The answers to the questions are from Chapter 7 (Sexual Selection), Chapter 13 (Communication), Chapter 16 (Play), and Chapter 17 (Personality) of the textbook.
You must NOT access other sources. Your answers must be yours – your own thinking, and in your own words.
For each of your responses be sure to explain your reasoning. Support your responses by using evidence, using examples when appropriate, showing an understanding of the relevant theory/concepts. BE SPECIFIC, DETAILED, AND EXPLICIT in your answers.
1. What is individual variation? Provide specific types of individual variation of behavior. Supporting your argument with scientific theory and evidence, why does individual variation of behavior exist within a population and why might individual variation of behavior persist (evolutionarily) throughout generations in a population? Your essay must address the existence and persistence of individual variation of behavior at the four levels of analysis (mechanistic, developmental, survival, and evolutionary history) and through the three foundations (natural selection, individual learning, and cultural transmission).
2. Choose either A or B
A. Bacteria often release chemicals that affect other bacteria in their vicinity and ants use chemical trails to direct other ants to food. Should these phenomena be considered a type of communication? Carefully explain and defend your reasoning.
B. Imagine you are studying a group of amphibian species that vary in their habitats, some living in dense, murky water and others living in very clear ponds. What kind of communication problems exist in each environment? What differences in communication systems would be expected across the species given the habitat differences?
3. Construct your own scientifically-sound definition of play. Explain your reasoning for this definition. Using a combination of behavioral, neuroethological and endocrinological measures, how could you test whether play led to positive emotional states in the non-human animals being studied?
4. Intrasexual selection involves competition among one sex (typically males) for mating access to the other sex. Intersexual selection involves mate choice in which individuals from one sex (typically females) choose their mates from among individuals of the other sex. Imagine a group of males that is engaged in agonistic behavior, from which Male A emerges triumphant. Now imagine a female that is assessing all of the males that were involved in the fights, and chooses Male A. Explain why this situation shows how intrasexual and intersexual selection pressures are likely both at play in trait selection.
For more information on Types of Communication read this: https://drexel.edu/goodwin/professional-studies-blog/overview/2018/July/Five-types-of-communication/
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