Evolution And Behavioral Ecology

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Jean-Baptiste Lamark
Inheritance of acquired characters, believed that if giraffes "stretched" for a longer neck, they would achieve one and pass it on to their offspring
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The change between generations, descent with modification, change in gene frequencies
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Darwin's Postulates
1. Populations contain variation, 2. Some of this variation is heritable, 3. This variation makes some more likely to survive/reproduce than others, 4. Selection and reproduction are non random
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Mendelian Genetics
Genes are discrete, preserved during development and passed on unaltered (ignoring mutation) to the next generation
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Human Mutation Rate
2-20 per genome, per generation
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NeoDarwinian Postulates
1. Mutation/ recombination create lots of variation, 2. Some is heritable, 3. Some individuals are better at surviving/reproducing due to this variation, 4. The best adapted genes are passed on and increase in frequency
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Three Theories For The Creation Of Life
1. Evolution, 2. Transformationism, 3. Separate Creation
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Artificial Selection
Only a selected few of any generation are allowed to breed, this means the average value will change with each generation (assuming an additive genetic basis)
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Natural Selection
Differential reproduction and survival in the wild (assuming that selection is non random and has an additive genetic basis)
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Experimental Evolution
Allowing population to evolve under laboratory conditions
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4 Large Scale Evidence For Evolution
1. The fossil record, 2. Homology, 3. Evidence from living species, 4. Common ancestry
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False genes that encode nothing, could have arisen from a mutation forming a stop codon
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Ring Species
Taxon clusters that show gene flow around the cluster but a barrier to gene flow at some point within the ring
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The Law Of Succession
Fossils and living organisms found in the same geographic region are related to each other and are significantly different from organisms found in other areas
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Acquisition of reliable but not infallible knowledge
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Process of discovery of knowledge
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Creative organisation, criticism and reinterpretation of facts and concepts
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A set of ideas created to explain something, systematically ordered. Should be rational, relevant and extensible
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General Hypothesis
Supposition or conjecture put forth in the form of a prediction to a theory, observation, belief or problem
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Specific Hypothesis
Formulation of a general hypothesis for application to a specific test
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Null Hypothesis
Expected outcome if the supposed mechanism is not manifested
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Expected outcomes if both hypothesis and conjecture are correct
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Type I error
Reject a hypothesis that is correct
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Type II error
Accept a hypothesis that is true
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Inductive Reasoning
Specific observation --> universal rule/inference
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Deductive Reasoning
Universal theory --> specific observation
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Principle Of Falsification
Make a hypothesis and try to prove it wrong
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Proximate Questions
Functional (how do these things happen)
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Ultimate Questions
Evolutionary (why do they do this)
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4 Mechanisms That Generate Evolution
1. Mutation, 2. Gene Flow, 3. Drift, 4. Selection
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A heritable change in the nuceleotide sequence of a genetic nucleic acid
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Gene Flow
Introduction or loss of alleles from a population via immigration or emigration
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Genetic Drift
Stochastic shifts in the allele frequencies in small populations, random changes in allele frequency that results from sampling of gametes from generation to generation in a finite population
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(h2) How much an offspring resemble their parents
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Selection differential, indicates how strong selection is
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The proportion of populations expected to go to fixation for a given allele...
Is proportional to the initial frequency of that allele
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The relative number of offspring that survive to the next episode of selection (LRS) or replication rate (speed of reproduction)
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rate of instantaneous increase: dN/dt = rN (K-N)/K
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Malthusian Parameter
Scales the fitness of a genotype compared to other genotypes; rij = ri/rj
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Negative Frequency Dependance
Asymmetric fish mouth thing, highest fitness genotype changes
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Heterozygotes are the most fit
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Antagonistic Pleitrophy
A gene has a positive effect on fitness via one trait, but a negative via another trait
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Mutation-selection Balance
As selection removes variation, mutation replaces it
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Mechanisms Of Sexual Selection
Male-male competition and female choice
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Why Are Females Choosy?
Male benefit, direct benefits (territory/nutrition etc) and indirect benefits (for their childrens genes)
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Why Is Sperm Competition Important?
Determines gene flow, evolution, affects sexual selection and allows post copulatory female choice
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Proximate Questions
Focus on the mechanics of the behaviour
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Ultimate Questions
Focus on the advantages of the behaviour
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Behavioural Ecology
The survival and reproductive value of behaviour and its relationship with ecology and evolution
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Inclusive Fitness
Fitness gained through personal reproduction plus fitness gained from aiding the survival of non-descendant kin
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Kin Selection
Selection which favours the evolution of traits (or gene persistance) because of their net beneficial effects on the survival or reproduction of genetic relatives
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Hamiltons Rule
rB - C > 0 (where r = relatedness between donor and recipient, b = benefit to recipient, c = cost to donor)
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A fossil/animal with an anatomy suitable for standing erect and walking on two feet
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~3.5 mya, hip/leg/foot adaptions allow full bipedalism
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Why Did Humans Stand Up?
Needed to travel long distances but still climb trees, curved lumbar spines/laterally facing hips favoured
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The shedding of the superficial uterine endometrium, occurs as a consequence of spontaneous dicidualization
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7 Life History Traits
1. Age/size at maturity 2. Number/size of offspring 3. Energy allocation to reproduction 4. Timing of growth 5. Dispersal patterns 6. Number of reproductive events 7. Lifespan and aging
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The Fast-Slow Continuum (Fast End)
Short life, fast development, rapid maturity, low parental investment, high reproductive rates, r-selected
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The Fast Slow Continuum (Slow End)
Long life, slow development, delayed maturity, high parental investment, low reproductive rates, k-selected
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r-selected Characteristics
Rapid development, small size, short lived, density independent mortality, best when below k, productivity
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k-selected Characteristics
Slow development, long generation time, long lived, large size, density dependent mortality, best when at k, efficiency
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The Lack Clutch
Assumed one trade off was more important (between the number of eggs and the probability the offspring would survive until leaving the nest)
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The age at which first reproduction occurs, fitness more sensitive to than any other life history trait
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Approximated by generation time (average time between birth and production of offspring) and the average number of offspring per individual
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Costs To Early Maturity
Increases size and this increases fecundity, delayed maturity means higher quality offspring, may mean longer life/more reproduction
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Lacks Hypothesis
Selection will produce the clutch size that results in the largest number of surviving offpsring
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Lacks Assumptions
No association between parents current and future reproductive investment, offspring reproductive success not a function of clutch size, no trade off between clutch size and parental mortality
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Deviations From Lack
Parent-offspring conflict, bet hedging/cheap offspring and phylogeny
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Selection should favour spending more time in the safest development stage
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1 huge reproductive event (big bang breeders)
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Have a series of reproductive events (investment breeders)
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Discrete Variation
On or off, e.g. tail present or absent
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Continuous Variation
E.g. height
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Quanitive Traits
Polygenic, environmental influences, continuous distributions, measured on a quantitive scale
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Additive Effects
Heterozygote is midway between homozygotes
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Maternal Effects
A special sort of environmental effect due to the environment provided by the mother
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Selection Differential
Difference between selected parents and the population as a whole (within a generation)
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More than one gene influences a trait
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Phenotypic Species Concept
Species are groups of organisms that are more similar phenotypically to one another than they are to other groups
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Recognition Species Concept
Defines species in terms of mate recognition
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Ecological Species Concept
Species are groups that share a common niche
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Cladistic Species Concept
Groups of organisms between two branches of a phylogeny
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Biological Species Concept
Species are groups of interbreeding populations that are reproductively isolated from each other (share a common gene pool)
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All Species Concepts Agree That...
1. There are barriers to gene exchange between species 2. Species are ecologically distinct. 3. Species have distinct character states. 4. Species have evolved along independent trajectories
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Haldanes Rule
In crosses where one sex is infertile, it is the heterogametic sex
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Mechanisms Of Sub Division In Speciation
1. CHanges in chromosome number, 2. Physical barriers (isolation and vicariance, allopatric most common)
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Parapatric Speciation
No physical isolation, strong selection gradient
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Speciation: Mechanisms Of Divergence
1. Drift/bottlenecks, 2. Natural selection, 3. Sexual selection
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Sexual Conflict
Divergence in the evolutionary interests between males and females
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Ontogenetic Sexual Conflict
Genes that make a good male make a "bad" female
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The change between generations, descent with modification, change in gene frequencies

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Darwin's Postulates


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Mendelian Genetics


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Human Mutation Rate


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