Class 3, Feb 23:
You will be able to describe mechanisms that lead to the evolutionary origin and maintenance of acoustic communication systems.
Answer the questions below (on Piazza) and read the chapters linked below in the order that they are mentioned in the assignment.
Due Monday Feb 22 before midnight.
Before you start reading, write down your own definition of a signal. After you read Bradbury & Vehrencamp chapter 1, describe the important differences between your first definition and the scientific definition used in the book chapter.
In Bradbury & Vehrencamp chapter 1, in the ‘Signal evolution’ section, the authors give an example of how a visual display signal that is part of a sexual display could develop over evolutionary time. Describe (in detail) an equivalent example of how an acoustic signal could arise over evolutionary time.
Now, read Searcy & Nowicki chapter 1. You’ll see from this chapter that signals that persist over evolutionary time are ‘honest’ signals. This is one of the central principles in signal evolution. Apply this concept to the example of an acoustic signal you gave above. What is likely to maintain the honesty of your signal in the example you gave? What would happen over evolutionary time if your signal were deceitful? We will further explore acoustic signal evolution and the mechanisms that maintain signal honesty in class.