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Lecture 10

PSYO 2160 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Snowshoe Hare, Cultural Learning, Behavioural Genetics

Course Code
PSYO 2160

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January 28, 2015
Celtic Cultures:
Hares are very common. Found rst in China (?), basically a
common Celtic symbol. Doesn't know what it represents.
One of the reasons why Celts were interested in Hares (cause of
night rituals), is because they would come out at night in a forest
clearing when there’s a full moon in a circle. Believed that the
Druids were mimicking the behaviour of the hares.
Snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus):
Double the time they live in the wild
Die in captivity due to stress
Neurotic animals
Young: Isolated and away from the mother during the day
Scentless progeny (the young) generaly overlooked by well
trained hunting dogs, the mothers are hider types
Together with the mother only 5-10 minutes of the day for food,
generally lay somewhere alone.
Cannibalistic on occasion, adults to young, not systematically eat
meat, typical herbivore generally
The cycles:
Hares in4uencing the lynx or vice versa?  THAT'S THE PROBLEM
Radical 4uctuations in hare populations: 10 years, regional cycles
of 6 or 12 years are common, solar 11 cycle?
Evolution & Behaviour: Genetics Phylogeny and animal behaviour
Natural Selection: Wallace didn’t get as much attention as
Darwin published rst but Wallace may have started before.
Competing theory: Fight between the French and the Brits, LE
MARC came up with a theory regarding innate traits that is the
very center of epigenetics. Exactly the same of the transgeneral
e@ects that would in4uence evolution – gira@es evolve a longer
neck. But really because it can be done between generations
over a number of time. Have traits during development and it
will in4uence development.
Baldwin e@ect: Learning within a species generation may
in4uence the learning of another.
The three foundations of animal behaviour (Dugatkin, 2008)
Natural selection: Species level adaptation
Individual learning: Individual level adaptation experience
Cultural transmission (First people that came up with this idea:
were the Japanese): Social learning well documented in
cetaceans and primates, arguably in other species, that will
become trans-generational communicated between generations.
Conceptually it’s very close.

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The idea that things can change over generations due to
behaviour  is believable.
oChanges in a species: Due to natural selection due to
between generation e@ects
oOn a Generational level: Cultural transmission due to
between and within generation e@ects
oOn an Individual level: Learning due to within generation
oSocial learning IS NOT cultural transmission
Evidence for evolution:
Molecular genetics
oDevelopment and early development, embryo of all
vertebrates all look the same. Late that things start
changing – Depends on the species.
Anatomy & morphology
oHow we classify species based on similarities
oSpecies are more di@erent dependent on the geographical
di@erent between them
oGeographical separation
oIf two environments are very di@erent then things can
change very quickly. How di@erent from NB deermice in
NFL. Not just the geographical locations are di@erent but
important WHAT happened in those respective
Maybe the few that found themselves at the new
location, because they just happened to be di@erent
from the ones on the mainland. Maybe they’re just
the ones on the di@erent ends of the normal
distribution graph.
OR maybe they were the average deermice, got to
the new location. Based on the founder e@ect.
oFossil and carbon dating
Denition: A change in the frequency of alleles (form or variant
of a gene) in a population over generations
Two levels:
oMicroevolution: Changes in gene frequencies or traits
occurring in small increments (and often rapidly) at the
population or species level
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