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Animal behavior research – Sexual selection

Lab 8

For lab 8, you will have an opportunity to engage in some animal behavior research yourself!  You should find an animal that you can actually observe in your everyday life that illustrates one or more of the concepts we’ve learned about in the course (parental investment theory, sexual selection, exotic mating behavior, etc…)

If you cannot observe the mating behavior yourself, you can use the observation of animal behavior as an inspiration to tell us about what may be known about the animal’s habits.  In other words, even if you can’t witness mating behavior you can use an animal that interests you.  For example, male house cats have been documented practicing infanticide of already present kitten litters when they take over a new territory.

The theory is that by doing this, the resident adult females will enter estrus sooner (which improves the mating prospects of the murderous male).  Hopefully, you won’t witness such a horrific act, but you could observe your house cat and supplement this observation with research about their mating behavior.  Good places to find inspiration include your local parks, zoos, aquariums, and pet stores.

For a final product, you should write a 500 word mini-report that includes at least three research references about your topic and you should attempt to take a selfie next to your organism of choice (perhaps looking horrified if you are catching them Inflagrantedelicto)  You should include the references and selfie in a word document.

Last Updated on February 18, 2018

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