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midterm1 - September10 ReproductiveAsymmetry

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September 10 Reproductive Asymmetry In higher animals, males have a vastly greater reproductive potential than females do, and males also have a vastly greater potential variance in reproductive success This asymmetry has led to the evolution of very different strategies of reproduction in males versus females Sexual Selection (Darwin 1871) Differential reproductive success among the members of the same sex Based on physical attributes that encourage mating (peacock feathers, antlers) Mainly males develop the traits Sexual selection causes males and females to evolve different body sizes, shapes and features o Sexual dimorphism Male competition vs. Female mate choice The fallacy of the “harem” o Harem: male with vast selection of females at his disposal o Implies the males are in complete control (untrue) Female choice drives male traits o When a female chooses a man with certain traits (genetic health/vitality) those traits are passed on to offspring What females want o Are there universals as to what women want? Does this depend on a life partner versus a one night stand? It has been found women want an older man, successful, social status, provider Individual vs. Group Selection Darwin focused on individual selection Individual Selection (Darwin 1859, GC Williams 1966): Animals DO NOT behave for the good of the group or the good of the species—apparent altruism is really just the byproduct of selfish behavior Group Selection (Wynne-Edwards, 1966): Animals actively behave in ways that help the group; e.g., when overpopulated, they limit their reproduction— lemmings, antelope Williams said animals cannot be group selectionists because the Darwinian bottom line is reproduction Human societies run on recipricol altruism (you give blood so you get some when you need it) Levels of Selection Proximate—how things work Ultimate—why things are the way they are
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Sociobiology (Tivers/Wilson) A field of study that determines the biology of social behavior Inclusive Fitness/Kin Selection Inclusive Fitness: One’s own fitness plus the fitness of one’s close kin o Protect your kin because you share genes Kin Selection: o Coefficients of Relatedness o Prairie dogs whistle to sacrifice themselves but protect kin Parent-offspring conflict o Mother-fetus conflict Types of hormones and nutrients going to fetus o Weaning conflict When mothers try to wean their offspring off of their care Parental investment: the time a parent will put into their offspring Tempo and Mode in Evolution Reductionism vs. Holism = Adaptationism examined o Reductionism: understanding each part = understanding whole Gould and Elderedge—the Spandrels of San Marcos o Each spandrel (triangular region at top of column) had a painting on it o If you didn’t know architecture you would thing spandrel was for painting o Spandrel necessary for dome Spandrel was just a bi-product
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This note was uploaded on 12/08/2008 for the course ANTH 200 taught by Professor Stanford during the Fall '08 term at USC.

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midterm1 - September10 ReproductiveAsymmetry

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