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MSU / Engineering / PSY 353 / What are the two statements that are clearly Darwinian puzzles?

What are the two statements that are clearly Darwinian puzzles?

What are the two statements that are clearly Darwinian puzzles?

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School: Montclair State University
Department: Engineering
Course: Comparative Animal Behavior
Professor: Pierre leon
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: Psychology, AnimalBehavior, ComparativeAnimalBehavior, and comparativepsychology
Cost: 50
Name: Midterm Comparative Animal Behavior Study Guide
Description: These notes cover the material of quizzes 1-6. I made the answers bold to make them easier to spot out quickly in the limited time for the exam. I also provided a brief explanation of each answer und
Uploaded: 10/21/2016
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Comparative Animal Behavior Midterm Study Guide


What are the two statements that are clearly Darwinian puzzles?



Chapter 1

Two statements that are clearly Darwinian puzzles are that female lions often nurse offspring  that are not their own, and adult birds will rear eggs that are not theirs along with the eggs  that are. These are Darwinian puzzles because it’s hard to explain why an animal would take  care of young that are not their own because it takes resources away from their true offspring  who are carrying on their genes. (pg 7, paragraph 2)

If an adaptation is the product of natural selection, the trait will raise the reproductive success  of individuals more than any other alternative. It can be assumed that whatever traits that  exist today must have “won” a reproductive competition of the past. (pg 6, paragraph 4)

In order for Darwinian natural selection to cause evolutionary change, a population must contain  individuals that differ hereditarily in some characteristics because unless there is variation,  parents cannot pass on their advantageous attributes. Natural selection occurs when the  ideal trait is passed on while those with an unfavorable trait are slowly weeded out by the  drawbacks. (pg 6, paragraph 3)


The rarer of two hereditarily different phenotypes can be considered an adaptation when?



The rarer of two hereditarily different phenotypes can be considered an adaptation when the rare  phenotype becomes more common from one generation to the next because of its positive  effect on individual fitness. Even if a trait is more common, if it causes the species to  reproduce less or die more, the rarer trait can become more common. For example, if the dark  brown mice are more common in a species, while the light brown mice are rare, this could  benefit the dark brown mice when they have to hide from predators in the dirt. But if the mice  had to migrate to a sandy place, where predators would see the dark brown mice easier, then the  light brown mice would have more of a chance of reproducing and passing on their genes while  the dark brown mice population was being hunted. (pg 6, paragraph 7)

On the Origin of the Species is the name of the book that ignited the field of animal behavior  150 years ago. This book was written by Charles Darwin and scientists realized how valuable  the theory of natural selection was. (pg 3, paragraph 1)


On the Origin of the Species



We also discuss several other topics like What is Therapeutic Abortion?

Natural selection is an unguided and unconscious process of reproductive competition. Some  individuals left more descendants than others because of their dominant attributes. (pg 5,  paragraph 4)

Heredity, variation, and differences in reproductive success are all conditions that need to be  met in order for evolutionary change to take place. When these three conditions are met, the  logic of natural selection will make evolutionary change inevitable. (pg 5, paragraph 5 – pg 6)

Evolutionary theory is so important because it gives us a scientific starting point in our study  of animal behavior. Evolutionary theory provides the foundation for behavioral biology. (pg  13, summary box) Evolutionary theory helps us figure out why an animal has the genetic,  developmental, sensory, neuronal, and hormonal mechanisms that cause their behavior. (pg 3,  paragraph 2)

Darwinian puzzles are seen as counter-intuitive to the survival of the species. A Darwinian  puzzle are behaviors that challenge evolutionary theory when an animal does something that  does not seem to directly benefit their genes being passed on. (pg 7, paragraph 2)

Infanticide can be considered adaptive when it provides means for an animal to acquire a  reproductive advantage. This seems grim, but often occurs in the animal kingdom when a  parent does not believe it has the resources to take care of the offspring, or by a competing male  that kills another male’s young for a higher chance of mating with the grieving female. (pg 9,  paragraph 1)

Biologists deal with Darwinian puzzles by developing possible explanation based on natural  selection, and by using theory of natural selection to justify the surprising behavior as  actually being beneficial. This helps them figure out how the gene was passed on for long  periods of time. (pg 7 paragraph 2)We also discuss several other topics like What is Metabolism?

Chapter 2  

Workers in honey bees and other eusocial insects are considered Darwinian puzzles because  these workers are largely sterile and so should be eliminated over time by natural selection.  It does not make sense how so many worker insects could keep being produced if the workers  themselves cannot pass on their genes. (pg 16, paragraph 2) If you want to learn more check out robbery is what type of crime?

“The activity of N2RB gene declines in older mice and causes a decline in learning ability.”  Some have suggested that this is beneficial because it means older mice cannot forage as  efficiently as they once did, which frees up resources for the next generation. This hypothesis is  based on group selection because the trait of interest is said to cause individuals to sacrifice  opportunities in order to help the next generation. Group selection occurs when groups with  self-sacrificing individuals will survive longer as a group as a whole because the rest of the  group is more likely to survive and keep the species going because of the altruistic individuals.  (pg 18, paragraph 3)

Intelligent Design Theory is a religious theory, not a scientific one, and a theory that suggests  a more omniscient being designed a certain biological process that could not have possibly  been developed through a natural occurrence. Some believe that evolution and natural  selection does not explain certain behaviors of some species. For example, how could bees learn  to work together and understand their roles in order to survive, and how could they learn this  through evolution? Some do not believe there is a scientific explanation that fits every aspect of  the species, so they choose to believe that the species were created by a being, like a God, and  that is the only possible explanation. (pg 17, paragraph 2)

There is a monkey named Tom. What is the coefficient of relatedness of Tom’s mother’s second  oldest brother’s daughter’s twin brother to Tom? 0.125 because the other monkey is Tom’s  cousin. The coefficient of relatedness of cousins is 1/8, or 0.125 (pg 22, paragraph 2) The chart  below will be useful for the midterm if the relatedness is anything other than that of a cousin. Don't forget about the age old question of what is realism (Hans Morgenthau)

A male groundhog has managed to rear one offspring to reproductive maturity, while also at the  same time helping do the same for three siblings who would otherwise may not have been as  successful. The male groundhog’s inclusive fitness is 2. Inclusive fitness is calculated by  considering how many offspring would not have survived without the individual’s efforts. The  male groundhog reared one offspring, which has a ½ or 0.5 relatedness coefficient, and then  three siblings, who also have a ½ or 0.5 relatedness coefficient. The equation would look like:  0.5 [offspring] + (3 x 0.5) [3 siblings ], or 0.5 + 1.5 = 2. (pg 24, paragraph 2) We also discuss several other topics like what is the meaning of Reflexivity?

Hamilton’s rule states all of these: indirect fitness > direct fitness lost; rbB > rcC; and the  benefits of helping genetically similar individuals must exceed the cost of sacrificing personal  reproduction. Hamilton’s rule states that the allele that causes altruism will only be passed on if  the indirect fitness gained by the altruist outweighs the direct fitness it loses as a result of its self sacrificing behavior. It is also important to know that rbB is equivalent to indirect fitness, and  rcC is equivalent to direct fitness lost in the equation above. (pg 24, paragraph 3)

Phylogeny is an evolutionary family tree that allows animals to be studied through their  evolutions from their earliest ancestors. This family tree can show which modern species or  group was modified over time to be the species alive today. (pg 29, paragraph 3 for explanation,  pg 31, box 2.3 for example of tree) Don't forget about the age old question of Why do businesses exist?

If a bee executes a round dance she has found food fairly close to the hive – within 50 meters,  but if she performs a waggle dance she has found food further away – more than 50 meters.  The angle of the waggle dance can also determine the direction the food is in. (pg 32 for round  dance, pg 33 for waggle dance)

Haploids have only 1 copy of each gene while Diploids have 2 copies of each gene. Diploid  has di- in the name, which means 2. Certain male insects such as ants, bees and wasps are  haploids and only have one set of chromosomes, while the female counterparts are diploid and  carry two sets of chromosomes. (pg 26, paragraph 2)  

Chapter 3

Kin selection theory is most useful in helping to explain altruism exhibited by some hunting  lions towards others. This theory suggests that the altruists of a group direct their assistance to  close relatives that will boost reproductive success of those individuals. Even if it is  nondescendant kin, it still raises the chance of survival for the species and the benefactor of the  altruist shares some coefficient of relativity with the altruist, which in turn, passes on the  altruist’s genes. (pg 53, paragraph 4)

Community living is not seen as better than solitary living because living with others comes  with substantial fitness costs to individuals. Living in a community can allow for cooperation  between members of the species for gathering food, but it is not allows worth it if the drawbacks  outweigh the positive aspects, community living is detrimental for the species. For example, if  the cliff swallows all live together in order to forage together, but it makes it easier for a  parasite to infest their living community, then community living is not exactly better. Living in  solitude can be useful when there is high competition for food or mates, along with several other  benefits. (pg 44, paragraph 1)

Cooperation is when 2 individuals both benefit from helping one another. Cooperation  means two individuals helping each other, like when wolves hunt together to take down a larger  prey, such as a buffalo. (pg 46, paragraph 2)

Beta males would help an alpha male mate to secure his line in reproduction. The beta male  can move up in status just from being associated with the alpha male. For example, with the  lazuli bunting birds, the alphas are usually the brightly colored birds and the betas are usually a  dull brown color. Since the females favor mating with a brightly colored alpha, the only chance  a dull brown bird has at becoming alpha is helping the current brightly colored alpha maintain  his territory and chase away other brightly color birds that try to intrude. If it were not for this  system, the dull colored beta would probably wind up in a poor habitat and no female would  want to mate with him. (pg 48, paragraph 1)

A population composed of reciprocal helpers is not favorable because they are vulnerable to  defectors and others that will try to exploit the group for favors. These defectors reduce the  fitness of helpers and make reciprocity less likely to evolve. (pg 51, paragraph 3)

Primary helpers raise their fitness indirectly through their increased production of non descendant kin, whereas secondary helpers raise their fitness directly by increasing their future  chances of reproducing. For example, a pied kingfisher bird that helps his mother raise her  other hatchlings helps the bird’s genes get passed on even though they are not his direct  offspring and he is a primary helper. A pied kingfisher that becomes a secondary helper and  helps another nest raise the offspring has a chance of being next in line to reproduce and pass on  their genes through their own offspring. (pg 54, paragraph 1)

Highly social vertebrates engage in facultative altruism, not obligate altruism, and appear to  maximize their inclusive fitness via a mix of indirect and direct fitness. Facultative altruism is  when an individual choses to be altruist to increase indirect fitness until they decide to move on  

and reproduce to have offspring that increase their direct fitness, while obligate altruism is when  an individual has no choice but to be altruistic because they usually do not have the ability to  reproduce, such as sterile worker insects. (pg 63, paragraph 1)

Kin selection theory suggests that altruists will direct their efforts to relatives to boost  reproductive success. Sometimes an individual who helps their parents raise their siblings can  inherit the territory to use in the future to reproduce and raise their own offspring, like the  Florida scrub jay. (pg 58, paragraph 2)

If a female bird has multiple partners and has offspring from each partner, her offspring will  have lower coefficients of relatedness meaning that the reproductive efforts of the males  were not successful. This causes for altruistic individuals to be less likely to help raise the  offspring because all of the hatchlings being successfully being reared would not raise their  fitness as much as if they were all related the same way and had all the same parents. (pg 64,  paragraph 1)

Chapter 4  

A spider researcher, Pia Stålhandske, knew that males of Pisaura mirabilis offer their mates a  nuptial gift, a prey item, such as a cricket, whose acceptance by the female is critical for male  mating success. Males wrap their generally dark-colored food gifts in white silk. Stålhandske  wondered if the males wrapped their gifts in order to make them look like the white, silk-covered  

egg sacs that mated females make and protect by holding them in their jaws until the spiderlings  hatch. The theory being used to explore the species courtship behavior is sensory exploitation  theory. The male spiders seems to be using this specific method to activate the female spider’s  preexisting sensory abilities and biases. (pg 70, paragraph 3)

Deceptive signaling is widespread in nature with, for example, certain orchids luring pollinator  wasps to them with flower petals that smell like receptive female wasps. This case is a  Darwinian puzzle because natural selection ought to favor discriminating behavior on the  part of male wasps so that they do not waste time, energy, and even sperm on orchid  flowers. It is expected that after generation of dealing with these deceptive orchids, the wasps  would evolve to discriminate between the orchid and an actual female, but the wasps still have  not learned to differentiate between the two. (pg 91, figure 4.28)

Descent with modification differs from the theory of evolution by natural selection in the way  that descent with modification provides an account of the evolutionary events that took  place as a modern species evolved from ancestral ones; natural selection theory provides a  means for why some changes spread through a species while others did not. For example, a  female hyena’s pseudopenis was thought to develop as a result of a high amount of male sex  hormones while the female hyena was in the mother’s uterus, which would fit in with the descent  of modification theory because it just resulted from evolutionary events. If the pseudopenis was  to develop to make it more difficult for males to mate with them unless the female was fully  willing, it could be argued that natural selection theory is in play because then the pseudopenis  would serve a purpose. (pg 79, paragraph 3)

Chapter 5

All of the following are examples of a selfish herd member: hiding behind another member of  the group to hide from predators, making sure to always stand close to a slower or injured  member of the group so they can easily be outrun, and fighting off all the weakest members of  the group in order to secure the safest spot. All of the group members would be safer if they  worked together and spread out to deceive the predator, but some defectors take advantage of  the other members of the group when they only care about their own well-being. (pg 112,  paragraph 1)

A trait that has “adaptive value” confers a reproductive advantage or a contribution to the  overall inclusive fitness of an individual. For a trait to be adaptive, the fitness benefits have to  outweigh the fitness costs for the species. (pg 103, paragraph 1)

What is wrong with the following statement: “An adaptation is a trait whose fitness benefits (B)  exceed its costs (C).” The benefits associated with an adaptation must be greater than the costs,  and in addition the difference between B and C must be greater than that associated with any  other alternative trait. Several different traits may have benefits that exceed the costs, but to be  adaptive it also has to be the trait with the best benefit-to-cost ratio compared to all alternative  traits. (pg 103, paragraph 1)

A foraging tactic is “optimal” when the behavior confers more fitness on individuals than any  other alternative trait in the population. For crows, optimal foraging tactics are finding large  whelks, flying about 5 meters up in the air, and sticking with the same whelk no matter how many  

tries it takes to break rather than finding a whelk that is easier to break open. This is because  large whelks are more likely to shatter than small ones, a drop of more than 5 meters would not  significantly increase the chances of the whelk shattering, and the more times a whelk is  dropped, the higher the chance of it breaking the next drop. (pg 125, paragraph 2)

You read that a foraging tactic is “optimal” only if it is the most efficient way of acquiring  calories from the environment. You would disagree because sometimes animals gain more  fitness by sacrificing some foraging efficiency in order to better avoid predators. It is  expected that foragers would sacrifice short-term caloric gain for long-term survival if foraging  presents the risk of death. (pg 130, paragraph 2)

Two examples of social defense are mobbing and formation of dense aggregations. Mobbing  is an attempt at distracting a predator, such as when gulls flock towards a potential predator  and try to dive down and/or release excrement onto the predator when they detect the individual  is too close to their territory and eggs. (pg 101, paragraph 1; pg 104, paragraph 3) Formation  of dense aggregations is a method of dilution, when animals pack together tightly in order to  lower the risk that just a single one is targeted. For example, butterflies flock closely together  when eating, and while they are eating they are possible prey for a bird who might eat two  butterflies a day. If this is the case and there are five birds, out of a group of 100 butterflies,  each individual would have a 10% chance of being eaten. However, out of a group of 1000, the  chance of each individual being eaten is only 1%, which makes it safer for the group as a whole.  (pg 110, paragraph 2)

Choose the theory that most likely is to be used by a behavioral biologist who was formulating  hypotheses on the situations listed below.

1.) A seed-eating bird that forages solitarily = Optimality theory

Optimality theory states that the benefits of a trait must outweigh the costs and be better than  any alternatives. A bird may forage solitarily because the amount of food it is able to find  outweighs the fact that if they foraged in a group, they might be safer from predators. (pg 122,  paragraph 1)

2.) A seed-eating bird that forages in groups with competitive companions = Game theory Game theory is based off the fact that a competitor’s success is based off the actions of the  rivals. A bird is able to get more food is its rivals are not getting as much, and vice versa. (pg  113, paragraph 1)

Chapter 6

If the distribution of individuals over a set of habitats is consistent with ideal free distribution  theory, then the fitness of individuals in different habitats will be the same. Ideal free  distribution theory helps predict what animals will do when choosing between habitats.  Different habitats can provide the same types of benefits depending on how serious the  competition for food and space is. (pg 140, paragraph 3)

Contest resolution that is mediated by harmless, non-contact threat displays a Darwinian puzzle  because the losers of these interaction concede defeat without actual fighting and thereby  prematurely give up resources that would raise their fitness. This does not seem to make any  sense because an animal is not really attempting to gain resources, they basically just accept  that it is not theirs to have after barely getting into an altercation. (pg 146, paragraph 3)

Ideal free distribution theory and evolutionary stable strategy are both based on game theory.  Ideal free distribution theory has much to do with the fact that the fitness of a habitat for an  individual is based on how well the rivals are doing in the habitat. (pg 140, paragraph 3)  Evolutionary stable strategy can be used to explain why a competitor for territory will give up  quickly because the resident-always-wins rule is a common belief. (pg 146, paragraph 3)

If a Male Tarantula Hawk Wasp is removed from its peak-top shrub that it is defending, usually  his shrub will be taken over quite quickly. What happens when the old resident wasp is released  (rather quickly) from captivity and fights the new owner? What happens when the old resident  wasp is removed for 10 days than release from captivity? A quick release of the old wasp  usually gives him better odds in the re-takeover of his domain, but a prolonged removal  from his domain will make his re-takeover that much harder the longer the old owner has  been away. When the old owner is away for longer, and the new owner becomes more used to

their territory and grows more attached to their space, it will be harder for the old owner to win  the territory back because the new owner has claimed it and accepted it as their new land.  There is much more in stake for the new owner the longer the territory has been owned. (pg 150,  paragraph 3)

Dispersal is a positive behavior because it allows smaller males to leave a group that may be  dominated by bigger and stronger males, allowing a smaller male to have a chance to  reproduce and it prevents inbreeding. A smaller male has a higher chance of finding a mate  where the females are seeking males that have recently joined the group, and so there will be  less chances of inbreeding. Inbreeding has a higher chance of producing damaging recessive  alleles that can cause issues among the species. (pg 155, paragraph 1)

All of the following are costs of migration: atrophy of reproductive organs, altered metabolism,  and death. When a group of birds migrate, they must store fat to be able to store energy for the  long distances they need to travel. This causes an altered metabolism to use fat differently, and  causes their reproductive organs to temporarily atrophy while their energy is being used for the  trip. (pg 159, paragraph 2) There is also always a risk of death during these drastic changes.  Some birds make long trips over water, and if they suddenly do not have the energy to keep  going, and they have nowhere to land, they simply have no option but to drown. This causes  songbirds to make a longer migration over land rather than risk a quicker migration oversea.  (pg 160, paragraph 3)

The Sooty Shearwater is considered to be the “Total Distance Champion” for longest  migration. The sooty shearwater travels over 60,000 kilometers per year over the entire Pacific  Ocean. (pg 156, paragraph 4)

According to the Pay-off Asymmetry Hypothesis the value a resident places on his territory is  linked to the male’s familiarity with a location, and contests between an ex-resident and his  replacement will become more intense as the tenure of the replacement increases; a longer  tenure equals higher value of a site, which leads to an increase in motivation to protect the  territory. The longer a resident holds a territory, the more motivated and determined he will be  to keep the territory in the face of a challenger. When an ex-resident challenges a new owner

who has had the territory for a while, in the case of a tarantula hawk wasp, the battle can last up  to an hour because both are motivated to claim the territory. (pg 150, paragraph 3)

Comparative Animal Behavior Midterm Study Guide

Chapter 1

Two statements that are clearly Darwinian puzzles are that female lions often nurse offspring  that are not their own, and adult birds will rear eggs that are not theirs along with the eggs  that are. These are Darwinian puzzles because it’s hard to explain why an animal would take  care of young that are not their own because it takes resources away from their true offspring  who are carrying on their genes. (pg 7, paragraph 2)

If an adaptation is the product of natural selection, the trait will raise the reproductive success  of individuals more than any other alternative. It can be assumed that whatever traits that  exist today must have “won” a reproductive competition of the past. (pg 6, paragraph 4)

In order for Darwinian natural selection to cause evolutionary change, a population must contain  individuals that differ hereditarily in some characteristics because unless there is variation,  parents cannot pass on their advantageous attributes. Natural selection occurs when the  ideal trait is passed on while those with an unfavorable trait are slowly weeded out by the  drawbacks. (pg 6, paragraph 3)

The rarer of two hereditarily different phenotypes can be considered an adaptation when the rare  phenotype becomes more common from one generation to the next because of its positive  effect on individual fitness. Even if a trait is more common, if it causes the species to  reproduce less or die more, the rarer trait can become more common. For example, if the dark  brown mice are more common in a species, while the light brown mice are rare, this could  benefit the dark brown mice when they have to hide from predators in the dirt. But if the mice  had to migrate to a sandy place, where predators would see the dark brown mice easier, then the  light brown mice would have more of a chance of reproducing and passing on their genes while  the dark brown mice population was being hunted. (pg 6, paragraph 7)

On the Origin of the Species is the name of the book that ignited the field of animal behavior  150 years ago. This book was written by Charles Darwin and scientists realized how valuable  the theory of natural selection was. (pg 3, paragraph 1)

Natural selection is an unguided and unconscious process of reproductive competition. Some  individuals left more descendants than others because of their dominant attributes. (pg 5,  paragraph 4)

Heredity, variation, and differences in reproductive success are all conditions that need to be  met in order for evolutionary change to take place. When these three conditions are met, the  logic of natural selection will make evolutionary change inevitable. (pg 5, paragraph 5 – pg 6)

Evolutionary theory is so important because it gives us a scientific starting point in our study  of animal behavior. Evolutionary theory provides the foundation for behavioral biology. (pg  13, summary box) Evolutionary theory helps us figure out why an animal has the genetic,  developmental, sensory, neuronal, and hormonal mechanisms that cause their behavior. (pg 3,  paragraph 2)

Darwinian puzzles are seen as counter-intuitive to the survival of the species. A Darwinian  puzzle are behaviors that challenge evolutionary theory when an animal does something that  does not seem to directly benefit their genes being passed on. (pg 7, paragraph 2)

Infanticide can be considered adaptive when it provides means for an animal to acquire a  reproductive advantage. This seems grim, but often occurs in the animal kingdom when a  parent does not believe it has the resources to take care of the offspring, or by a competing male  that kills another male’s young for a higher chance of mating with the grieving female. (pg 9,  paragraph 1)

Biologists deal with Darwinian puzzles by developing possible explanation based on natural  selection, and by using theory of natural selection to justify the surprising behavior as  actually being beneficial. This helps them figure out how the gene was passed on for long  periods of time. (pg 7 paragraph 2)

Chapter 2  

Workers in honey bees and other eusocial insects are considered Darwinian puzzles because  these workers are largely sterile and so should be eliminated over time by natural selection.  It does not make sense how so many worker insects could keep being produced if the workers  themselves cannot pass on their genes. (pg 16, paragraph 2)

“The activity of N2RB gene declines in older mice and causes a decline in learning ability.”  Some have suggested that this is beneficial because it means older mice cannot forage as  efficiently as they once did, which frees up resources for the next generation. This hypothesis is  based on group selection because the trait of interest is said to cause individuals to sacrifice  opportunities in order to help the next generation. Group selection occurs when groups with  self-sacrificing individuals will survive longer as a group as a whole because the rest of the  group is more likely to survive and keep the species going because of the altruistic individuals.  (pg 18, paragraph 3)

Intelligent Design Theory is a religious theory, not a scientific one, and a theory that suggests  a more omniscient being designed a certain biological process that could not have possibly  been developed through a natural occurrence. Some believe that evolution and natural  selection does not explain certain behaviors of some species. For example, how could bees learn  to work together and understand their roles in order to survive, and how could they learn this  through evolution? Some do not believe there is a scientific explanation that fits every aspect of  the species, so they choose to believe that the species were created by a being, like a God, and  that is the only possible explanation. (pg 17, paragraph 2)

There is a monkey named Tom. What is the coefficient of relatedness of Tom’s mother’s second  oldest brother’s daughter’s twin brother to Tom? 0.125 because the other monkey is Tom’s  cousin. The coefficient of relatedness of cousins is 1/8, or 0.125 (pg 22, paragraph 2) The chart  below will be useful for the midterm if the relatedness is anything other than that of a cousin.

A male groundhog has managed to rear one offspring to reproductive maturity, while also at the  same time helping do the same for three siblings who would otherwise may not have been as  successful. The male groundhog’s inclusive fitness is 2. Inclusive fitness is calculated by  considering how many offspring would not have survived without the individual’s efforts. The  male groundhog reared one offspring, which has a ½ or 0.5 relatedness coefficient, and then  three siblings, who also have a ½ or 0.5 relatedness coefficient. The equation would look like:  0.5 [offspring] + (3 x 0.5) [3 siblings ], or 0.5 + 1.5 = 2. (pg 24, paragraph 2)

Hamilton’s rule states all of these: indirect fitness > direct fitness lost; rbB > rcC; and the  benefits of helping genetically similar individuals must exceed the cost of sacrificing personal  reproduction. Hamilton’s rule states that the allele that causes altruism will only be passed on if  the indirect fitness gained by the altruist outweighs the direct fitness it loses as a result of its self sacrificing behavior. It is also important to know that rbB is equivalent to indirect fitness, and  rcC is equivalent to direct fitness lost in the equation above. (pg 24, paragraph 3)

Phylogeny is an evolutionary family tree that allows animals to be studied through their  evolutions from their earliest ancestors. This family tree can show which modern species or  group was modified over time to be the species alive today. (pg 29, paragraph 3 for explanation,  pg 31, box 2.3 for example of tree)

If a bee executes a round dance she has found food fairly close to the hive – within 50 meters,  but if she performs a waggle dance she has found food further away – more than 50 meters.  The angle of the waggle dance can also determine the direction the food is in. (pg 32 for round  dance, pg 33 for waggle dance)

Haploids have only 1 copy of each gene while Diploids have 2 copies of each gene. Diploid  has di- in the name, which means 2. Certain male insects such as ants, bees and wasps are  haploids and only have one set of chromosomes, while the female counterparts are diploid and  carry two sets of chromosomes. (pg 26, paragraph 2)  

Chapter 3

Kin selection theory is most useful in helping to explain altruism exhibited by some hunting  lions towards others. This theory suggests that the altruists of a group direct their assistance to  close relatives that will boost reproductive success of those individuals. Even if it is  nondescendant kin, it still raises the chance of survival for the species and the benefactor of the  altruist shares some coefficient of relativity with the altruist, which in turn, passes on the  altruist’s genes. (pg 53, paragraph 4)

Community living is not seen as better than solitary living because living with others comes  with substantial fitness costs to individuals. Living in a community can allow for cooperation  between members of the species for gathering food, but it is not allows worth it if the drawbacks  outweigh the positive aspects, community living is detrimental for the species. For example, if  the cliff swallows all live together in order to forage together, but it makes it easier for a  parasite to infest their living community, then community living is not exactly better. Living in  solitude can be useful when there is high competition for food or mates, along with several other  benefits. (pg 44, paragraph 1)

Cooperation is when 2 individuals both benefit from helping one another. Cooperation  means two individuals helping each other, like when wolves hunt together to take down a larger  prey, such as a buffalo. (pg 46, paragraph 2)

Beta males would help an alpha male mate to secure his line in reproduction. The beta male  can move up in status just from being associated with the alpha male. For example, with the  lazuli bunting birds, the alphas are usually the brightly colored birds and the betas are usually a  dull brown color. Since the females favor mating with a brightly colored alpha, the only chance  a dull brown bird has at becoming alpha is helping the current brightly colored alpha maintain  his territory and chase away other brightly color birds that try to intrude. If it were not for this  system, the dull colored beta would probably wind up in a poor habitat and no female would  want to mate with him. (pg 48, paragraph 1)

A population composed of reciprocal helpers is not favorable because they are vulnerable to  defectors and others that will try to exploit the group for favors. These defectors reduce the  fitness of helpers and make reciprocity less likely to evolve. (pg 51, paragraph 3)

Primary helpers raise their fitness indirectly through their increased production of non descendant kin, whereas secondary helpers raise their fitness directly by increasing their future  chances of reproducing. For example, a pied kingfisher bird that helps his mother raise her  other hatchlings helps the bird’s genes get passed on even though they are not his direct  offspring and he is a primary helper. A pied kingfisher that becomes a secondary helper and  helps another nest raise the offspring has a chance of being next in line to reproduce and pass on  their genes through their own offspring. (pg 54, paragraph 1)

Highly social vertebrates engage in facultative altruism, not obligate altruism, and appear to  maximize their inclusive fitness via a mix of indirect and direct fitness. Facultative altruism is  when an individual choses to be altruist to increase indirect fitness until they decide to move on  

and reproduce to have offspring that increase their direct fitness, while obligate altruism is when  an individual has no choice but to be altruistic because they usually do not have the ability to  reproduce, such as sterile worker insects. (pg 63, paragraph 1)

Kin selection theory suggests that altruists will direct their efforts to relatives to boost  reproductive success. Sometimes an individual who helps their parents raise their siblings can  inherit the territory to use in the future to reproduce and raise their own offspring, like the  Florida scrub jay. (pg 58, paragraph 2)

If a female bird has multiple partners and has offspring from each partner, her offspring will  have lower coefficients of relatedness meaning that the reproductive efforts of the males  were not successful. This causes for altruistic individuals to be less likely to help raise the  offspring because all of the hatchlings being successfully being reared would not raise their  fitness as much as if they were all related the same way and had all the same parents. (pg 64,  paragraph 1)

Chapter 4  

A spider researcher, Pia Stålhandske, knew that males of Pisaura mirabilis offer their mates a  nuptial gift, a prey item, such as a cricket, whose acceptance by the female is critical for male  mating success. Males wrap their generally dark-colored food gifts in white silk. Stålhandske  wondered if the males wrapped their gifts in order to make them look like the white, silk-covered  

egg sacs that mated females make and protect by holding them in their jaws until the spiderlings  hatch. The theory being used to explore the species courtship behavior is sensory exploitation  theory. The male spiders seems to be using this specific method to activate the female spider’s  preexisting sensory abilities and biases. (pg 70, paragraph 3)

Deceptive signaling is widespread in nature with, for example, certain orchids luring pollinator  wasps to them with flower petals that smell like receptive female wasps. This case is a  Darwinian puzzle because natural selection ought to favor discriminating behavior on the  part of male wasps so that they do not waste time, energy, and even sperm on orchid  flowers. It is expected that after generation of dealing with these deceptive orchids, the wasps  would evolve to discriminate between the orchid and an actual female, but the wasps still have  not learned to differentiate between the two. (pg 91, figure 4.28)

Descent with modification differs from the theory of evolution by natural selection in the way  that descent with modification provides an account of the evolutionary events that took  place as a modern species evolved from ancestral ones; natural selection theory provides a  means for why some changes spread through a species while others did not. For example, a  female hyena’s pseudopenis was thought to develop as a result of a high amount of male sex  hormones while the female hyena was in the mother’s uterus, which would fit in with the descent  of modification theory because it just resulted from evolutionary events. If the pseudopenis was  to develop to make it more difficult for males to mate with them unless the female was fully  willing, it could be argued that natural selection theory is in play because then the pseudopenis  would serve a purpose. (pg 79, paragraph 3)

Chapter 5

All of the following are examples of a selfish herd member: hiding behind another member of  the group to hide from predators, making sure to always stand close to a slower or injured  member of the group so they can easily be outrun, and fighting off all the weakest members of  the group in order to secure the safest spot. All of the group members would be safer if they  worked together and spread out to deceive the predator, but some defectors take advantage of  the other members of the group when they only care about their own well-being. (pg 112,  paragraph 1)

A trait that has “adaptive value” confers a reproductive advantage or a contribution to the  overall inclusive fitness of an individual. For a trait to be adaptive, the fitness benefits have to  outweigh the fitness costs for the species. (pg 103, paragraph 1)

What is wrong with the following statement: “An adaptation is a trait whose fitness benefits (B)  exceed its costs (C).” The benefits associated with an adaptation must be greater than the costs,  and in addition the difference between B and C must be greater than that associated with any  other alternative trait. Several different traits may have benefits that exceed the costs, but to be  adaptive it also has to be the trait with the best benefit-to-cost ratio compared to all alternative  traits. (pg 103, paragraph 1)

A foraging tactic is “optimal” when the behavior confers more fitness on individuals than any  other alternative trait in the population. For crows, optimal foraging tactics are finding large  whelks, flying about 5 meters up in the air, and sticking with the same whelk no matter how many  

tries it takes to break rather than finding a whelk that is easier to break open. This is because  large whelks are more likely to shatter than small ones, a drop of more than 5 meters would not  significantly increase the chances of the whelk shattering, and the more times a whelk is  dropped, the higher the chance of it breaking the next drop. (pg 125, paragraph 2)

You read that a foraging tactic is “optimal” only if it is the most efficient way of acquiring  calories from the environment. You would disagree because sometimes animals gain more  fitness by sacrificing some foraging efficiency in order to better avoid predators. It is  expected that foragers would sacrifice short-term caloric gain for long-term survival if foraging  presents the risk of death. (pg 130, paragraph 2)

Two examples of social defense are mobbing and formation of dense aggregations. Mobbing  is an attempt at distracting a predator, such as when gulls flock towards a potential predator  and try to dive down and/or release excrement onto the predator when they detect the individual  is too close to their territory and eggs. (pg 101, paragraph 1; pg 104, paragraph 3) Formation  of dense aggregations is a method of dilution, when animals pack together tightly in order to  lower the risk that just a single one is targeted. For example, butterflies flock closely together  when eating, and while they are eating they are possible prey for a bird who might eat two  butterflies a day. If this is the case and there are five birds, out of a group of 100 butterflies,  each individual would have a 10% chance of being eaten. However, out of a group of 1000, the  chance of each individual being eaten is only 1%, which makes it safer for the group as a whole.  (pg 110, paragraph 2)

Choose the theory that most likely is to be used by a behavioral biologist who was formulating  hypotheses on the situations listed below.

1.) A seed-eating bird that forages solitarily = Optimality theory

Optimality theory states that the benefits of a trait must outweigh the costs and be better than  any alternatives. A bird may forage solitarily because the amount of food it is able to find  outweighs the fact that if they foraged in a group, they might be safer from predators. (pg 122,  paragraph 1)

2.) A seed-eating bird that forages in groups with competitive companions = Game theory Game theory is based off the fact that a competitor’s success is based off the actions of the  rivals. A bird is able to get more food is its rivals are not getting as much, and vice versa. (pg  113, paragraph 1)

Chapter 6

If the distribution of individuals over a set of habitats is consistent with ideal free distribution  theory, then the fitness of individuals in different habitats will be the same. Ideal free  distribution theory helps predict what animals will do when choosing between habitats.  Different habitats can provide the same types of benefits depending on how serious the  competition for food and space is. (pg 140, paragraph 3)

Contest resolution that is mediated by harmless, non-contact threat displays a Darwinian puzzle  because the losers of these interaction concede defeat without actual fighting and thereby  prematurely give up resources that would raise their fitness. This does not seem to make any  sense because an animal is not really attempting to gain resources, they basically just accept  that it is not theirs to have after barely getting into an altercation. (pg 146, paragraph 3)

Ideal free distribution theory and evolutionary stable strategy are both based on game theory.  Ideal free distribution theory has much to do with the fact that the fitness of a habitat for an  individual is based on how well the rivals are doing in the habitat. (pg 140, paragraph 3)  Evolutionary stable strategy can be used to explain why a competitor for territory will give up  quickly because the resident-always-wins rule is a common belief. (pg 146, paragraph 3)

If a Male Tarantula Hawk Wasp is removed from its peak-top shrub that it is defending, usually  his shrub will be taken over quite quickly. What happens when the old resident wasp is released  (rather quickly) from captivity and fights the new owner? What happens when the old resident  wasp is removed for 10 days than release from captivity? A quick release of the old wasp  usually gives him better odds in the re-takeover of his domain, but a prolonged removal  from his domain will make his re-takeover that much harder the longer the old owner has  been away. When the old owner is away for longer, and the new owner becomes more used to

their territory and grows more attached to their space, it will be harder for the old owner to win  the territory back because the new owner has claimed it and accepted it as their new land.  There is much more in stake for the new owner the longer the territory has been owned. (pg 150,  paragraph 3)

Dispersal is a positive behavior because it allows smaller males to leave a group that may be  dominated by bigger and stronger males, allowing a smaller male to have a chance to  reproduce and it prevents inbreeding. A smaller male has a higher chance of finding a mate  where the females are seeking males that have recently joined the group, and so there will be  less chances of inbreeding. Inbreeding has a higher chance of producing damaging recessive  alleles that can cause issues among the species. (pg 155, paragraph 1)

All of the following are costs of migration: atrophy of reproductive organs, altered metabolism,  and death. When a group of birds migrate, they must store fat to be able to store energy for the  long distances they need to travel. This causes an altered metabolism to use fat differently, and  causes their reproductive organs to temporarily atrophy while their energy is being used for the  trip. (pg 159, paragraph 2) There is also always a risk of death during these drastic changes.  Some birds make long trips over water, and if they suddenly do not have the energy to keep  going, and they have nowhere to land, they simply have no option but to drown. This causes  songbirds to make a longer migration over land rather than risk a quicker migration oversea.  (pg 160, paragraph 3)

The Sooty Shearwater is considered to be the “Total Distance Champion” for longest  migration. The sooty shearwater travels over 60,000 kilometers per year over the entire Pacific  Ocean. (pg 156, paragraph 4)

According to the Pay-off Asymmetry Hypothesis the value a resident places on his territory is  linked to the male’s familiarity with a location, and contests between an ex-resident and his  replacement will become more intense as the tenure of the replacement increases; a longer  tenure equals higher value of a site, which leads to an increase in motivation to protect the  territory. The longer a resident holds a territory, the more motivated and determined he will be  to keep the territory in the face of a challenger. When an ex-resident challenges a new owner

who has had the territory for a while, in the case of a tarantula hawk wasp, the battle can last up  to an hour because both are motivated to claim the territory. (pg 150, paragraph 3)

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