chapter 3 bio.docx

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Biological Sciences
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Kamini Persaud

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Adaptive Value of Learning Learning is a adaptive modification of behaviour based on experience Learning does not produce behavioural change just for the sake of it selection favours investment in the mechanisms underlying selection favours investment in mechanisms underlying learning only when there is environmental unpredictability that has reproductive relevance for individuals Cost benefit argument proximate mechanisms for learning come with price tag East cost vs west coast wrens WC wrens memorize 100 songs by learning from others EC learn about 40 so the brains of WC wrens should be larger and they are If learning is costly is should evolve under a counterbalancing benefitHoney bees capable of learning when searching for food look for shape colour odour how to get back homethis all related to the fact the conditions a bee will encounter cannot be predictedso selection has favoured a bee brain that incorporates variables from the environmentaltering genetic activity in the brain and modifying behaviour of individual Male thynnine wasps spatial learning ability a mimetic sex pheromones is released by freshly opened orchid flowers tricking the males into mating with them because they smell and sort of look like the female so males can mate with the flowers and be fooled and waste energy and time Males wasps learn not to be deceived again if they learn once they were tricked So they avoid the spot where the flower was and when researchers move the orchid to a new spot the wasps quickly come but a fly away indicating ability to learn Male thynnine wasps evidently store info about locations of pseudo femalesThe reproductive benefits of this is that the behavioural flexibility of the male are clearBy using experience to learn where the orchids are because they cannot know e verytime they can avoid the orchids as well as still be open to novel sources of sex pheromone male wasp saves time and energy and improves his chance of encountering a receptive female Figure 336 and 337Spatial learning evolving as result of ecological pressures can also be seen by comparing four birdsfrom the crow family corvidae that vary in their disposition to store food signifying spatial memoryClarks nutcracker food storing specialist and has large pouch for the transport of pine seeds to storage sitesPinyon jay expanded esophagus for carrying large quantities of seeds to hiding places
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