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BIOL 239 (290)


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BIOL 239
Diana Parry

53.3 • old animals made decisions thru life as it matured (settle, eat, associate) • all decisions made in environment that varies in space and time • habitat: environment in which an organism lives; seeks food, rest, nest sites, escape routes in habitat • suitable habitats: good predictors of conditions suitable for future survival+reproduction • chemosensory cue of red abalone larvae settles on surface that has potential of supplying food for future survival and reproductive success • visual info provides useful cues; presence of already settled individuals is indication • flycatchers assess quality of habitat by seeing how well neighbours are doing; (settle in areas where broods (abundant food) artificially enlarged) • some highly social animals vote on quality of habitats (worker bees dance to communicate location, site that excites most workers is chosen) • animals compete for high-quality habitats; may improve its fitness by establishing exclusive use of habitat • may do this by establishing territory which excludes conspecifics (same species) by advertising it owns area and chasing others away (but advertising and chasing takes energy) • cost-benefit approach: assumes an animal has only a limited amt of time and energy to devote to activities; [costs must not outweigh benefits]; ecologists can make predictions, design experiments, and make observations explaining why patterns evolve the way they do • benefits of behaviour are improvements in survival and reproductive success; 3 costs • energetic cost: difference btwn energy at rest and energy used to perform behaviour • risk cost: increased change of getting killed/injured when performing behaviour • opportunity cost: sum of benefits the animal forfeits by not performing other behaviours • Moore and Marler: male lizards with more testosterone spent more time patrolling territories, doing advertising displays, used 1/3 more energy than control males. They had less time to feed, got fewer insects, stored less energy, died at higher rate • some animals defend all-purpose territories that include all resources (tigers, songbirds) • food supplies cannot be defended if widely distributed or fluctuate a lot (ex oceans) • some animals defend territory used only for mating (male grouse congregate on display grounds, defending small area. Males often use so much energy that less tired males eventually evict them) • foraging theory: helps us understand survival (ultimate) value of feeding choices; benefits = nutritional value, and costs similar to those for territorial defense • more rapidly an animal captures food, more time+energy it will have for other things • characterize each type of available food item in 2 ways: time it takes animal to pursue, capture, and consume item; and by amt of energy an item contains • most valuable food type is one that yields most energy per unit of time expended o can determine rate at which an animal would obtain energy given foraging strategy o animal gains most energy by taking only most valuable type and ignoring all others; but as that type depletes, it adds less valuable types (ex fish would ignore small water fleas if there are large ones) • for bluegills, only energy content of water fleas mattered; some animals travel great distances for nutrients • some ingest food for other reasons. Frogs get poisons from eating ants that have evolved poisons as defense mechanisms b/c frogs are immune to poisons • spices in food preparation protects ppl from contaminated food; most commonly used spices inhibited growth of some food-borne bacteria; perhaps spices disguise taste/smell of spoiled food. But eating spoiled food could be dangerous, and natural selection is not likely to have favored ppl who ate rancid food, no matter how tasty • most animals associate with others for mating partners and/or for resources it controls • males initiate courtship, hardly reject receptive females, fight for females • females seldom fight and often reject males o b/c sperm are small and cheap to make, very large # of offspring, males can increase reproductive success by mating with females o b/c eggs larger and expensive than sperm, females cannot increase reproductive output by increasing # of males she mates with, but by quality of genes received from mate, resources he controls, and assistance; may cause evolution of traits • males use tactics – courtship behaviour signals good health, good provider, controls resources, good genotype • circadian rhythms: persistence of daily cycles in absence of environmental time cues suggests animals have internal clock; not exactly 24 hrs so must be p-a or p-d (below) • period of rhythm=length of cycles; phase=any point on cycle; when 2 rhythms match=in phase; if rhythm is shifted=phase-advanced or phase-delayed • animal kept in constant conditions will be free-running: CR runs to natural period; genetically controlled • under natural conditions, environmental time cues entrain free-running rhythms to light- dark cycle of environment • nocturnal: active during night; depend on hearing, smell, tactile info (flying squirrels: rods) • diurnal: active during day; tend to be highly visual (ground squirrels: cones in eye) • most animals reproduce most successfully if reproductive behaviour coincides with most favourable time of year for survival of offspring • change in day length (photoperiod) is reliable indicator of seasonal changes to come • hibernators and equatorial migrants have circannual rhythms, built in neural calendars that keep track of time of year • piloting: animals use this to find their way by knowing and remembering structure of environment (Grey whales) • homing: ability to return over long distances to nest site, burrow, location by piloting in a known environment (pigeons) • birds disappear and reappear seasonally – migration • same birds and offspring often return to same breeding grounds year after year, and found at non-breeding season at locations very far away from breeding grounds. 2 systems: • distance-and-direction navigation: knowing what direction and how far away destination is • bicooordinate navigation: ‘true navigation’ requires knowing latitude and longitude of both current and destination position; animals capable of this o circadian clock gives albatross enough info about time and position of sun to determine coordinates o can determine direction from sun and stars’ position (birds) • animals can orient by means of time-compensated solar compass • stars offer 2 sources: moving constellations and a fixed point o direction can be determined from constellation; one point that does not change position in night is Polaris, always indicating north o if star patters were rotated, young birds able to orient in planetarium • animals c
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