Category Archives: Animals

How Do Other Animals Deal with the Umbilical Cord and Placenta When the Baby is Born?

horse-birth

Brandi N asks: How do other primates deal with the umbilical cord and placenta when the baby is born when they don’t have any sort of medical help to make sure everything’s handled right? Other than certain modern humans, some marine mammals (like whales and dolphins), chimpanzees and a few domesticated animals, mammal mothers typically eat the afterbirth. While most […]

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Why Gnats Swarm

gnats

Gerry D. asks: Why do nats swarm in a ball in the air? A common sight in the spring and summer, the seemingly unprofitable and pointless habit of gnats to hover in a cloud is, in fact, the single most productive thing they’ll ever do with their short lives. Although there are a wide variety of non-biting, but eminently annoying, […]

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A Chicken Egg In a Chicken Egg in a Chicken- The Elusive Xzibit Egg

chickens

Unless you didn’t quite get enough info from the title- yes, it is entirely possible for a chicken to lay an egg that contains another fully developed egg, what we now officially dub an Xzibit Egg. A wonderfully bizarre Matryoshka doll made of protein and disgusting (when you think about it) deliciousness. As you may or may not know, a […]

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A Space Race for the Dogs… and Monkeys and Fruit Flies

albert-2

The first Earthlings sent into space were brave, calm under pressure, and heroic. They were also not human and many of them were furry. Yes, before Apollo 13, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Yuri Gagarin, humans sent fruit flies, monkeys, and dogs into space to determine if living beings could survive the trip. These tests helped prove that, given a […]

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What Do Cockroaches Eat and Where Do They Live When There are No Houses Around?

American-Cockroach

Soshi K. asks: What do cockroaches eat and where do they live when not in our houses? Sneaky and skittering, invasive and indomitable, the disgusting peridomestic cockroach is a formidable enemy for anyone unlucky enough to live among them. Interestingly, however, they are surprisingly delicate, and at least one species is utterly dependent on humans for its survival. Of the […]

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The Fish That Talk with Farts

Sardine-School

In addition to being an occasional biological necessity, human flatulence has served a variety of uses, including as a way to clear a room, entertain friends, torture a sibling, and tease a child (pull my finger). But while some humans have elevated farting to an art form (see: The Most Famous Farter in History), perhaps no entire species has elevated […]

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How is Silk Made?

silk worm

Mark D. asks: How do they make real silk from worms? One of the softest fabrics on the planet, shiny, breathable and comfortable, silk has been a highly prized cloth since it was first harvested thousands of years ago. And despite advances in production methods and new possibilities for cultivation, still today the only reasonable way to glean the thread in […]

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Why Don’t Vultures Get Sick When Eating Dead Things?

Vulture

Scott K. asks: Why don’t vultures get sick when eating dead things? How come humans can’t do the same? As an animal that is synonymous with death and disease, the vulture understandably has a poor reputation in many cultures across the globe, despite, ironically enough, being a huge boon to humans in terms of being able to reduce instances of […]

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Are There Any Animals Other Than Humans That Commit Suicide?

depressed-animal

Mark I. asks: Are there any known animals other than humans that intentionally commit suicide? Animal suicide is a hugely controversial issue in the world of animal research and psychology, because although there are numerous documented instances of animals seemingly intentionally ending their own lives, no one is exactly sure whether these cases can technically be classified as suicide. First […]

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