Stephens_Lecture2-Spr2010

Stephens_Lecture2-Spr2010 - Proximate/Ultimate Hypotheses...

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1 Proximate/Ultimate Hypotheses and the Evolution of Behavior Lecture 2 – BIOL 3411 Tell me what you know about owls… Some facts about owl behavior… • They are most active at night • They fly very quietly • They eat rodents • And many other cool things: – able to swivel head – have asymmetrically placed ears – have more rods than cones…
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2 Illustrating 2 Types of Answers to “Why” Questions about Behavior: Why do owls fly quietly? Because their flight feathers are soft. To avoid alerting their prey and interfering with their own hearing. Why do they fly at night? Controlled by daily cycle of hormones. Because that’s when their prey are active. Why do they eat rodents? They learn to do so from their parents. Rodents are an abundant source of food. Illustrating 2 Types of Answers to “Why” Questions about Behavior: Because their flight feathers are soft. To avoid alerting their prey and interfering with their own hearing. Controlled by daily cycle of hormones. Because that’s when their prey are active. Rodents are an abundant source of food. “Proximate” Hypotheses (mechanisms / development) “Ultimate” Hypotheses (adaptations / function / evolution) They learn to do so from their parents. Proximate/Ultimate
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This note was uploaded on 02/20/2010 for the course BIOL 3411 taught by Professor Stephens during the Spring '10 term at Minnesota.

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Stephens_Lecture2-Spr2010 - Proximate/Ultimate Hypotheses...

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