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    [–] Sites that pay in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency? tea_and_biology 1 points ago in beermoney

    No idea; web processing on their end seems pretty snappy, and NANO withdrawals often arrive in my wallet a few minutes after clicking. Presumably BTC n' friends are likewise automatically sent fairly quickly, though given they're likely to slap on the smallest network fee, and the network is usually clogged and crazy slow in general anyway, I dunno'. Hours to a day or more?

    You're better off withdrawing speedy coins like NANO or XLM (they have much lower cashout thresholds anyway) and exchanging for BTC etc. on an exchange yourself. It'd be way quicker.

    [–] Bonobos have a matriarchal society characterized by the use of sex as conflict resolution, bonding experiences, and greetings. They dont form permanent mating pairs, leading to males having very little paternity assurance and thus the vast majority of parental care comes from the mother tea_and_biology 141 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago) in Awwducational

    Zoologist here! Researched chimpanzee behaviour in Kibale, Uganda for a bit back in the days. Alas, almost all of the answers here are misleading, or otherwise based on common misconceptions. Chimpanzees and bonobos are actually behaviourally very similar, and despite the oft touted idea that bonobos are the peaceful hippy 'make love not war' commune types whilst chimps are the war-mongering bad boys, it's a complete misconception - if not sometimes the complete reverse.

    It all stems from a few studies on a small number of bonobos at artificial feeding stations or in captivity, kept in unnatural social groupings and conditions, not representative of groups and behaviour out in the wild. Turns out, based on wild studies:

    • Male bonobos engage in less male-on-male sexual activity compared to chimpanzees. Females likewise engage less frequently in positive sexual encounters than chimpanzees full stop - with both sexes. Ditto with individuals of a younger age. Turns out chimpanzees go at it harder and younger with each other than their 'more promiscuous' counterparts, and often for more 'positive' reasons. So much for the 'free love' bonobos.

    • Though they avoid conflict amongst groups moreso than chimpanzees (they don't go 'to war'), conflict within groups is just as frequent. A majority of individuals from one group studied had mutilations caused by fighting - missing digits, ears etc. Likewise they've been known to attack and mutilate human handlers, both in captivity and in the wild. Male-on-male aggression is equally comparable between the two species, and female-on-female and female-on-infant in bonobos can be savage, involving abducting babies and fighting one another for sex with males.

    • Bonobos are slightly more egalitarian than chimpanzees, but still have a hierarchical society, with aggression rewarded with rank just like their cousins. Low ranking individuals have to fight for positions to feed, and females who join a new group have to barter sex for food in order to get their fair share (it's as much 'desperate prostitution', as 'conflict avoidance'). Again, not quite the 'everyone is equal' hippy commune.

    • Bonobos aren't really all that matriarchal, with the females in charge choosing who to mate with. Rank seems largely independent of sex, and oddly males, not females, can inherit rank from their parents. Despite this, their society is arguably slightly more sexually equal than chimpanzees - no chimp female may outrank a chimp male, but male bonobos may outrank females and vice-versa. Likewise, female bonobos may join hunting parties (oh, yeah, they kill and eat monkeys just like chimps too!), unlike all-male chimp troops. Beyond that though, it's more a free-for-all when it comes to sex, politics and aggression. Male chimps don't often gang up on and mutilate their own females; bonobos will, both ways.

    Erm, so yeah! Bonobos aren't the peaceful apes we're often led to believe. They're arguably slightly more egalitarian than chimpanzees, but in the absence of the more rigid hierarchy of chimpanzees, there's also more chaos and fluid aggression. Otherwise, chimps are the more promiscuous, 'socially-cohesive' ones. They just go for a cheeky bit o' war with one another too.

    TL;DR: Behaviourally, bonobos bang, bite, hunt and harass pretty much as much as chimpanzees do. They just don't go to war between groups - just within them.

    P.S. Some layman's reading here, here, and here for those interested!

    [–] A mole can dig 18 feet of tunnel in a single hour. tea_and_biology 1 points ago in Awwducational

    u/Parsition,

    I've removed your post as blatant reposts are not allowed in this subreddit. Please check out the submission guidelines in the sidebar, along with other posts in the subreddit, for a better idea of what sort of content we cater for.

    Thanks for your time,

    T&B

    [–] Sites that pay in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency? tea_and_biology 2 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago) in beermoney

    Xenogifts pays out in Cardano (ADA), Verge (XVG), Ripple (XRP), Dogecoin (DOGE), Stellar (XLM), IOTA (MIOTA), Ethereum (ETH), Neo (NEO), Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Qtum (QTUM), Dash (DASH), NEM (XEM), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Monero (XMR) and Nano (NANO).

    Of note, they give a discount on NANO, as it's free and instantaneous to transfer, with a minimum payout threshold of 0.2 NANO (about $0.40).

    Available worldwide, they offer the usual offerwalls / surveys, alongside passive ad viewing (EngageMe.TV, Smores.tv etc.) and daily rewards / referrals. They also cash out in the usual giftcards, steam credit and Rocket League / CS:GO items.

    Non-referral link here, alongside shameless referral link here (you start off with a few extra reward tokens to exchange for crypto). Mabes worth a peek?

    [–] In Bazoule, Burkina Faso, villagers happily share their local pond with the 'sacred' local wildlife. According to legend, the relationship dates back to the 15th century when the village was in the grip of an agonising drought until the crocodiles led some women to a hidden pond, saving them. tea_and_biology 14 points ago * (lasted edited 9 days ago) in pics

    The residents of Bazoule, a community outside Burkina Faso's capital Ouagodougou, began to hold the reptiles sacred around 600 years ago, and offer them chickens as a sacrifice. Today, they share their home with about a hundred of the snaggle-toothed beasties, and it's become a tourist attraction.

    According to this news article:

    "We get used to the crocodiles when we are young, swimming in the water with them and all that," said Pierre Kabore, just a few metres (yards) away from a crocodile feasting on chicken provided by the village.

    "Now we can always approach them and sit on them -- and if you have the courage, you can lie on them too. There's no problem, they are sacred crocodiles. They don't do anything to anyone."

    Apparently there hasn't been a fatality for over 70 years. The crocs still occasionally bite though; it's considered a punishment of the elders.

    Anywho, kid clearly has balls of steel pinning that crocodile down. Rather him, than me!


    Photo credit: Olympia de Maismont - website here; source here.

    Further Reading: The sacred crocodiles of Burkina Faso are the kindest animals. Vice (Fr).

    [–] TIL Female Dragonflies will fake their own deaths in order to avoid sexual advances from unwanted males. tea_and_biology 780 points ago * (lasted edited 9 days ago) in todayilearned

    Imagine you're a female dragonfly. You've just mated and are chock full of fertilised eggs. All you need to do now is lay them. You peer out the vegetation you were hiding in, checking the coast is clear. Phew. With a burst of speed, you make your way down the stream, searching for a cosy looking reed bed to lay. But suddenly, out of nowhere, you notice you're not alone - you're being followed. You dash one way, swerve to another, trying to shake off the pursuer, but to no avail. He's a male dragonfly, and he's hungry for a sexual liason. "Seriously? Right now?!", but it's no good. The hot-blooded male is persistent. He's not mated yet and he'll be damned if he doesn't have his way with you. You now have but one choice: feign a crash landing into the ground and pretend to be dead.

    Maybe he'll leave you alone.

    And that is how the Moorland Hawker Dragonfly do.

    Unusually amongst Odonates (dragonflies and damselflies), male Moorland Hawkers (Aeshna juncea) don't stick around to protect their female mates post-coitus, while she lays her eggs. This leaves her vulnerable to male coercion and subsequent mating; either during egg-laying or shortly afterwards as she leaves the arena (diagram here). The harassment may take a hit on her fitness, and as males have spatula-like structures on their penis to scoop out sperm from previous mates, she risks losing a proportion of her eggs to becoming fertilised by a newcomer, one she didn't necessarily choose.

    Death feigning is common as an anti-predator defence in dragonflies, but sexual death feigning is incredibly rare - only otherwise observed in two species of robber fly, a gift-giving spider, and the European mantis.


    Original Scientific Paper: Khelifa, R. (2017) Faking death to avoid male coercion: extreme sexual conflict resolution in a dragonfly. The Scientific Naturalist. 98 (6) (behind pay-wall)

    Further Reading: Ceurstemont, S. (2017) "Female dragonflies fake sudden death to avoid male advances". New Scientist.

    [–] How can the Mariana snailfish, which survives at depths of up to 26,135 feet, survive the immense pressure? tea_and_biology 3 points ago in askscience

    In the case of snailfish, blobfish and other extreme deep-sea fish, they all lack swim bladders. Instead, its the density of their gelatinous flesh that provides them with the neutral buoyancy required to keep afloat.

    [–] How can the Mariana snailfish, which survives at depths of up to 26,135 feet, survive the immense pressure? tea_and_biology 14 points ago * (lasted edited 10 days ago) in askscience

    How can the Mariana snailfish, which survives at depths of up to 26,135 feet, survive the immense pressure?

    Fluids are difficult to compress. Like, really difficult. Gasses on the other hand; well, you can crush an empty soda bottle and it's pretty easy. Try the same when it's full and it's nigh on impossible.

    Snailfish and other soft tissued deep sea critters are made up entirely of solids and fluids, containing no air pockets to speak of. If anything, they go a little further and take tissue architecture to the next level. The extreme pressure at their depths can alter the very molecular nature and behaviour of proteins and lipid membranes found in typical fish tissue. As such, deep-sea fish tissue often exists as a gelatinous matrix, making it more liquid-ey. This is why deep-sea fish like snailfish and the blobfish look so sad when brought up to the surface. Without the pressure, their semi-liquid bodies literally sort of melt.

    Anywho, as much as their bodies are under a colossal pressure from the weight of water above, since the fluid material they're made from is incompressible, it exerts the same pressure back, keeping their shape.

    Contrast a ball of dense jelly that is the snailfish with a submersible. The submersible is full of airpockets, and would instantly be crushed if the pressure were able to exert itself on the space without protection. This understandably can make deep-sea explorers quite nervous!


    Sources / Further Reading:

    Gerringer, M.E., Jeffrey C. Drazen, J.C., Linley, T.D, et al. (2017) Distribution, composition and functions of gelatinous tissues in deep-sea fishes. Royal Society Open Science.

    Yancey, P.H., Gerringer, M.E., Dranzen, J.C., et al. (2014) Marine fish may be biochemically constrained from inhabiting the deepest ocean depths. PNAS. 111 (12), 4461-4465

    [–] Is the Circadian rhythm of a person above the arctic circle different from the rest of us? tea_and_biology 14 points ago * (lasted edited 10 days ago) in askscience

    Is the Circadian rhythm of a person above the arctic circle different from the rest of us?

    If not carefully managed, yup! At high Arctic and Antarctic latitudes, individuals are deprived of natural sunlight in winter and have near continuous daylight in summer; in both circumstances, the circadian rhythms of individuals start to desynchronise with the 24-hour day and begin 'free-running', with their internal body clocks running on cycles longer than 24-25 hours. This might be okay for a day or two, but soon the extra hours on your body clock push your cycle far enough to seriously impact your health.

    If left unchecked, individuals quickly develop sleep problems including insomnia, hypersomnia (or narcolepsy-like symptoms) and general poor quality sleep. Associated with that are mental health issues, bundled together under subsyndromal seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In short, it's common to become depressed, irritable, and experience reduced productivity and alertness, drowsiness, impaired cognitive ability, and decreased appetite during working hours. Like being permanently jet-lagged in an uncomfortable airport. Sounds horrible!

    But, fear not. Next time you embark on a polar expedition for a few months, there are means to keep your cycle in check:

    • Exposure to artificial light, particularly to blue light, early in the 'morning' under otherwise perpetual dark conditions can quickly re-sync your clock to a normal schedule.
    • Melatonin intake - the hormone that regulates your body clock - at specific intervals can likewise entrain your clock to a normal routine.
    • In summer, the use of blinds, eye masks, reduced lighting during 'evening' and suitably scheduled sleep should counteract desynchronisation.

    So yeah. Living in continual daytime or nighttime can cause your cycle to get out of whack, causing sleep, mood and productivity problems. But by maintaining a structured cycle - exposing yourself to appropriate artificial light and darkness levels in-sync with a normal schedule - you'll be able to manage just fine.


    Source / Further Reading: Arendt, J. (2012) Biological Rhythms During Residence in Polar Regions. Chronobiol Int. 29 (4), 379–394 - this is a really comprehensive review; certainly worth checking out if interested!

    [–] What fan theory do you 100% accept as true? tea_and_biology 4040 points ago * (lasted edited 10 days ago) in AskReddit

    A few of my favourite Pokémon ones:

    • Butterfree and Venomoth were supposed to be switched around. If you look at the morphology of both and their pre-evolutions, it almost seems crazy they weren't not supposed to be switched. Perhaps they thought having a cuter 'butterfly' Pokémon evolved from Caterpie earlier on in the game, instead of mean ol' Venomoth, would go down better with their target audience?

    • Also, Psyduck and Golduck have their names switched. Who wouldn't call a big gold duck golduck?!

    • Ooh! Also, also, Golem and Machamp were supposed to be trade evolutions only when trading a Graveler for a Machoke (or vice versa). Idea goes, with that particular trade:

      Machoke > Machamp: gains an extra pair of arms, loses lizard snout/face.

      Graveler > Golem: loses the extra pair of arms, gains lizard snout/face.

    Hmmmm... ! The reality is a little less glamorous, involving Pokémon being designed and coded into the game files initially out of order, without evolutionary lines thought through, but it's still fun to speculate, 'innit.

    [–] On average, opossums eat up to 5000 ticks in a season, but they don’t contract or carry Lyme disease. tea_and_biology 30 points ago in Awwducational

    Original scientific paper here, for those curious. Relevant passage:

    By subjecting field-caught hosts to parasitism by larval blacklegged ticks, we found that some host species (e.g. opossums, squirrels) that are abundantly parasitized in nature kill 83–96% of the ticks that attempt to attach and feed, while other species are more permissive of tick feeding.

    The vast majority (96.5%) of larval ticks that encounter an opossum and attempt to feed are apparently consumed. Working backwards, [we calculate that] during any given week in the larval activity peak, each opossum must host more than 5500 larval ticks to produce 199 that successfully feed. By this logic, during the larval peak, each mouse encounters approximately 50 larval ticks per week, almost half of which feed to repletion and become nymphs.

    An interesting Snopes article on the subject here too.

    u/babyraichu, if you wouldn't mind submitting a source with your title fact next time (Rule #3), it'd be appreciated. Cheers!

    [–] TIL Female brown trout will fake 'orgasms' when courting with inferior males. She'll give all the right visual cues as if about to release eggs for fertilisation, but doesn't; the male will frantically ejaculate, not notice he's been duped, and swim away. tea_and_biology 79 points ago in todayilearned

    Good questions!

    Both are single cells, right?

    Yup, though eggs are comparatively enormous cells (discounting lengthy nerve cells, usually the biggest single cell any animal will produce), and full of nutritious yolk that needs to sustain a developing embryo for some time. A single sperm cell, in contrast, is tiny, stripped down to the bare essential machinery, and only needs to last long enough to fertilise an egg.

    According to this study, for the reasons outlined above, females will typically therefore produce two to four orders of magnitude (so up to x10,000) more sex cells in terms of biomass than male counterparts. That's an incredible expense, and a good reason why they need to make sure that resource is spent wisely.

    [–] When do deep-ocean thermal vent animals sleep, if at all? tea_and_biology 1 points ago in askscience

    Ooh, I posted a wee snippet along those lines here, if that answers your question?

    [–] TIL Female brown trout will fake 'orgasms' when courting with inferior males. She'll give all the right visual cues as if about to release eggs for fertilisation, but doesn't; the male will frantically ejaculate, not notice he's been duped, and swim away. tea_and_biology 96 points ago * (lasted edited 10 days ago) in todayilearned

    Do Brown Trout develop Jacks that will try to sneak in on a breeding pair, like many of the Pacific salmonids, to counter act choosy females?

    Ooh, this piqued my curiosity too! After a lil' digging, according to this study, the answer is no. Instead of alternative mating strategies ('jacks' vs. 'hookjaws' in salmon), male trout essentially just tag-team a female - with multiple consecutive sperm releases over her egg load. In which case, males may be engaging in sperm competition, with the battle for fertilisation happening between the sperm cells themselves, not so much the adults (though they do try to fend each other off and sometimes guard females for a while post-coitus).

    [–] ELI5: Why do some ants have wings whilst others don’t and why do flying ants only appear in hot weather? tea_and_biology 11 points ago * (lasted edited 10 days ago) in explainlikeimfive

    Why do some ants have wings whilst others don't?

    Ants live in colonies made up of thousands of individuals, and they're all related - like one big happy family. Unlike families however, ant groups act more like a bunch of sailors on a transatlantic voyage. The captain is the queen ant, all her shipmates are subordinate workers, and they all need to work together harmoniously if they are to survive.

    For this reason, most of the worker ants sacrifice a lot to keep the whole colony afloat - in their case, their ability to reproduce. If you're a worker, having wings is a bit of a burden. If you're spending much of your time underground, or crawling through the undergrowth, wings will snag on things, generally get in the way, and hold you back. As you won't be banging any ant hotties and wandering off to start a new colony any time soon (or, well, ever, 'cos you're sterile), it's therefore a bit pointless having them. This is why all worker ants - who're all female, and sisters - lack wings.

    Not all ants are created equal however, and no colony lasts forever, so some ants will eventually have to be born that can mate and then spread to new pastures to set up new colonies themselves. Even better if those colonies are far away so you're not competing for space and food. To do this they need wings. So every now and then, the queen will lay a bunch of male eggs and young queen eggs, who will hatch, grow wings and set sail on their own adventures.

    Why do flying ants only appear in hot weather?

    So why do they all appear at once, in hot weather? Well, there are two ways you could do it:

    i) Release your winged princes and princesses in low numbers throughout the year. Not only will much of the year yield little food and opportunity for a new colony to be successful, but releasing your buddies on single wee voyages means they're more likely to fail. Predators are a hungry, and a lone flying ant is an easy target.

    ii) You release all the winged ants in large numbers, all at once. Because you need to make a lot of 'em, it takes a while to build up all the resources needed to raise them after winter. Likewise, you want to maximise the success of their voyage so that they're starting colonies when food is at it's most abundant. Summer therefore seems like a good shout. Releasing the floodgates of thousands of winged ants at once as one big ant armada also means the local predators are going to be completely swamped. Countless will die, but plenty of ants will survive the gauntlet to settle down and make new colonies of their own. Mission accomplished.

    TL;DR: Wingless ants are workers that don't breed. Winged ants are the ones that do and start new colonies. You need wings to get far away from your original colony so you're not going to be competing for resources. It's best to do it in summer once you've built up a huge swarm of them, and when there's lots of food.

    [–] TIL Female brown trout will fake 'orgasms' when courting with inferior males. She'll give all the right visual cues as if about to release eggs for fertilisation, but doesn't; the male will frantically ejaculate, not notice he's been duped, and swim away. tea_and_biology 160 points ago in todayilearned

    Ah, good question! She half buries the eggs to prevent 'em being flushed downstream, and also to offer a little extra protection against the odd marauding predator. They only lay their eggs in loose gravel beds with little silt for this reason; gravel doesn't smother them completely, so there's still plenty of water flow when buried to provide oxygen that helps them develop.

    [–] TIL Female brown trout will fake 'orgasms' when courting with inferior males. She'll give all the right visual cues as if about to release eggs for fertilisation, but doesn't; the male will frantically ejaculate, not notice he's been duped, and swim away. tea_and_biology 1655 points ago in todayilearned

    Yup! Eggs are expensive, whilst sperm is dirt cheap. This cost differential explains a whole host of differences in form and behaviour between the sexes right across the animal kingdom.

    Known as sexual selection, in short: 'cos they're fronting the bill, females tend to be choosy, and therefore males compete amongst each other for their choice. The few winning males pass down their attractive characteristics to the next generation, and females likewise pass on their strong desire for those attractive male traits. Hence a positive feedback loop of sexiness that results in rutting stags, elaborate peacock tails and dances by male birds of paradise, elephant seal harems, frogs that croak and crickets that chirp loudly.

    [–] TIL the Bony-Eared Assfish holds the record for the smallest brain-to-body weight ratio of any vertebrate. tea_and_biology 2 points ago * (lasted edited 10 days ago) in todayilearned

    With a name like assfish, you'd think you'd had it amongst the worst in the animal kingdom. The fact you also have the smallest brain-to-body weight ratio then is just proverbial salt in the wound. Ouch.

    Bony-eared assfish (Acanthonus armatus) are a species of deep-sea cusk-eel. Looking a bit like a bulbous hub of gristle atop a tadpoles tail, they cruise through the cold depths down to 4,415m, making as much out of life as they can. Though usually sluggish, owing to their slow metabolism, they're capable of short bursts of speed - and have a suite of enhanced detection equipment to help find scarce prey. Check out a video of one here!

    Their enormous globular head, not exactly filled with brains, instead contains heavy otoliths (or 'fish ears') suggesting it is particularly sensitive to low-frequency sound. It likewise has a very well developed lateral line - a sensory organ running the length of the creature used to detect movement in the water nearby. Despite its name and appearance, they're clearly quite successful hunters of small n' scarce prey, and are abundantly found in the deep worldwide.


    Sources / Further Reading:

    Fine, M.L., Horn, M.H. & Cox, B. (1978) Acanthonus armatus, a deep-sea teleost fish with a minute brain and large ears. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 230 (1259), 257-265

    Langley, L. (2016) "What'd You Call Me? Meet the Bony-Eared Assfish". National Geographic.