The Ptarmigan's Dilemma: An Exploration into How Life Organizes and Supports Itself

Winner of the 2010 Lane Anderson Award

Drawing on step forward study in evolution, genetics, and on their vast paintings within the box and lab, flora and fauna biologists John and Mary Theberge clarify for non-scientists the true proof of life.

Birds that without warning develop gall bladders, whilst their species has none. Moose with antlers so sizeable they encumber their circulation during the wooded area. Butterflies that chance extinction by means of overwintering en masse. those are only a number of tales the Theberges inform of their exam of what the mechanisms of evolution are and the way they paintings. With examples from the very newest discoveries in genetics and ones they've got made of their personal box paintings, The Ptarmigan's Dilemma is a ground-breaking rationalization of evolution for non-scientists.

By marrying the separate sciences of ecology and genetics, the Theberges paint an image a ways richer than both self-discipline can by myself of ways, for nearly four billion years, lifestyles in the world has developed into the wealthy range that is less than risk at the present time. alongside the way in which, they clarify simply what "the survival of the fittest" rather capacity, how dramatic evolutionary alterations can occur in precisely one iteration, and the way our too-little wisdom of or curiosity in how lifestyles in the world organizes and helps itself is speedily making us a chance to ourselves.

Show description

Quick preview of The Ptarmigan's Dilemma: An Exploration into How Life Organizes and Supports Itself PDF

Best Biology books

Marine Mammals of the World: A Comprehensive Guide to Their Identification

With insurance on the entire marine mammals of the area, authors Jefferson, Webber, and Pitman have created a effortless advisor to spot marine mammals alive in nature (at sea or at the beach), useless specimens “in hand”, and likewise to spot marine mammals in keeping with gains of the cranium. this convenient consultant presents marine biologists and lay individuals with unique descriptions of diagnostic good points, illustrations of exterior visual appeal, appealing images, dichotomous keys, and extra.

Epigenetic Principles of Evolution (Elsevier Insights)

This is often the 1st and merely publication, to date, to accommodate the causal foundation of evolution from an epigenetic view. by means of revealing the epigenetic "user" of the "genetic toolkit", this e-book demonstrates the primacy of epigenetic mechanisms and epigenetic info in producing evolutionary novelties. the writer convincingly helps his concept with a bunch of examples from the main assorted fields of biology, via emphasizing alterations in developmental pathways because the easy resource of evolutionary switch in metazoans.

Conservation Biology: Evolution in Action

The most aim of this publication is to inspire and formalize the infusion of evolutionary pondering into mainstream conservation biology. It experiences the evolutionary foundations of conservation concerns, and unifies conceptual and empirical advances in evolutionary conservation biology. The ebook can be utilized both as a chief textbook or as a supplementary studying in a sophisticated undergraduate or graduate point path - prone to be known as Conservation Biology or at times Evolutionary Ecology.

Introduction to Genomics

Our genome is the blueprint to our life: it encodes the entire details we have to increase from a unmarried telephone right into a highly advanced useful organism. yet how will we determine the genes that make up our genome? How will we be sure their functionality? and the way do various genes shape the regulatory networks that direct the methods of lifestyles?

Additional resources for The Ptarmigan's Dilemma: An Exploration into How Life Organizes and Supports Itself

Show sample text content

Very important in Chitty’s speculation is the function of territorial behaviour, right here leading to limits on inhabitants development by way of denying land to a few contributors (the doomed surplus). This function is significantly diverse from territorial behaviour that purely areas animals out to slot the on hand land or assets, passively influencing the density of the inhabitants by way of performing “like a supple, expandable disk, expanding or lowering with the provision of foodstuff” (as defined in bankruptcy 5). against this, right here territorial behaviour is extra like a compressible rubber ball held within the hand.

For them, this used to be the season of lots. So it was once, too, for lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena, jackal. Little might visit waste. The wildebeest adult females could drop their calves all inside a couple of days, synchronized via common choice to weigh down potential predators. nonetheless, lots might die. Of part 1000000 wildebeest calves born, tens of millions might succumb to predation, hunger, or ailment – existence at the African savannah is frustrating. eight still, it's the availability of forage that retains the wildebeest inhabitants at greater than 1000000.

Yet now, after having been studied from facets – behavioural and physiological – new which means is rising from birdsong that gives an in-depth investigate the intricacies of variations, the very stuff of organic good fortune. BIRDSONG, continuously history to our spring and summer time fieldwork, took on dramatic new that means for us in 2000 once we moved to British Columbia. Then, comprehending its intricacies grew to become a spotlight of our study. we needed to check using music as a behavioural device in making species differences, in addition to the traditional equipment of genetics and actual visual appeal.

R. Perissinotto and E. V. Pakhomov. “The trophic function of the tunicate Salpa thompsoni within the Antarctic marine ecosystem,” magazine of Marine technology 17 (1998): 361–74. additionally, C. D. Dubischar, and U. V. Bathmann. “Grazing affects of copepods and salps on phytoplankton within the Atlantic area of the southern ocean,” Deep Sea learn half II: Topical stories in Oceanography forty four (1997): 415–433. 35. M. A. Moline, H. Claustre, T. ok. Frazer, O. Schofields, and M. Vernet. “Alteration of the nutrition net alongside the Antarctic Peninsula in keeping with a nearby warming trend,” worldwide switch Biology 10 (2004): 1973–80.

Dymov, M. Szyf, and M. Meaney. “Epigenetic programming through maternal behaviour,” Nature Neuroscience 7 (2004): 847–54. 15. D. okay. Belyaev. “Destabilizing choice as an element in domestication,” magazine of Heredity 70 (1979): 301–8. (Cited by means of Jablonka and Lamb, 259–260. ) sixteen. R. Lewin, Complexity, lifestyles on the fringe of chaos (New York: Macmillan Publishing corporation, 1992), 63–83. 17. Jablonka and Lamb, 273 and 358. This publication presents a overview of epigenetics and weaves it via different assets of inheritance from web page 113 onward.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.17 of 5 – based on 36 votes

About admin