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BIOL 1902 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Antheraea Polyphemus, Sphingidae, Automeris Io

Course Code
BIOL 1902
Michael Runtz
Study Guide

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Midterm Notes
Natural History: An observational science that involves looking at all living things. Natural
history knowledge is essential for assessments of ecosystems or habitats. It is also one of the
most enjoyable pursuits in the world.
Naturalist: One who studies Natural History.
Animals: A Kingdom that includes Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fish, Mammals, Insects,
Spiders, Clams, and lots of other organisms.
Natural Selection: the driving force behind evolution. It consists of all the selective pressures
placed on plants and animals by the environment (such as wind, cold or drought)-abiotic or by
animals (such as predators or even members of the same species)-biotic. Those poorly adapted
do not survive to pass on their genes and those that are better adapted tend to survive and pass on
their genes allowing the adaptation to persist into the future and possibly become more refined.
Natural Selection was first recognized by Charles Darwin.
Adaptation: any feature that offers a plant or animal an advantage in solving any life problem
that give it a chance of surviving and reproducing. An adaptation is not an act of intelligence or
a planned solution but a physical, physiological, or behavioural trait that has evolved because of
the selective pressures of natural selection. No adaptation is perfect and often an adaptation has
drawbacks associated with it that require another adaptation to resolve. This makes Natural
History interesting because never is there only one solution to any problem. Instead, many
solutions have arisen to solve every challenge.
Defences of Animals :
A) Physical
CAMOUFLAGE: colours and patterns that allow animals to blend into the background.
Crypsis: the art of concealment or remaining hidden - camouflage combined with motionless
Types of Camouflage
1. Background Matching: Having the same general patterns and colours as the immediate
environment. Examples: For sun-dappled forest habitats, blotches and earth-toned colours help
animals hide. Examples: ground nesting birds such as female grouse (also female ducks),
White-tailed Deer fawns.
Gray Tree Frog** also changes its colour (the only other animal we have that changes colour is
a Snowshoe Hare but they do that seasonally, not every time they are placed on a different
background, as Gray Tree Frogs do.)
Different habitats require different patterns for camouflage
Marshes and grasslands are dominated by vertical lines. Many animals sport stripes and streaks
in these habitats.
Examples: In grassland habitats - sparrows such as Savannah Sparrow
For marshes(cattail) - American Bittern

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2. Disruptive Patterns: Patterns that break up the general form of an animal making it hard to
Examples: Eyelines and eyestripes on songbirds (especially important when sitting on nests)
Breast bands on Killdeer - Horned Larks
Necklace on Common Loon’s neck
(Stripes and lines on Eastern Chipmunk’s back and face)
Leopard frogs – hind legs fold up against the body. The markings on the body line up
with lower and upper parts of leg to create continuous pattern.
3. Bicoloration: having a two-toned body, usually dark above and light below, often seen on
animals that live near the surface of ponds. Allows for background matching from two
Examples: Water Boatmen, Backswimmers/Whirligigs (note: white upper parts and dark
bottom – they swim upside down!)
4. Countershading/ The self- shadow concealment principle: Having a dark upper surface that
shades a pale lower surface that when viewed from the side. This makes an animal appear “flat”
and not three-dimensional. NOTE: This is NOT background matching.
Examples: White-tailed Deer, sandpipers and many birds including some hawks
5. Masquerade (Background Mimicry): Having the same physical appearance as part of the
Examples are twig mimics (Walking Sticks, Inchworm caterpillars), thorn mimics
(Treehoppers), bark mimics (Gray Tree Frog- fold their front legs under their chest, Eastern
Screech-Owl), dead leaf mimics (Anglewing butterflies, certain moths), live leaf mimics
(Luna Moths).
6. Masquerade (looking like Non-background Objects, usually inedible): Having shapes and
colours or patterns that resemble something that is not part of the general background and is
Spit or froth - Example: Spittlebugs Scarlet lily beetles – larvae
Bird poop - Examples: Bird-dropping Moths, Viceroy Butterfly caterpillars
When camouflage and cryptic behaviour fails, some animals have a second defence or “Plan B”:
Startle Patterns: Bright colours and patterns that when exposed startle the predator giving time
for the animal to escape.
Examples: Bright yellow on inside of legs of Gray Tree Frog
Bright hind wings of Band-winged Grasshoppers
Bright hind wings of Underwing Moths
Eye-spots on Sphinx Moth hind wings
Huge eye-spots on Io Moth and Polyphemus Moth hind wings
Red-bellied snake – bright orange belly
Ring-necked snake – brilliant yellow
Distraction Patterns: Patterns that serve to distract or deflect a predators attention to a non-
vital body part. These are often but not always Startle Patterns also.

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Deflection Patterns: another name for Distraction Patterns that also serve this function.
Some small butterflies have eye-spots and fake antennae on hind wings that serve as Distraction
or Deflection Patterns
Examples: Tailed Blue butterflies, also Swallowtail butterflies; Five-lined Skink blue tail serves
to Distract and Deflect Attack (disconnects because of a special zone of cells that weaken its
connection.. scurries off and eventually grows a new tail).
Permanent eyespots (never hidden) can be used to fool a predator into thinking the animal is
bigger than it really is.
Example: Eyed Elater (beetle), Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar
Startle sound :
-Grouse: Wings
-Beaver: Tail
Disguise through Behaviour: some animals add bits of environment to body to disguise:
Masquerade artists- Examples: Leaf Rollers, Caddisfly larvae, Sumac Gall Aphids
PHYSICAL DEFENCE can involve hard physical structures that are part of the animal’s
Hard exoskeleton - Examples: many beetles, millipedes (made of chitin, pull unprotected parts
Shells formed from internal skeleton -Examples: Turtles -Blandings Turtle can partially close
its shell – hinge on anterior part of the plastron) Box turtles – completely close armour.
Snapping turtles – can’t withdraw in shell, so they protect themselves.
Hard shells formed from Calcium- Examples: Snails, Clams (withdraw into shell).
A) Silk webs for Protection: Eastern tent Caterpillar, Fall Webworm
B) Long body hairs: Many Caterpillars- Gypsy Moth, Woolly Bear
C) Body Hair (Guard Hairs) Modified into Quills – Porcupine – gives visual warnings first :
raised tail, chattering of teeth, warning odour from skin above tails base.
Poison Spines: Hairs that are branched and tipped with toxins
Example: IO Moth Caterpillar usually Aposematic coloration = Bright warning
colouration is involved.
Toxins can have bad taste, make the eater ill, burn etc.
CHEMICAL DEFENCES are found or released by a variety of body parts:
A) SKIN: Red Eft (Salamander) (Samandarin); American Toad (Bufotalin)
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