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Study questions Chapter 2

Study questions Chapter 2 - NPB 102 Animal Behavior Study...

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1 NPB 102, Animal Behavior Study questions for Chapter 2 Winter 2011 1. What is the syrinx, and how is it used by birds to produce sounds? Be as specific as you can about how different parts contribute to sound production. 2. Imagine an experiment where you begin with a fully adult male bird that has crystallized its song, and you then infuse a local anesthetic into the syrinx that specifically targets the muscles controlling the left side. This procedure numbs those muscles and prevents the bird from regulating air flow through the left bronchus. That is, the left bronchus would remain completely open all the time because the bird cannot contract the left syringial muscles. How do you think this procedure would affect the song of the bird? Be as specific as you can about the effects it would have on the different elements of the song. What would happen if instead you inserted a little plug into the left bronchus to prevent all air flow through it? 3. Explain what is meant by the statement that songbirds have “two voices” and describe anatomical and experimental evidence consistent with this idea. 4. Use the example of red-winged blackbird song to explain why Tinbergen’s choice of the term “survival value” was not ideal. What term would you suggest using instead, and why? 5. Describe how the song type matching studies of free-living song sparrows clearly have both proximate and ultimate interpretations. 6. “Open Ended Song Learners” are believed to be able to keep memorizing new songs to produce well beyond their first year of life, and possibly throughout their lives. One of your friends tells you that song sparrows must be “open ended song learners” and cites the evidence that young males establishing a territory for the first time appear to be able to crystallize songs that are close matches to those of their neighbor males. How would you respond to this assertion? 7. Define a song dialect, and contrast song dialects with at least two other forms of inter-individual variation in song. Explain what kind of information you would need in order to distinguish among all of these forms of interindividual variation in song. 8. Give one proximate and one ultimate explanation for why the songs of birds living in different habitats (e.g., densely-vegetated versus more open) might emphasize different sound pitches. Do the same for birds living in urban versus wild woodland habitats.
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