This unit definitely takes the prize for the least number of chapters in Campbell’s; everything’s in Chapter 51. However, this does mean that you need to have this chapter down pretty darn well, and understand some concepts from outside Campbell’s.

The first place to start with ethology is definitely Campbell’s Chapter 51. Really make sure you understand these concepts fully. After this, there are plenty of great resources we recommend. First and foremost, do practice problems! Like genetics, ethology has a lot of analytical problems, so practice always helps. Apart from tests, the Sparknotes animal behavior page has lots of good info. Make sure you understand concepts like coefficient of relatedness and game theory.

Since there isn’t too much more to say about ethology prep, I’ll leave you with a couple fun questions to puzzle over!

  1. Several of Person A’s fourth cousins are standing in a dangerous area. If Person A runs over to get them to move, Person A gains a 30% chance of dying, but causes the cousins to each have a 20% chance of dying instead of 30%. How many cousins does there need to be to make it advantageous for Person A to convince them to move?
  2. In honeybees, males are haploid. Let’s say the Queen bee and a male bee have offspring A. If offspring A and the SAME male bee have offspring B, what percent of the Queen’s genes are in offspring B? What about if offspring A had offspring B with a different male bee?
  3. Which of the following are ethological studies? Select all that apply.
    1. Viewing the reaction of an isolated rat heart to a high concentration salt solution
    2. Assessing the ability of a rat to run a maze after having ingested a high concentration salt solution
    3. Assessing the ability of a unharmed rat to run a maze
    4. Viewing the rat’s foraging technique when predation pressure is limited in a natural habitat
    5. Viewing the rat’s foraging technique under normal conditions in a natural habitat