144_1assignment_2009_Lacey_answers

144_1assignment_2009_Lacey_answers - IB 144/Psych 115B Fall...

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IB 144/Psych 115B Name ________________________ Fall 2009 ASSIGNMENT 1 Due week of 7 Sept 2009 10 points 1. White crowned sparrows are common songbirds in the Bay Area. They have been the subjects of multiple classic studies of animal behavior by researchers based at Berkeley, UC Davis, and the California Academy of Sciences. You can read more about these birds and their vocal behavior in Chapter 2 of Alcock. a. (1 pts) Give an ontogenetic hypothesis (explanation) to explain why white-crowned sparrows learn the song of their species but not the songs of other species. There are many possible answers, but an example would be something like “early in development, white crowned sparrows pass through a critical period when the adult song that they hear shapes the song they (the juveniles) will produce as adults.” The key point is that there be something clearly ontogenetic in the hypothesis but that it not simply state that song is influenced by ontogeny (we want a little more biology than that!) b. (1 pts) Give an adaptive hypothesis (explanation) for the regional differences (dialects) in song found in white-crowned sparrows from central California. Again, there are many possible answers. An example would be something like “microhabitat differences in central California have resulted in different populations of sparrows being better adapted to some areas than others. If these population
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144_1assignment_2009_Lacey_answers - IB 144/Psych 115B Fall...

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