What is Fitness?
- An organisms ability to produce offspring. Relative amount within population (compared to others within the population).
Infanticide-The killing of infants in many different species for different reasons. (Lions, Hanuman langurs)
Why does this happen?
- In the 1850’s it was proposed that this could be for population regulation, but this does not help the population.
Hypothesis to explain infanticide
- The pathology hypothesis
- The population regulation hypothesis
- The quicker reproduction hypothesis
The six basic steps in hypothesis testing:
- Observe an interesting pattern- male lions kill cubs
- Determine question of interest- why do male lions commit infanticide?
- Determine the hypotheses- males kill infants to get a female to come back into estrus sooner so he can now mate with her
- Make predictions (“if…then” statements) – if male lions kill infants to gain access to females, then the cubs he kills should not be related to him
- Design, conduct and analyze experiments- collect blood samples of cubs and male lions, test paternity
- Evaluate the hypothesis