The body consists of many types of specialised cells, from gametes to blood cells, each different cell type having a specific function. In contrast to specialised cells are unspecialised cells, known as stem cells. Because of the unique abilities of stem cells as opposed to a typical somatic cell, they are currently the target of ongoing research. Multiple areas of research are looking into how stem cells can offer new ways of treating disease, such as diabetes or heart disease – a field of medicine known as cell-based therapy or regenerative medicine.
It is recommended that you read ‘An Introduction to the Evolution of Animal Fighting Behaviour‘ before you read this, as there are some concepts explained in the earlier article which are used without explanation in this article.
Success in fighting behaviour is frequency dependent i.e. as the population size increases fighting success [...]
Some organisms tend to exhibit strategies that favour the reproductive success of their relatives, even at a cost to their own survival and/or reproduction. The classic example is a eusocial (highly social) insect colony, with sterile females acting as workers to assist their mother in the production of additional offspring. Many evolutionary biologists explain [...]
Darwinian fitness – The rate of increase of a gene in the population, this is difficult to measure. It describes the capability of an individual of certain genotype to reproduce, and usually is equal to the proportion of the individual’s genes in all the genes of the next generation. If differences in individual genotypes [...]
Tinbergen’s four Questions of Ethology
Explanations to Tinbergen’s questions can be split into two groups; evolutionary (ultimate) and proximate. Ultimate explanations pertain to the evolution of a species and include:
• Function (adaptation) – This type of explanation for animal behaviour usually concerns a trait that is functional to the reproductive success of the organism [...]
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