# State a prediction that could be tested via experiment | Homework Help

1. a) A badger living in Oklahoma could hunt for either scorpions or ground squirrels (or both). Scorpions provide only 10 calories each, but require only 2 minutes to find, on average, with an aIDitional 3 minutes to remove the stinger; ground squirrels offer 1000 calories, but take an average of 3 hours to find and an aIDitional 90 minutes to capture, kill, and consume. If the badger’s ultimate goal is to maximize its rate of caloric gain, should it forage for squirrels, scorpions, or both? Show your math.

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 Ground squirrel = 1000 calories in 4.5 hrs
 Scorpions = 120 calories/per hr = 540 calories in total
o Therefore, though the rate of prey capture is greater for scorpion hunters, the badger would be better hunting ground squirrels.
o NEED TO SHOW CALCULATIONS FOR FULL MARKS (2/4)

2. If the distribution of individuals over a set of habitats is consistent with ideal free distribution theory, then
a. The fitness of individuals in different habitats will be the same.
b. The areas associated with higher fitness will be occupied before habitats linked to lower fitness.
c. The mean survival time of individuals in the different habitats will be different.
d. Some habitats will attract territorial individuals while others will not.

3. Contest resolution that is mediated by harmless, non-contact threat displays a Darwinian puzzle because
a. The winners of these interactions have nevertheless expended time and energy asserting control of the resources they secure by winning.
b. The losers of these interactions concede defeat without actual fighting and thereby prematurely give up resources that would raise their fitness
c. The winners of these interactions would benefit from injuring or killing those competitors that will again return to challenge them for key resources.
d. The loser’s refusal to fight strips the species of the means by which it could remove excess individuals from the population.

4. Observation: You observe “shaky leaf walking” in a video of a Madagascaranmantid (one of about 1800 species, a member of one of dozens of genera of mantids, and a member of one of eight families of mantids). Hypothesis: The behaviour works because it makes the mantid look like a dried leaf blown about on the leaf litter of the forest floor or a trembling leaf on a low-lying shrub. (10 marks) – answers below only partially correct, make appropriate changes – feedback provided. Below are predictors – things that would results if the test of your hypothesis were accurate so need to reword (see feedback in red for example)

a) State a prediction from this hypothesis that could be tested via aIDitional observation.
(themantid appears like a leaf will be camouflaged to other animals)

b)State a prediction that could be tested via experiment.
(In the exp, the mantid placed in a tank of diff colours will change its colour, etc.)

c). State a prediction that could be tested via the comparative method (use a legitimate example of the comparative method based on the phenomenon of convergent evolution).

d) State a prediction that could be tested via the comparative method (use a legitimate example of the comparative method based on the phenomenon of divergent evolution).

(ex: the shaky leaf walking trait should appear in two or more lineages of mantids separated by other lineages that do not exhibit the trait; several lineages in which shaky walking appeared independently should share similar ecological pressures such as predators that hunt visually and that live in areas with leaf-littered forest floors)

e) State a prediction that illustrates the illegitimate use of the comparative method. After stating your prediction briefly, explain why this prediction would not be accepted by many behavioural biologists.

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