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Lecture 19

BIO SCI 94 Lecture Notes - Lecture 19: Haplodiploidy, Bluegill, Kin Selection


Department
Biological Sciences
Course Code
BIO SCI 94
Professor
Robin Bush
Lecture
19

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Bio 94 Lec19
Biotic vs. Abiotic Factors
~ The distribution of a species is often limited by biotic factors - interactions with other
organisms.
~ Abiotic factors are things that are not alive, such as rocks or temperature.
~ Behavior is action in response to a stimulus from the environment.
~ Behavioral ecology is the study of how organisms respond to particular abiotic and biotic
stimuli from their environment.
~ Much of animal behavior is thought to be adaptive
Which of the choices below is the best definition of adaptation?
1. Any heritable trait that increases the fitness of an individual with that trait in a particular
environment.
2. Any trait that increases the fitness of an individual with that trait, compared with
individuals without that trait, in a particular environment.
3. Any heritable trait that increases the fitness of an individual with that trait, compared
with individuals without that trait.
4. Any heritable trait that increases the fitness of an individual with that trait, compared
with individuals without that trait, in a particular environment.
Proximate and Ultimate Causation
Proximate (or mechanistic) causation explains how actions occur.
Ultimate (or evolutionary) causation explains why actions occur.
Efforts to explain behavior at the proximate and ultimate levels are complementary.
To understand what an organism is doing, biologists want to know how the behavior
happens and why.
Spiny lobsters are able to find their way back to their den after a night of hunting.
~On a proximate level, research indicates that they use special receptors in their brains
that detet hages i the Earth’s ageti field. This is how they can find their way
around.
On an ultimate level, the ability to navigate allows them to search for food over a wide
area under cover of darkness, then return to a safe refuge before predators can find
them.
This is why they do this behavior, from an evolutionary point of view.
*Prairie dogs detect predators using their eyes. They then alert other prairie dogs nearby to the
danger by vocalizing. The need to escape danger is __________ cause of their vocalization
behavior.
A) an ultimate
B) a proximate
~In a single species, behavior may range from fixed action patterns (FAPs), which are highly
stereotyped, invariable responses (like yawns, which we can also learn to fake) to highly
flexible, conditional responses (like deciding to go to college).
Fixed action patterns (FAPs) are highly stereotypical unlearned behavior patterns that have
three characteristics:
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1. There is almost no variation in how they are performed.
2. They are species specific.
3. Once the sequence of actions begins, it continues until completion.
~Other behaviors not so easy to classify. The tendency to imprint is innate, but the chicks learn
who to imprint on during a critical developmental period that lasts only a few days.
~ Upon hatching, ducklings and goslings adopt as their mother the first
moving thing they see.
~They then follow that individual around. Such behavior is called imprinting.
~Most learning is not like this.
Most Behavior Is Flexible and Condition-Dependent
Conditional behavioral strategies are behavioral responses that depend on particular
conditions.
To link condition-dependent behavior to fitness, biologists use a framework called cost-
benefit analysis.
Animals appear to weigh the costs and benefits of responding to a particular situation
in various ways.
Costs and benefits are measured in terms of their impact on fitness the ability to
produce offspring.
Optimal foraging: This is the concept that animals forage in a way that maximizes the amount
of usable energy they take in, given the costs of finding and ingesting their food and the risk of
being eaten while they are doing these activities.
~Is optimal foraging in these gerbils a proximate or ultimate cause of behavior?
A) proximate. This would be HOW the gerbils evaluate the number of seeds, and how they
know that there are owls are around (vision).
B) ultimate. Optimal foraging is a hypothesis to explain WHY gerbils evolved the ability to
balance feeding opportunities against the threat of danger in obtaining that food.
~Sexual behavior is conditional because it depends on surges of sex hormones. This behavior is
costly because it burns a lot of energy - the benefit is that female lizards like it, and so the
males get to mate.
How could you test whether male dewlaps (the colorful flap of skin hanging from an anole
lizard's throat) were an important cue for female egg production?
A) Remove dewlaps from females and measure corresponding egg production.
B) Relate size of male dewlap to female dewlap.
C) Remove dewlaps from courting males and measure corresponding female egg production.
D) All of the above answers apply.
Why Do Animals Move with a Change of Seasons (migrate)?
At the ultimate level, migration exists because individuals that migrate achieve higher
reproductive success than individuals that do not migrate.
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