Week 4 - Sept 23rd
Communication plays an important role in mate choice and comptetion
for mates. In a conventional situation the male must communicate his
quality to the female. In competition, communication, rather than all
out combat, is often used to settle the "battle". How do signals
evolve? When can they be relied upon? What makes an effective signal?
But first, how you you define communication? It might seem simple at
first but read Burghardt and appreciate the difficulties. Don't bother
memorizing any of these definitions, think of your own and remember to
explain your terms.
Essential Animal Behavior chapter 5
Burghardt (1970) Definition
Week 4 - Sept. 25th
This one should be fun! Please post and comment on papers that describe
great animal migrations, or mechanisms of navigation and orientation.
Amazing migrations require amazing mechanisms. We will talk about why
animals migrate as well as how animals migrate. Much of migration relies
upon accurate orientation and navigation. Consider how it is that you
know where you are and where you are going? Without a map, what cues
could you use?
How are these migrations accomplished? What physiological changes occur
in the animals? How do they know the route? What is the role of genes
in establishing migration routes?
Essential Animal Behavior chapter pp 47-56 & 86-92
Emlen S.T. (1969) Bird
migration:influence of physoloigcal state upon celestial orientation.
(note: this one opens in acrobat only. It will not open in prerview)
This classic paper describes a season change in behavior. Appreciate how
far our understanding has come in the past 40 years, but also note that
the simple techniques developed here are still in use today. It is available
in Foundations of Animal Behavior.
Moller A.P. (2001) Heritability of arrival date in a migratory
bird. Proceedings of the Royal Society. 268:203-206.
In this paper, pay attention to whether or not you
are convinced that there is a genetic basis to migratory timing.
Cain, S.D., Boles, L.C.,
Waang, J.H., Lohmann, K.J. (2005) Magnetic
Orientation and Navigation in Marine Turtles, Lobsters, and Molluscs:
Concepts and Conundrums. Integrative and Comparative
This paper provides a good summary of magentic sense in different animals.
There have been some very recent advances in this area (see below) however
we are still far from understanding this sense which is far from our
Liedvogel, M., Maeda,K.,
Henbest,K., Schleicher, E., Simon, T., Timmel, C.R., Hore, P.J., Mouristen,
H. (2007) Chemical Magnetoreception: Bird
Cryptochrome 1a Is Excited by Blue Light and Forms Long-Lived Radical-Pairs
For those (like me) with a less strong background in chemistry and physics
this paper may be a bit dense so focus on the conclusions. There have been
a couple papers in the past year. This would be an exciting topic for a
Lohman, K.J. (1992) How
Sea Turtles Navigate. Scientific American v?:100-106.
or check out his website for some great information and videos, some of
which I will show in class.
and check out the methods on this paper about magnetic orientation in
Begall, S., Cerveny,
J., Neef, j., Vojte, O., and Burda, H. (2008) Magnetic
alignment in grazing and resting
cattle and deer. PNAS 105: 13451–13455.
After a Break
Platt (from last week) heavily references this paper. I found it interesting.
Not often do we read papers from 1890 (except stuff by Darwin). How much of
what Platt has to say still applies today?
Chamberlain, T.C. (1890) The Method of Multiple Working Hypotheses. Science 15:92-97.
note: this one opens only in acrobat, not preview.