Anthro Lecture 1-24 - Anthro Lecture 1-24 I Evolutionary...

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Anthro Lecture 1-24 I. Evolutionary Theory and Social Behavior a. The problem of altruism i. How to explain sterile castes in social insects? 1. Levels of selection a. Do adaptations primarily benefit individuals, social groups, populations, species, ecosystems…? b. A question largely ignored through the 1 st half of the 20 th century ii.V.C. Wynne-Edwards (early 1960s): group selection 1. To avoid overexploitation of resources (followed by population crashes) animals restrain their reproduction for the good of the group/population 2. Apparent reproductive restraint in some birds iii.Group selection for traits disadvantageous to individuals has been documented in some cases, but in most vertebrate animals, population structures (migration rates) makes it extremely unlikely that such traits could evolve iv.What about the findings of reproductive restraint in some birds 1. These turn out to represent prudent investment decisions rather than public-spirited restraint: breeding pairs that produce too many
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