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Biology 2e

Critical Thinking Questions

Biology 2eCritical Thinking Questions


Describe how a researcher would determine the size of a penguin population in Antarctica using the mark and release method.


The CDC released the following data in its 2013 Vital Statistics report.

Age interval Number dying in age interval Number surviving at beginning of age interval
0-10 756 100,000
11-20 292 99,244
21-30 890 98,953
31-40 1,234 98,164
41-50 2,457 96,811
51-60 5,564 94,352
61-70 10,479 88,788
Table 45.3

Calculate the mortality rate for each age interval, and describe the trends in adult and childhood mortality per 100,000 births in the United States in 2013.


Why is long-term parental care not associated with having many offspring during a reproductive episode?


Describe the difference in evolutionary pressures experienced by an animal that begins reproducing early and an animal that reproduces late in its lifecycle.


Describe the rate of population growth that would be expected at various parts of the S-shaped curve of logistic growth.


Describe how the population of a species that survives a mass extinction event would change in size and growth pattern over time beginning immediately after the extinction event.


Give an example of how density-dependent and density-independent factors might interact.


Describe the age structures in rapidly growing countries, slowly growing countries, and countries with zero population growth.


Since the introduction of the Endangered Species Act the number of species on the protected list has more than doubled. Describe how the human population’s growth pattern contributes to the rise in endangered species.


Describe the competitive exclusion principle and its effects on competing species.


Jaguars are a keystone species in the Amazon. Describe how they can be so essential to the ecosystem despite being significantly less abundant than many other species.


Describe Pavlov’s dog experiments as an example of classical conditioning.


Describe the advantage of using an aural or pheromone signal to attract a mate as opposed to a visual signal. How might the population density contribute to the evolution of aural or visual mating rituals?

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