Week 5 - Sept. 30th
There are several good papers up on moodle. Have a look at one or two
and think about the costs and benefits of migration. Also, lets start
to think about mechanism. How do animals know when, what direction
and how far to migrate?
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 pp 47-56 & 86-92
Emlen S.T. (1969) Bird
migration:influence of physoloigcal state upo 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 Biology 45:539-546.
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 own umwelt.
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 PLOSone 10:e1106
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 website.
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.
Week 5 - Oct. 2nd - Discussion Day
Neural Basis of Behavior in Birds.
will stick with the nervous system theme and look at plasticity of the
nervous system. We will use this topic to address an issue that arises
in the Nature vs. Nurture debate, or the debate of Learned vs. Innate
as the early ethologist used to classify behavior. Throughout ontogeny,
an organisms behavior may change, it may also change according to season,
or it may change in response to external stimuli and experience (this
is called learning). These behavioral changes that occur on longer time
scales are often dependent upon changes in the nervous system. To keep
this topic to a manageable size, we will focus on bird brains and the
neural circuits that underlie the production of song.
Essential Animal Behavior p 66-76
Marler and Tamura (1964) Culturally
Transmitted Patterns of Vocal Behavior in Sparrows. Science 146:1483-1486.
also available in Foundations of Animal Behavior.
Marler (2004) Innateness and
the instinct to learn. Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences 76:189-200.
Brenowitz, E.A., Margoliash,
D., and Nordeen, K.W. (1997) An introduction to birdsong and the
avian song system. Journal of Neurobiology 33:495-500.
(Discussion Question Day on the
Pay attention to how this is different from into-bio texts:
West_Eberhard (2005) Developmental
plasticity and the origin of species differences. PNAS 102:6543– 6549.
Following the suggestion of a student from last year, I've also included
two reviews of West-Eberhard's book These reviews may help you to understand
some of the debate that surrounds her claims and should be consulted
as you prepare answers to the questions.
Answer one of the short answer questions and one of the essay questions
1) In your own words, possibly with a bit of reading outside of West
Eberhard, describe the "Neo-Darwinian Synthesis" (also known
as "the modern synthesis") and find out who some of the major
2) Though it isn't central to understanding this paper, if you don't
know what meiotic drive is, look it up, and then describe in your own
words how selection acts differently on those genes that are involved
in meiotic drive.
3) What is meant by the term "evolutionary potential"?
4) Go back to Thierry's paper from the second week.
Identify points on which Thierry and West-Eberhard agree.
Identify points on which Thierry and West-Ebrahard would not agree.
5) Read both of the reviews of West-Eberhard's recent book. Based upon
her arguments in the assigned paper, decide which reviewer you agree
with and prepare a short (~ paragraph) review of the assigned paper from
your position. Draw statements, or examples from her paper to support