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I Answer Animal Questions



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Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:50 pm
Featherstone says...



Wow, thanks for all the information! I'll be sure to come back! I really appreciate all the help <3 You're very informative
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Mon May 01, 2017 12:38 am
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JoeBookman says...



Happy to help.

Fun fact: nipples are modified sweat glands.

Breast milk is specialized, highly nutritious sweat.

Marsupials and monotremes don't have nipples. They directly sweat milk, which collects on tufts of fur that young suckle on.
  





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Fri May 26, 2017 5:02 pm
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Stori says...



What's the difference between ferrets and polecats? Are ferrets just domesticated polecats or a different species? (For my current project I have lots of mustelidae- otters, badgers and a Hispanic ferret so far.) :)

P.S. In a pinch, could sea and river otters live on the same types of fish?
  





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Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:27 pm
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JoeBookman says...



Ferrets are the domesticated version of polecats. They are considered a subspecies of polecat and hybrids exist. There's also the zorilla, which is also known as the striped polecat in Southern parts of the US, but is a species of skunk.

On the otter diets, I would say in a pinch there shouldn't be a problem. However, long term that may cause nutritional deficiencies or excess. Whenever dealing with animal husbandry, your best bet is to always mimic their wild diet as closely as possible. Every otter species has different preferences, especially those in overlapping habitats. Some will focus on small fish, some on big fish. In any case, I would try to avoid particularly oily fish like tuna and herring. Both sea and river otters are also known to eat land animals such as rabbits, birds, and lizards.
  





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Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:45 pm
Zotara says...



How long could a wolf survive for without food,how would it act with its pack and where would they tend to go
  





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Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:58 am
JoeBookman says...



@Zotara on wolves:

The answer would depend heavily on the body condition of the wolf, the environment, and the size/history/pre-existing dynamics of the pack. Can you provide more details for your question?
  





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Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:17 pm
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JoeBookman says...



Fun fact: just like humans are right- or left-handed, elephants have a dominant tusk. The dominant tusk is usually slightly shorter and blunter from use.

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Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:43 am
Featherstone says...



@JoeBookman

Just a follow-up question on the elephant fun fact - is there a tendency towards the majority of elephants to being right- or left-tusked? Does this vary between species/subspecies/elephants of a certain geographical area?
"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost."

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Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:10 pm
JoeBookman says...



@FalconerGal9086 Most elephants are right tusked (the dominant tusk is called the master tusk).
  





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Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:26 pm
Featherstone says...



Does this stay the same for other animals as well? Like, say, other primates or tusked animals that have one dominant hand/tusk/etc.?
"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost."

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Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:54 pm
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JoeBookman says...



Most higher mammals have a dominant limb, and some non-mammal species such as lizards have shown a degree of preference as well. However, in most species it's 50/50 which side they prefer. The three examples that break that 50/50 are apes, elephants, and whales, all of which have shown a right-handed preference.
Last edited by JoeBookman on Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  





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Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:27 pm
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Featherstone says...



Are there any theories as to why a preference and why is it tending towards the right?
"All that is gold does not glitter,
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The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost."

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Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:57 pm
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JoeBookman says...



Handedness is a result of brain asymmetry. Think of your brain as having crossed wires. Your brain's left hemisphere has primary control over the right side of your body, and vise versa.

Brain asymmetry is also known as lateralization. In simple terms, even though both sides of your brain look alike, they are in fact different. They have different strengths and control different things. It's believed that the reason humans are mostly right handed is because our language abilities are primarily specialized in our left hemisphere.

More reliance on the left hemisphere of the brain means function on the right side of our body is preferred.

So to answer your question, because handedness is linked to lateralization and hemisphere preference it's most likely that highly social and intelligent animals (apes, whales, elephants) rely more on the communication centers of the brain which are commonly in the left hemisphere.

This isn't always true though, and many many exceptions exist. 95% of parrots are left handed. In cats, the preference is sex linked. 95% of male cats prefer their left paw, while 95% of female cats prefer their right. In some species, preference is even linked to specific activities, with the right hand being used for certain tasks while the left is used for others.
  





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Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:02 pm
Featherstone says...



So basically, using the right hand implies a heavier reliance on the left side of the brain and vice versa, so that we see that different activities, genders, or species that correlate to a greater usage of one side of the brain or another tells us which hand/paw/etc. is most likely to be used for said individual, species, or activity?
"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost."

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Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:12 pm
JoeBookman says...



Yup, you got it.
  








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