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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 Notes

Course Code
Steve Joordens

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3 Evolution, Heredity, and Behaviour
Biological evolution:Changes that take place in the genetic and physical
characteristics of a population or group of organisms over time—stands as the primary
explanation of the origin of life.
Adaptive significance:The effectiveness of behaviour in aiding organisms to adapt to
changing environmental conditions.
Ultimate causes:Evolutionary conditions that have slowly shaped the behaviour of a
species over successive generations.
Proximate causes:Immediate environmental events and conditions that affect behaviour.
Culture:The sum of socially transmitted knowledge, customs, and behaviour patterns
common to a particular group of people.
Artificial selection:A procedure in which particular animals are deliberately mated
to produce offspring that possess especially desirable characteristics.
Natural selection:The consequence of the fact that, because there are physical and
behavioural differences among organisms, they reproduce differentially. Within a given
population, some animals—the survivors—will produce more offspring than will other
Reproductive success:The number of viable offspring an individual produces relative
to the number of viable offspring produced by other members of the same species.
Variation:The differences found across individuals of any given species in terms of their
genetic, biological (size, strength, physiology), and psychological (intelligence, sociability,
behaviour) characteristics.
Genotype:An organisms genetic makeup, which differs from that of all other individuals
(except in the case of identical twins). The genotype determines how much the environment
can influence an organisms development and behaviour.
Phenotype:The outward expression of an organisms genotype; an organisms physical
characteristics and behaviour. Ever individuals phenotype is produced by the interaction of
its genotype with the environment.
Competition:A striving and vying with others who share the same ecological niche
for food, mates, and territory.
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