails when ploughing?

I was watching this documentary about North Korean defectors, and one of the claims struck me as very odd. One of the defectors claimed that the CIA was largely responsible for the famines in North ...
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is there a breeding population of big cats living wild in the UK?

In an October 2020 Daily Mail article, a 'big cat tracker', Rhoda Watkins claims the UK has a healthy wild population of leopards and pumas. However, when I search on Wikipedia and other wildlife/...
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43 votes
1 answer
6k views

Did Louis Pasteur keep a gun in the laboratory while developing the rabies vaccine?

Is it true that while developing the vaccine for rabies Louis Pasteur kept a gun in his laboratory and had instructed all his lab assistants to shoot anyone in the head who accidentally got infected ...
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4 votes
0 answers
360 views

Were rats in Kowloon addicted to street drugs?

The book Fallen Glory: The Lives and Deaths of History’s Greatest Buildings by James Crawford has a chapter about the walled city of Kowloon in Hong Kong, and there is also an article based on this ...
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1 vote
1 answer
655 views

Do praying mantises kill lizards in the wild?

There are some videos of praying mantises eating slow-moving lizards (calotes versicolor?) that don't even put up a fight. The videos are filmed in aquariums with macro lenses and special lighting. ...
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7 votes
1 answer
540 views

Did a group of monkeys steal SARS-CoV-2 positive blood samples from a health care worker in India?

An article from Reuters claims that a health care worker in India was assaulted by a team of monkeys and robbed of the blood samples that he was carrying: LUCKNOW, India (Reuters) - A troop of ...
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19 votes
1 answer
685 views

In WWI, did the British Board of Invention and Research propose conditioning seagulls to associate a submarine's periscope with food?

One of the more unusual ideas proposed by the BIR [British Board of Invention and Research] involved dragging a dummy periscope behind a ship while food was discharged nearby. The aim was to attract a ...
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23 votes
1 answer
1k views

Do wombats share their burrows during fires?

In the wake of the devastating bushfires currently burning in Australia, an image has been widely shared on social media: Here is one example from Twitter, retweeted 11K times: While I have an ...
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13 votes
1 answer
797 views

Have 500 million mammals, birds and reptiles died in the 2019 Australian bushfires?

Several news sites have reported that almost 500 million animals* have died in the 2019 Australian bushfires. Example: article in news.com.au (Jan 1st 2020) Ecologists from the University of Sydney ...
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3 votes
0 answers
571 views

Can water buffalo be hypnotized as depicted in Crocodile Dundee (1986)? [closed]

In the fictional movie Crocodile Dundee (1986), the character Mick Dundee is seen "hypnotizing" a water buffalo with hand movements. Is this possible in real life?
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6 votes
0 answers
588 views

Are dog silhouettes effective at keeping geese away?

Canada Geese are a big nuisance where I live (despite living several hours away from Canada). To keep them away, I've seen more and more places put down black wooden dog silhouettes like this one from ...
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4 votes
1 answer
81k views

Will a shark kept in a fish tank have stunted growth?

There is a widely recited saying that sharks kept in fish tanks won't grow to their full size. For example, author and motivational speaker Bob Harrison posted: A shark in a fish tank will grow 8 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Do geoducks increase sex drive?

Geoducks are a species of clam from North America, sold as aphrodisiacs, but are they? 1987 UPI article: Saving the geoduck from the sexually hungry 'The geoduck is threatened with extinction due ...
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5 votes
0 answers
1k views

Did Finding Nemo encourage people to flush pet fish down the toilet?

A Smithsonian article about goldfish starts out with (emphasis added): The 2003 Pixar film Finding Nemo popularized the misconception that all drains lead to the ocean, encouraging young fans to ...
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7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is it illegal in Alaska to wake up a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a photograph?

DumbLaws.com claim: While it is legal to shoot bears, waking a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a photograph is prohibited. The Gray Line Alaska blog repeats the claim. There is also a ...
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10 votes
3 answers
9k views

Did "hundreds of birds" fall out of the sky in the Netherlands due to a 5G test? [duplicate]

A conspiracy news site claims that (emphasis added): Hundreds of birds have fallen from the sky in The Hague, the Netherlands, during a 5G experiment to see how large the range was and whether the ...
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10 votes
0 answers
438 views

Is it bad for an elephant’s back to carry a human?

Lots of sites warn you not to ride elephants as they are often treated poorly and don't have freedom (1,2). But these sites also mention that it’s bad for the back of an elephant. With some ...
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Do European deer still stick to their sides of the Iron Curtain?

I found such a claim in an article here: http://nowiknow.com/the-thin-red-deer-line/ But that was a long time ago, especially if you’re a deer — they only live about ten or so years in the wild. ...
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59 votes
4 answers
15k views

Are spiders unable to hurt humans, especially very small spiders?

In an episode of Peppa Pig, one of the characters says that spiders are very very small, and that they can’t hurt you. Broadcasters in Australia have avoided broadcasting the episode involved, ...
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160 votes
4 answers
26k views

Is bread bad for ducks?

This image has being going around (e.g. Facebook with a message attributed to The Friends of Bushy and Home Parks: Transcript: Please don't kill us with bread! Bread is actually a danger to us ducks ...
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4 votes
0 answers
278 views

Do a diver and a clownfish share a 10 year friendship?

A YouTube video from The Dodo, called Clownfish Named Nemo Has 10-Year Friendship with This Diver shows footage of a New Caledonian scuba diver, Marino, who claims to have a special relationship with ...
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15 votes
1 answer
2k views

Do Japanese crows use traffic to crack nutshells?

In a BBC article, its contended that: In a Japanese city, carrion crows have discovered how to eat nuts that they usually find too hard to tackle. One method is to drop the nuts from height on ...
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8 votes
0 answers
3k views

Will koalas eat pre-plucked eucalyptus leaves?

Various sources online (including a frequent copy-pasta disparaging the animal) claim that koalas will not recognize eucalyptus leaves as food if they are cleanly laid out on a table in front of them, ...
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2 votes
0 answers
216 views

Is there as significant danger to frequent close contact with a pet dog? [closed]

An article in the National Geographic here talks of the dangers of dog licks. On the other hand, this NYT article states that dog owners tend to live longer and healthier than non-pet owners. Is it ...
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9 votes
0 answers
1k views

Do fireworks kills birds, dogs and other animals?

Diwali is a Hindu festival of lights, celebrated with fireworks. My closest friend on Facebook shared this picture on my wall: Happy Diwali Thousands of birds, dogs & other animals die out of ...
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59 votes
4 answers
14k views

Have we wiped out 60% of vertebrate populations since 1970?

According to The Guardian (reporting an analysis by WWF) humanity stands on the verge of an ecological catastrophe as: Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, ...
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13 votes
1 answer
1k views

If cows were a country, would they rank 3rd in greenhouse gas emissions?

According to GatesNotes.com: If all the cattle in the world joined together to start their own country, they would rank behind only China and the United States in greenhouse gas emissions. But they’...
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9 votes
1 answer
510 views

Do lobsters get stoned with marijuana?

It's all over the news. A restaurateur from Maine wants to smoke lobsters with cannabis before boiling them to make their death more humane. The cynic in me says that she's smoking them for flavor ...
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  • 78k
5 votes
0 answers
841 views

Can Male Giraffes Breed at 18 Years of Age?

From the NY Times Article detailing a big game hunter's kill of an 18 year-old giraffe, the hunter Tess Thompson Talley reportedly claims in an email to news organizations that an 18 year old giraffe ...
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7 votes
1 answer
700 views

Can Rambo, the German shepherd, follow written commands?

An article on The Laughing Squid shows a German shepherd seemingly following written commands. An impressively intelligent German shepherd named Rambo, who’s learning how to read with the help of ...
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15 votes
0 answers
2k views

Can a 7-Hz tone kill chickens via resonance?

In the Sound function section of the Turbo C Version 2.0 Reference Guide 1988 I found the following comment. /* Emits a 7-Hz tone for 10 seconds. True story: 7 Hz is the resonant frequency of a ...
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11 votes
1 answer
779 views

Have badgers eaten coyotes?

Wikipedia claims that badgers sometimes eat coyotes: In North America, coyotes sometimes eat badgers and vice versa, but the majority of their interactions seem to be mutual or neutral.[19] ...
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65 votes
1 answer
11k views

Are raptors in Australia intentionally spreading brush fires to smoke out prey?

Articles have been popping up with headlines like the Daily Mail's "Birds of prey are starting fires DELIBERATELY: Kites and Falcons are 'intentionally dropping smouldering twigs' to smoke out mice ...
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18 votes
1 answer
11k views

Do elephants see humans the same way humans see puppies?

This tweet and others like it have been making the rounds lately: Julia‏ @JuliaHass I just learned that elephants think humans are cute the way humans think puppies are cute (the same part of ...
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45 votes
5 answers
9k views

Can venomous snakes be determined by these pupil, nostril and scale patterns?

This image was recently shared by an Australian Facebook friend: The source appears to be a Facebook post of a man from India with a staggering 380,000 shares from around the world! There are ...
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164 votes
1 answer
37k views

Is it illegal to own a rabbit in Queensland unless you're a magician?

From all that is interesting How Bunny Rabbits Took Over Australia — And What The Government Is Doing About It In Queensland, Australia, it’s illegal to own a pet rabbit unless you’re a magician. ...
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23 votes
2 answers
3k views

Do apes/monkeys open bananas from the floral end?

I often hear people lecturing about how to open a banana from the "right" end, including an explanation that this is how monkeys do it. A quick search in the internet offers a lot of examples (for ...
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12 votes
0 answers
692 views

Do squirrels fed by humans develop cancer and heart disease?

In Michael P Ghiglieri and Thomas M. Myers's book Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon (a chronicle of deaths in the Grand Canyon by a biologist and a medical doctor), in the section about squirrels ...
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4 votes
1 answer
936 views

Are cheap scallops made from flounders or stingrays?

Jaws the book (1974) claimed that if you use a cookie cutter to punch holes from flounder wings, you can create fake scallops and that these are commonly sold in restaurants: 'I was just looking at ...
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3 votes
0 answers
2k views

Are Common House Geckos poisonous?

The Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) is a South-East Asian lizard. In some parts of India, there are various beliefs about the them, or their urine, being toxic to eat. Wikipedia describes ...
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1 vote
0 answers
372 views

Can Master Kanzawa make animals sleep at a distance?

As seen here and other places, like Stan Lee’s Superhumans, Master Kanzawa claims to be able to put animals to sleep at a distance by exchanging "chi energy". I am doubful this is true, since Chi ...
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  • 78k
10 votes
1 answer
668 views

Does TNVR work to reduce cat populations?

On a social website, our neighborhood is having a bit of a debate about local "wild" cat populations. In essence, "wild" cat populations consist of both feral and not-feral but not-...
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  • 1,016
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does the Assisi loop heal injuries?

The Assisi loop uses "Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy" to treat inflammation in animals. This seems like a bunch of woo. Does this work?
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10 votes
0 answers
565 views

Do cats avoid water when it is placed near food?

This tumblr post makes the interesting claim that if a cat's water is placed near its food, the cat will consider the water to be unsafe to drink, and that cats will be more inclined to drink it if it ...
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  • 2,059
6 votes
0 answers
394 views

Do bears get a taste for human flesh?

I'm sure I've heard similar stories regarding dogs and even hamsters, but in this Guardian story a vet says: Takeshi Komatsu, a local vet, said it was possible that the four were killed by the same ...
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