Readings 3 notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Biological Sciences
Maydianne Andrade

Readings 3 -a trait, or integrated suite of traits, that increases the fitness of its possessor is called an adaptation, and is said to be adaptive -in order to demonstrate that a trait is an adaptation, first determine what a trait is for and then show that individuals possessing the trait contribute more genes to future generations than individuals lacking it -through experimentation, Weeks was able to conclude that oxpeckers have no discernable }LZ]Z}ZZ[] lo}Z -Weeks also concluded that oxpeckers spend a considerable fraction of their feeding time drinking blood from open wounds and cleaning earwax from their hosts -the oxpecker experiments demonstrate that we cannot uncritically accept a hypothesis about the adaptive significance of a behaviour simply because it is plausible -differences among populations or species are not always adaptive (oxpeckers with different }o}Z}ZL[KLZ}L]ooK}Z ZZoZLZ}Z) -not every trait of an organism, or every use of a trait by an organism, is an adaptation (the feeding habits of an oxpecker may or may not create mating opportunities) -not every adaptation is perfect (feeding on blood and earwax may not be sufficient because its an unpredictable food supply) -a well designed experiment allows scientists to isolate and test the effect that a single, well defined factor has on the phenomenon -the first step in any evolutionary analysis is to phrase t
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