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Thinking Scientifically
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1. An infant who is blind smiles at her mother. Why is this evidence that smiling is an innate behavior?

2. Give examples of humans engaged in threat, appeasement, diversion, and displacement behaviors.

3. The modern feral (wild) horse was domesticated 5,000 years ago but has returned to the wild behavior of its ancestors. Even a modern broken horse will revert to wild behavior if allowed to range freely, with stallions stampeding mares, and mock fighting. What type of behavior might explain the primitive actions of the free-ranging modern horse?

4. A dog adopted between 4 and 8 weeks of age often develops closer ties to its owner than one adopted at an older age. What type of behavior accounts for this observation?

5. A taxonomist working in a South American tropical rain forest uncovers a new species of ant. What signs should she look for to determine whether to classify the species as eusocial?

6. In laboratories, naked mole rats are studied in elaborate Plexiglas colonies; bees establish hives in glass-encased honeycombs built into a window; spotted salamanders mate in huge bathtubs. Do you think that researchers using these setups can accurately assess animal behavior? Why or why not? Can you suggest alternative approaches for observing these organisms?


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Additional Questions and Terms

1. Beekeeper Thomas Seeley monitored beehives that he set up in a flower-poor part of the Adirondack Park. He gave the bees sugar-water at feeders. When he allowed 30 foragers to feed, he observed that the bees returned to the hives, passed the food to receiver bees, then performed the waggle dance. But when he let 120 bees collect food and return, the animals performed the tremble dance rather than the waggle dance.

  • a. Why did the 120 bees perform the tremble dance, but the 30 bees did not?
  • b. List steps of scientific inquiry that Seeley might have used in planning the experiment.
  • c. Devise an experiment to test whether degree of sweetness or distance from the hive is more important to honeybee foraging.
  • 2. This chapter describes many experiments. Choose one of the following questions and explain how an experiment helped to interpret why or how something happened.

  • a. How does an insect society adjust when many members of a caste die?
  • b. Is migration of female green turtles mostly innate or mostly learned?
  • c. Do tadpoles cannibalize any tadpoles or those they are not related to?
  • d. What information do bee dances communicate?
  • 3. People from the United States and people of the Minangkabau culture in western Sumatra, Indonesia, have the same facial expressions for disgust, anger, sadness, and fear and experience the same physiological changes with these feelings. Does this suggest that nature (genetics) or nurture (culture) plays a more dominant role in determining facial expressions?

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