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Wild Animals/Expert Profile

Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I'm an evolutionary biologist with a passion for animals. Ask about natural history, behavior, ecology, evolution. PLEASE NOTE:

If you have found an "orphaned" or injured wild animal or bird:
Please don't waste time asking questions on the internet, as the answers may come too late. DO NOT FEED THE ANIMAL, and DO NOT HANDLE IT unless it is in imminent danger. (Many wild "orphans" are not orphans at all!) If you are absolutely sure it is orphaned, keep it warm and quiet, and find a LICENSED WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR HERE. Don't try to raise a baby yourself, or rehabilitate an injured anmal. Many a well-intentioned rescuer will do more harm than good, especially with baby birds and baby rabbits.

Without geographic location, time of day and habitat, I can't help. A clear picture is always best.

It's impossible for me to I.D. an animal call without hearing it myself.

I'm not an expert on comparative strengths of different animals (more complicated than you might think!) nor bite forces.

I refuse to answer "Which of these two animals--X or X--would win in a fight?".

These hypothetical matchups range from impossible (Grizzly Bears and Gorillas don't even occupy the same continent.) to ridiculous (Someone asked me "Who would win a fight between a Great White Shark and a tiger?").

The vast majority of animals--even the fierce and powerful--are not as warlike as Homo sapiens, and it's childish to project our aggressiveness onto them.

Experience in the area

I have been the fortunate caregiver to a group of Black-tailed Jackrabbits rescued from the Miami International Airport, and not releasable in this area because they are not native. I also have rehabbed and released Eastern Cottontails, and am in contact with many very experienced wildlife rescuers who regularly handle injured or orphaned rabbits and hares.


House Rabbit Society


Exotic DVM journal


I have a Ph.D. in Biology, with main areas of expertise in evolutionary biology, genetics, botany, and ecology.

What do you like about this subject?

I would like to promote the peaceful cohabitation of our planet with the wild things.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

One can never stop learning until the wild things are gone. As a species, we seem to be bent on that.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Animals in the wild don't spend all their time out there looking for a fight (though from the number of questions I get about which animal would win in a fight, I can see there's a big misconception about this out there...). In fact, most animals will AVOID a fight, if at all possible.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

Human activity is resulting in the loss of a frightening number of wild species every week. This must stop!

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Luis07/29/16101010That was a great response. Thanks!
Paula03/26/16101010Thank you so much!
Gerald11/05/15101010Interesting answer.

Recent Answers from Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

2016-10-14 What to feed Baby Chipmunks:

Dear Azim,    Best bet is to find a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and get them there as fast as possible.  In the meantime, here are sites that can help:

2016-09-17 Primates:

Dear Adam,    Different species follow different evolutionary paths, and it's not always simple to for us to understand how closely related species can have very different survival strategies.    Female

2016-09-08 Query re fish and saltwater/freshwater:

Dear Gerald,    Well...I'm not sure how much you already know from your readings, so I'm not sure I'll be telling you anything you don't already know here.  But...    Anadromous (moving from saltwater

2016-08-04 procreation:

Dear Linda,    There are only two species, other than humans, that have been shown to have sex for fun and bonding.  Those are Bottlenose Dolphins and Pygmy Chimpanzees.      We don't really know for sure

2016-07-22 Throwing table scraps into canals:

Dear Luis,    While I applaud your environmental consciousness, throwing table scraps into our canals is not a great idea.  It will do little more than promote the growth of already thick bacteria.  Almost


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