Evidence for Evoluti10

Evidence for Evoluti10 - produce less offspring than had he...

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Evidence for Evolution How do squirrels "know" 3.8 is the magic number? In regards to my previous squirrel post (actually two), the thought just crossed my mind that some people might get the wrong idea (or heaven forbid want to ridicule evolution by making a straw man of what I said) about how male ground squirrels "know" to reject previously mated females. First off I would like to make it quite clear that the squirrels do not need to be trained in math to determine this. They don't avoid previously mated females after 3.8 hours because they understand the underlying mathematical model, but because natural selection favors males who "know" 3.8 is the magic number. Allow me to elaborate. If a male happens upon a female who had mated, oh lets say 2.4 hours previously, decides to go looking for a new mate, (on average) he would sire less offspring than if he would have waited. Likewise, if a male waits 5 hours after the first mating for his chance, he will (on average)
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Unformatted text preview: produce less offspring than had he wandered off to search for a new mate. However, males who, for whatever reason, go searching for mates after 3.8 hours will on average produce more offspring than males who wait any other amount of time. And as time goes on their offspring (who "know" to start searching after 3.8 hours) will come to make up a larger and larger percentage of the gene pool. Natural selection will favor males who search for a new mate when the female they find has mated 3.8 hours or more ago. So males don't need to run around with calculators to figure out how long to wait, the answer has been passed on to them by their male ancestors who, by chance, hit upon the right length of time. One last question could be asked. How do males know if and how long ago the female mated? I don't know the answer to this. Any thirteen lined squirrel experts out there? It could be any number of things. Even a rough estimate could be beneficial to the male....
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2011 for the course BIO BSC1010 taught by Professor Gwenhauner during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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