61 votes
Accepted

Do the older slower wolves lead a wolf pack?

No, the pack is led by the alpha (breeding) females. The picture is taken from the BBC 2011 documentary Frozen Planet. This Guardian article which features pictures from the documentary describes the ...
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  • 28.8k
32 votes
Accepted

Do apes/monkeys open bananas from the floral end?

This is a myth, because monkeys don't normally eat bananas in the wild. "The entire wild monkey-banana connection in fact is total fabrication," Katharine Milton, who has studied the diets of ...
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  • 78k
26 votes

Do wombats share their burrows during fires?

Yes, they do share... but not specifically because of the fires or out of a sense of altruism. According to AFP Fact Check: University of Adelaide ecologist Dr. Michael Swinbourne told AFP via ...
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  • 719
19 votes
Accepted

Have cats hunted at least 33 species to extinction?

The first claim in your article The authors estimate they are responsible for the deaths of between 1.4 and 3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals annually comes from this article (full-...
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17 votes
Accepted

Can mice find their way back to your home from 1+ miles away?

In the "Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal" issued by the CDC, there is a report of a trial that involved one pinyon mouse (P. truei) and 19 deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). The trial ...
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  • 186
15 votes
Accepted

Do animals commit suicide?

There is not enough scientific data to prove suicidal behavior in non-human animals. Naturalists have not identified suicide in nonhuman species in field situations, despite intensive study of ...
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  • 2,856
15 votes
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Do dolphins intentionally intoxicate themselves with puffer-fish venom?

About Rob Pilley, the "zoologist and producer" who gave the Daily news their original quotes. A google scholar search does not turn up any research from him; none of the 120 papers by a R Pilley are ...
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14 votes

Do apes/monkeys open bananas from the floral end?

Yes, some monkeys do peel bananas from the floral end, if they get access to them, but not all the time. While Sklivvz's answer is correct about the lack of access of monkeys to bananas in the wild, ...
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  • 28.8k
14 votes

Can lions sense menstruating women?

According to The Lady and Her Tiger, the autobiography of animal trainer and animal rights advocate Pat Derby, at page 75: I remember one occasion when a television commercial was being filmed with ...
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  • 99.2k
13 votes

Are humans the only species to have homophobes?

No. Quoting from Homosexual Behaviour in Animals: An Evolutionary Perspective [page 28] When male Japanese macaques do exhibit an interest in homosexual consortships, female partners will ...
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  • 99.2k
11 votes

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

The way most Japanese fishing companies actually do this is a process called Ikejime. There are a few different ways to do this but they are all basically the same cause brain death and/or paralysis ...
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11 votes
Accepted

Do Macaque monkeys steal money from wallets and use it to buy food from vending machines?

The claim is plausible. Let's break it down into several components: Q: Are monkeys capable of stealing wallets or learning to use vending machines? A: Certainly. There is ample video evidence of ...
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  • 10.7k
10 votes

Is the "Alpha Wolf" theory debunked?

Evidence: The concept of alpha wolf in wolf packs was based on studies on captive wolves. Most research on the social dynamics of wolf packs, however, has been conducted on wolves in captivity. ...
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  • 22.6k
10 votes
Accepted

Do barking dogs seldom bite?

Barks are one of the way in which dogs communicate. For example, some barks mean loneliness and can be methodically distinguished from other kinds. Our experiment showed that dogs can perceive the ...
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  • 78k
10 votes
Accepted

Do roosters let hens eat first?

Some animals tend to give specific calls when they discover food or detect particular types of predators. Companions of those animals tend to respond with food searching behavior or adopt some ...
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  • 22.6k
9 votes

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

Where did this story originate? Is that source reputable? Here's the BBC's version of it: Kidnapped girl 'rescued' by lions Sergeant Wondmu Wedaj told the media from Bita Genet, some 560 ...
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  • 26.3k
9 votes
Accepted

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

The Pacific Standard magazine published a critical look at this claim which is available for free on the web. It says the original study started in 2005 and may have received some attention while it ...
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  • 7,049
6 votes

Can Rambo, the German shepherd, follow written commands?

Summary: We don't have good evidence that let's us conclude precisely what Rambo's "reading" abilities are. The experimental design and setup in the video does not allow to judge this, and ...
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5 votes

Do pigeons and doves refrain from mating after their lifelong mate dies?

Their monogamy does seem to be a well-established claim but not that they never form another pair-bond: The source you quote doesn't support St Jerome's claim. So you could probably drop "and never ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Do roaches die (naturally) on their backs?

It's hard to find reputable sources on this issue, but let me present the two different takes on it that I found. According to this article: Cockroaches, apparently, have bulky bodies (composing of ...
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  • 4,023
5 votes
Accepted

Have badgers eaten coyotes?

According to Cooperative Predation by Coyotes on Badgers Journal of Mammalogy, Volume 61, Issue 2, 20 May 1980, Pages 375–376: Although badgers occasionally kill and eat coyote pups (Young, 1951), ...
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  • 99.2k
3 votes

Did a rabbit bite Justice David Souter?

According to the 25 July 1990 article Killer rabbit redux Chicago Tribune : David Souter, President Bush`s choice for the U.S. Supreme Court, has at least one thing in common with Democrats. He was ...
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  • 99.2k
3 votes

Does human excrement or toilet paper attract wild animals?

I didn't find any systematic studies of wildlife digging up toilet paper (TP), but there is one which found that TP buried under rocks doesn't degrade fast enough, even in presence of feces (simulant, ...
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  • 51.1k
3 votes

Do roaches die (naturally) on their backs?

I think the answer is really in the physics of the cockroach, or other insect bodies. When the insect dies, rigor mortis sets in. Since the flexor muscles are almost always larger than the extensor ...
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  • 3,394
3 votes

Can a skunk spray with its feet off the ground?

Your colleague has this very backwards. Spotted skunks specifically do a (very adorable) handstand and spray while upside down. If you see a skunk with it's hind legs off of the ground, assume that it ...
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3 votes

Does swatting/killing a bee cause the hive to attack?

In Neurobiology of Chemical Communication., Chapter 5 - Chemical Communication in the Honey Bee Society, Section 5.1.2.5 Defensive Behavior: Alarm Pheromones details how trigger pheromones are ...
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2 votes
Accepted

Do dogs bite more during a full moon?

In Australia, at least, they don't: What is already known on this topic Farming folklore holds that dogs bite more at the time of full moons The research literature on the effect of lunar phase on ...
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  • 78k

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