Shaw Lecture 1 2008(web)

Shaw Lecture 1 2008(web) - Little Fly Thy summers play My...

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1 Little Fly, Thy summer’s play My thoughtless hand Has brush’d away. Am not I A fly like thee? Or art not thou A man like me? William Blake, “The Fly” --from Songs of Experience I. Evidence for behavioral evolution II. Phylogenetics and behavioral evolution III. Consequences of behavioral evolution What is a behavior? Any observable action or response of an organism Behavior = genotype + environment Behavioral variation = genetic variation + environmental variation Only if behavioral variation is at least partly genetic, can it evolve
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2 Evolution WILL occur if: 1. Individuals within populations vary 2. The variations among individuals are, at least in part, passed on from parents to offspring 3. In every generation, some individuals are more successful at surviving and reproducing than others 4. The survival and reproduction of individuals are not random but tied to the variation among individuals = Natural Selection No variation, no evolution No genetics, no evolution No differential fitness, no evolution Characterizing Behavioral Variation Phenotypic Variation genetic variation environment Phenotype : any observable (& measurable) characteristic of an organism Characterizing Variation Behavioral Variation genetic variation single gene polygenic environmental variation Variation is discontinuous (usually)
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3 Mutation in a single gene can prevent mothers from protecting offspring Brown et al. 1996. Cell 86: 297-309. Parental care: Characterizing Variation Phenotypic Variation genetic variation single gene polygenic environmental variation Variation is no longer discrete Human histogram 1. height due to genes 2. height due to environment
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