Mating behavior and inclusive fitness
Created by Brooke Miller.
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- For anyone interested in seeing the dance of "superb bird of the paradise" : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dx2CUMtZ-0(29 votes)
- Just a note, the "superb bird of paradise" which you show in the video has been renamed the Greater Superb Bird of Paradise since it has been split into two species. https://peerj.com/articles/4621/(2 votes)
- What is the difference between Inclusive fitness, and kin selection?(4 votes)
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inclusive_fitness: "Inclusive fitness is more generalized than strict kin selection....Inclusive fitness is not limited to cases where "kin" ('close genetic relatives') are involved." So there may be instances in which an organism is altruistic to another organism that is not technically is "kin" but does share similar genes. Admittedly, this seems like a pretty contrived situation, but its just more general.
Although this is slightly beyond the scope of MCAT content, you might note that inclusive fitness is NOT group selection. Group selection is when selection occurs at the level of the group rather than the individual/gene (although the effects group selection may presumably cascade down to the lower levels). Group selection can be proven mathematically to be a possibility, but its actual importance in the "real world" is hotly debated. This stuff is subtle, so you may want take my comments (and pretty much anyones comments) on this topic with a grain of salt.(4 votes)
- At first I just thought she was really bad at drawing birds. But then I looked up the superb bird of paradise and it actually looks like that.(5 votes)
- How does inclusive fitness explain altruism in people who help others without genetic similarities to themselves? E.g. Red Cross supporters, blood donors, etc.(4 votes)
- Here is how I think it might work, very simplistically. Our world is so much more than close kinship groups. By living in a state that provides services paid for by taxes, you get a stake in everybody else. If you pay taxes to help educate people, it makes sense to ensure that they get over that depression, and that blood is available at all times, so that those people can go out and generate more taxes after the depression/traffic accident/problematic birth, and in turn help educate your children and get on with their lives, instead of forcing a situation where you will have to provide for their orphaned children. Especially when it can be done with little cost to yourself. Many people recognize that in order for there to be a blood transfusion option if you or your close kin will die without it, there needs to be a superfluous. It is impractical to keep private blood banks, because blood cannot be kept indefinitely. And the need of one person may be much greater than what close kin can supply. In fact, because of different blood groups sometimes close kin cannot donate blood to each other. None of my close relatives can donate to me, but in a pinch I could donate to all of them. However, I'm not sure if "without genetic similarities" is entirely correct. I do share at least some important genes with everyone of the same blood type. Somewhere down the line I may have descendants that will have my blood type, and their lives may depend on the "sharing of blood" between 0 Rh- In fact, the more Rh- people there are about the easier it will be to reproduce. Less worries about babies being incompatible with mother (it still kills, even where medicine is available). Less problems for the close family members finding a blood donor...(2 votes)
- Do an iguana that changes colors and blinds in with its surroundings(1 vote)
- The drawing is actually pretty accurate...(1 vote)
- Wouldn't inclusive fitness provide an explanation for Freud's phallic psychosexual phase?(1 vote)
- In the Phallic stage of psychosexual development, a boy's decisive experience is the Oedipus complex describing his son–father competition for sexual possession of mother. This has nothing to do with inclusive fitness where an organism’s genetic success is believed to be derived from cooperation and altruistic behavior. Inclusive fitness theory suggests that altruism among organisms who share a given percentage of genes enables those genes to be passed on to subsequent generations. In this way, an altruistic act that supports the survival of a relative or other individual theoretically enhances the genetic fitness of both the recipient of the act and the altruistic organism.(1 vote)
- Would you say then that inclusive fitness predisposes one to be discriminate toward others that look dissimilar to them? To me, it almost sounds like it justifies discrimination. People will only act if it benefits them and their gene pool. Is this why there is discrimination against individuals that have syndromes altering their appearance? Because it is a potential threat if that person with that syndrome mates within the same gene pool as a person that looks different than them? I hope my question makes sense.(1 vote)
- in the will smith movie hitch, will smith plays a man's helper to aid others in falling in love and one of the tactics to getting the first date is shock and awe. shock and awe appears what the superb bird of paradise does as well to entice mating, anyone agree?(1 vote)
- At1:00, it mentions that the criteria for Random Mating means that all individuals are potential partners. Does this account for sex? ie, all individuals of the opposite sex are potential partners, or is this more for hermaphroditic species?(1 vote)
- [Voiceover] Mating is the pairing of opposite sex organisms for the purpose of reproduction, and the subsequent propagation of genetic material. And this includes the actual act of mating, but it can also refer to all of the other behaviors that could be associated with this process. This could include things like elaborate mating dances, and a good example of this is the superb bird of paradise, and yes, that is its real name. When the male superb bird of paradise wants to attract a female, he does kind of a complicated dance that involves him bouncing around, and then fluffing out his feathers in such a way that it kind of looks like a face, and I have a drawing of what it looks like here, but this is something that you should go on YouTube and watch a clip of, because it is really pretty fantastic and ridiculous. Other behaviors that would be included under mating behaviors would be things that happen after mating. Things like nest-building, or feeding the young. In terms of searching for a mate, animals use many different mating strategies. The first one is random mating, which would describe a situation where all individuals within a species are potential partners, meaning that they all are equally likely to mate with each other. And so, random mating is not influenced by environment, or heredity, or any kind of behavioral or a social limitation. And this can be a pretty good strategy, because it ensures a large amount of genetic diversity. There are also a number of non-random mating strategies, or cases where each individual is not equally likely to be chosen as a mate. For example, assortative mating is a strategy where individuals with certain similarities, either in genotypes or phenotypes, or genes or physical appearance, tend to mate with each other at a higher frequency. For example, large animals tend to mate with large animals, and small animals tend to mate with other small animals. And while this can generally be seen as a pretty good mating strategy, the mating of two individuals who are too genetically similar to each other, which is also known as in-breeding, tends to weaken a population overall, because it can increase the likelihood that harmful recessive traits will be passed along to offspring. Disassortative mating, or non-assortative mating, is the opposite of assortative mating. So, with assortative mating, individuals with similar traits were more likely to mate. In contrast, non-assortative mating describes a situation where individuals with different, or diverse, traits mate at a higher frequency than we would see with random mating. And you might be wondering which of these strategies is better. And that's actually kind of an odd question, but in general, I would say that scientists would point to assortative mating, because despite the dangers of in-breeding, it can generally help to increase the inclusive fitness of an organism. And I might as well point out that this concept, inclusive fitness, is one that I struggled with when I was in college, and so I'm going to try to break it down as well as I can. The inclusive fitness of an organism concerns the number of offspring an animal has, how they support them, and how their offspring could support each other. So typically, we think about fitness on an individual level, that an individual creature, on some level, wants to be able to reproduce, and pass on his or her genes. But inclusive fitness is trying to think about this on a slightly larger level. It points out that because close relatives of an individual tend to have similar genes, it would be evolutionarily advantageous for an animal to promote the reproduction and survival of closely related individuals, as well as him or herself, meaning that it is not only our individual genes, but also highly related genes, that it would be advantageous to promote. And that's what we mean when we talk about inclusive fitness. And I think that this concept can help us solve some of the problems that people tend to have with evolution. When people talk about evolution, they tend to focus on things like survival of the fittest, which, if taken literally, would predict that animals, including humans, might be predisposed to act selfishly, to do whatever would be necessary to live the longest, and reproduce the most. But of course, most people don't really act like that. They're kind to other people. They help others. And this is actually what inclusive fitness accounts for, because it predicts that we will behave helpfully and altruistically towards those with genes similar to our own, and that is exactly what we see. Studies about human altruism show that people are more likely to behave altruistically towards people who share the same last name with them, which is a modern cue of possible relatedness, and therefore, shared genetic material.