Distinguishing relatives at the level of cousin

This is an assignment that focuses on distinguishing relatives at the level of cousin(r=o.125). The paper also contains nine other question to choose from.

Distinguishing relatives at the level of cousin


1.      What might be some of the benefits to gauging very small differences in genetic kinship relationships? Why, for example, would it be better able to distinguish relatives at the level of cousin (r = 0.125) than simply sibling (r = 0.5)? What sorts of benefits might be possible when small differences in relatedness could be gauged? What kind of issues could arise if not?

2.      Imagine that you are studying two populations of tropical lizards that inhabit areas where high- quality food items are distributed patchily (i.e., it would take some time to travel from patch to patch). Lizard population A inhabits an area where predation risk (e.g., birds of prey) are high while lizard population B inhabits an area with low predation risk. How might you expect foraging patterns to differ between these two lizards populations with respect to the time spent in a given patch? Construct your argument by modifying what you have learned about the marginal value theorem.

3.      Pick your animal of choice, and sketch what a normal time budget (how much time it spends feeding, sleeping, mating, and so on) might look like for this animal. Now, besides the direct time spent looking for predators, examine how increased predation risk might directly or indirectly affect all the behaviors on your time budget.

Distinguishing relatives at the level of cousin

4.      Some prey, particularly birds, mob their predators and harass them until the predators leave. List some of the costs and benefits associated with such mobbing, and construct a hypothesis for what sorts of habitat and social environments might favor mobbing.

5.      Suppose you are studying a heretofore unexamined species of primates. During your observations, you note that individuals often throw heavy rocks against trees, causing a large “booming” sound. You speculate that individuals are communicating to one another using this technique. How might you go about testing this hypothesis?

6.      Make a general list of the costs and benefits of territoriality. Using that list, determine what sort of environments would generally favor the formation of long-term territories.

7.      A number of studies have suggested that loser effects are both more common and more dramatic than winner effects. Construct a hypothesis as to why this might be. How could you test your hypothesis?

8.      If stress-related hormones such as cortisol often inhibit learning and/or memory, how might that compound the difficulties subordinate fish face in trying to raise their rank in hierarchies?

9.      Recall from the start of the chapter 16 Gordon Burghardt’s work with play in turtles. How could this sort of study help in the design of animal habitats in zoos?