Our Texts: Alcock, J. 2009. Animal Behavior. 9th Edition. Sinauer Associates, Inc.
Observations of Animal Behavior Around Tucson
Hummingbirds foraging at certain flowers but not others. Lizards doing `pushups' at other lizards (or at you!). A bl
Worm grunting causes worms to emerge from the ground where they are collected and sold. Ken Catania wondered if grunting mimicked sounds of moles, which prey on worms. In southern U.S., Diplocardia mississippiensis earthworms are sought after by fisherman
Stories of Adaptation
Repeated themes more compelling.
The trouble with "just-so" stories "justExamples seem to be compelling evidence of adaptation, but we: b 1. Hand-picked examples. 2. Didn't show that a trait works as we suggest gg it does.
Darwin's theory focused on gradual change. How could intermediates be of benefit?
Gradations now known to occur among living forms.
Is vertebrate eye flawed?
Discussion of `flaws' arose in biology when ID advocates argued
The Biology of Seeing
Recent article in Nature: color blindness in monkeys cured by gene therapy!
How sensory stimuli elicit behavior Information, in the form of energy, is detected by sensory receptor cells. t nsmitt d b s ns transmitted by sensory neuro
Are animals conscious beings?
Nagel argued we cannot know if bats are conscious in a human's sense of that word.
"bat sonar, though clearly a form of perception, is not similar in its operation to any sense that we possess, and there i no reason
Learning is a developmental process. It should also have a function. Mechanism Development Function
What are the relative costs and benefits of learning and instinct? ?
Benefit of instinct
Instincts are beneficial wh
First REQUIRED Writing Assignment: First REQUIRED Term Paper Assignment:
Choose 3 topics from list of topics posted on course web site. Rank topics in order of preference, with #1 your most preferred and #3 your least preferred. In Sherman & Alcock, read
"An instinct, unlike learned behavior, is a behavior under genetic control."
a. Do genes encode behavior? b. Do genes encode learning? c. How many genes encode a behavior? d. Can a gene have more than one effect? e. Do
Levels of Analysis Quiz (see course web site)
1. Hummingbirds possess a red photoreceptor that allows them to discriminate red flowers from orange ones.
Learning and Instinct
Shakespeare on Instincts
"I'll never be such a g
body of theory used to predict animal behavior under assumption that behavior evolves under natural selection to maximize fitness.
Steps to building optimality models 1. state goal of optimization 2. state conditions and constraints of m