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Developmental Plasticity And Evolution

Author: Mary Jane West-Eberhard
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195122350
Size: 65.97 MB
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West-Eberhard is widely recognized as one of the most incisive thinkers in evolutionary biology. This book assesses all the evidence for our current understanding of the role of changes in body plan and development for the process of speciation. The process of evolution is systematically reassessed to integrate the insights coming from developmental genetics. Every serious student of evolution, and a substantial share of developmental biologists and geneticists, will need to take note of this contribution. The timing is clearly ripe for the synthesis that this work will help bring about.

Plasticity Robustness Development And Evolution

Author: Patrick Bateson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 113949628X
Size: 41.37 MB
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How do we understand and explain the apparent dichotomy between plasticity and robustness in the context of development? Can we identify these complex processes without resorting to 'either/or' solutions? Written by two leaders in the field, this is the first book to fully unravel the complexity of the subject, explaining that the epigenetic processes generating plasticity and robustness are in fact deeply intertwined. It identifies the different mechanisms that generate robustness and the various forms of plasticity, before considering the functional significance of the integrated mechanisms and how the component processes might have evolved. Finally, it highlights the ways in which epigenetic mechanisms could be instrumental in driving evolutionary change. Essential reading for biologists and psychologists interested in epigenetics and evolution, this book is also a valuable resource for biological anthropologists, sociobiologists, child psychologists and paediatricians.

Phenotypic Plasticity

Author: Massimo Pigliucci
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801867880
Size: 76.46 MB
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"The most comprehensive book on this topic. It provides both a solid basis for understanding the subject and an inspiring synthesis of the current state of the discipline." -- Nature

Developmental Plasticity

Author: Eugene Gollin
Publisher: Elsevier
ISBN: 0323157203
Size: 75.58 MB
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Developmental Plasticity: Behavioral and Biological Aspects of Variations in Development explores the behavioral and biological aspects of variations in development from a variety of theoretical viewpoints and research contexts. Topics covered include evolution and genetic variability; sensory bases of infant perception; and learning and ethology. The infancy of human learning processes is also discussed, along with epistemology and developmental psychology. Comprised of eight chapters, this book opens with a review of the broad evolutionary landscape and the specific genetic mechanisms implicated in biological and behavioral development. It then describes the sensory apparatus available to neonatal human beings and analyzes the similarities and differences between ethological theory and learning theory. Developmental plasticity is also examined in interdisciplinary contexts, while the acquisition of behavior patterns during early postnatal development is explored from a traditional learning theory point of view. The remaining chapters focus on the role played by asymmetry in general and by cerebral asymmetry in particular in the generation of individuality; cultural and biological instances of plasticity in development; and the barriers separating epistemology from developmental psychology and psycholinguistics. This monograph will be a useful resource for developmental psychologists and other professionals devoted to child development and learning, as well as those in the fields of genetics and behavioral and biological sciences.

Sensory Ecology Behaviour And Evolution

Author: Martin Stevens
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191651478
Size: 61.69 MB
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Throughout their lives animals must complete many tasks, including finding food, avoiding predators, attracting mates, and navigating through a complex and dynamic environment. Consequently, they have evolved a staggering array of sensory organs that are fundamental to survival and reproduction and shape much of their evolution and behaviour. Sensory ecology deals with how animals acquire, process, and use information in their lives, and the sensory systems involved. It investigates the type of information that is gathered by animals, how it is used in a range of behaviours, and the evolution of such traits. It deals with both mechanistic questions (e.g. how sensory receptors capture information from the environment, and how the physical attributes of the environment affect information transmission) and functional questions (e.g. the adaptive significance of the information used by the animal to make a decision). Recent research has dealt more explicitly with how sensory systems are involved with and even drive evolutionary change, including the formation of new species. Sensory Ecology, Behaviour, and Evolution provides a broad introduction to sensory ecology across a wide range of taxonomic groups, covering all the various sensory modalities (e.g. sound, visual, chemical, magnetic, and electric) relating to diverse areas spanning anti-predator strategies, foraging, mate choice, navigation and more, with the aim being to illustrate key principles and differences. This accessible textbook is suitable for senior undergraduates, graduate students, and professional academics taking courses or conducting research in sensory ecology/biology, neuroethology, behavioural and evolutionary ecology, communication, and signalling. It will also be of relevance and use to psychologists interested in sensory information and behaviour.

Evolution

Author: Wallace Arthur
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781444392265
Size: 13.80 MB
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This book is aimed at students taking courses on evolution in universities and colleges. Its approach and its structure are very different from previously-published evolution texts. The core theme in this book is how evolution works by changing the course of embryonic and post-embryonic development. In other words, it is an evolution text that has been very much influenced by the new approach of evolutionary developmental biology, or 'evo-devo'. Key themes include the following: developmental repatterning; adaptation and coadaptation; gene co-option; developmental plasticity; the origins of evolutionary novelties and body plans; and evolutionary changes in the complexity of organisms. As can be seen from this list, the book includes information across the levels of the gene, the organism, and the population. It also includes the issue of mapping developmental changes onto evolutionary trees. The examples used to illustrate particular points range widely, including animals, plants and fossils. "I have really enjoyed reading this book. One of the strengths of the book is the almost conversational style. I found the style easy to read, but also feel that it will be invaluable in teaching. One of our tasks in university level teaching is to develop students' critical thinking skills. We need to support them in their intellectual development from a "just the facts" approach to being able to make critical judgements based on available evidence. The openness and honesty with which Arthur speaks to uncertainty in science is refreshing and will be a baseline for discussions with students." -Professor Patricia Moore, Exeter University "This book, written as an undergraduate text, is a really most impressive book. Given the burgeoning interest in the role of developmental change in evolution in recent times, this will be a very timely publication. The book is well structured and, like the author's other books, very well written. He communicates with a clear, lucid style and has the ability to explain even the more difficult concepts in an accessible manner." ---Professor Kenneth McNamara, University of Cambridge The companion site can be found at www.wiley.com/go/arthur/evolution. Here you download all figures from the book, captions, tables, and table of contents.

Towards A Theory Of Development

Author: Alessandro Minelli
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191651184
Size: 75.11 MB
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Is it possible to explain and predict the development of living things? What is development? Articulate answers to these seemingly innocuous questions are far from straightforward. To date, no systematic, targeted effort has been made to construct a unifying theory of development. This novel work offers a unique exploration of the foundations of ontogeny by asking how the development of living things should be understood. It explores the key concepts of developmental biology, asks whether general principles of development can be discovered, and examines the role of models and theories. The two editors (one a biologist with long interest in the theoretical aspects of his discipline, the other a philosopher of science who has mainly worked on biological systems) have assembled a team of leading contributors who are representative of the scientific and philosophical community within which a diversity of thoughts are growing, and out of which a theory of development may eventually emerge. They analyse a wealth of approaches to concepts, models and theories of development, such as gene regulatory networks, accounts based on systems biology and on physics of soft matter, the different articulations of evolution and development, symbiont-induced development, as well as the widely discussed concepts of positional information and morphogenetic field, the idea of a 'programme' of development and its critiques, and the long-standing opposition between preformationist and epigenetic conceptions of development. Towards a Theory of Development is primarily aimed at students and researchers in the fields of 'evo-devo', developmental biology, theoretical biology, systems biology, biophysics, and the philosophy of science.

Evolution S Wedge

Author: David Pfennig
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520954041
Size: 73.28 MB
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Evolutionary biology has long sought to explain how new traits and new species arise. Darwin maintained that competition is key to understanding this biodiversity and held that selection acting to minimize competition causes competitors to become increasingly different, thereby promoting new traits and new species. Despite Darwin’s emphasis, competition’s role in diversification remains controversial and largely underappreciated. In their synthetic and provocative book, evolutionary ecologists David and Karin Pfennig explore competition's role in generating and maintaining biodiversity. The authors discuss how selection can lessen resource competition or costly reproductive interactions by promoting trait evolution through a process known as character displacement. They further describe character displacement’s underlying genetic and developmental mechanisms. The authors then consider character displacement’s myriad downstream effects, ranging from shaping ecological communities to promoting new traits and new species and even fueling large-scale evolutionary trends. Drawing on numerous studies from natural populations, and written for a broad audience, Evolution’s Wedge seeks to inspire future research into character displacement’s many implications for ecology and evolution.

Freaks Of Nature

Author: Mark Blumberg
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198043430
Size: 36.74 MB
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In most respects, Abigail and Brittany Hensel are normal American twins. Born and raised in a small town, they enjoy a close relationship, though each has her own tastes and personality. But the Hensels also share a body. Their two heads sit side-by-side on a single torso, with two arms and two legs. They have not only survived, but have developed into athletic, graceful young women. And that, writes Mark S. Blumberg, opens an extraordinary window onto human development and evolution. In Freaks of Nature, Blumberg turns a scientist's eye on the oddities of nature, showing how a subject once relegated to the sideshow can help explain some of the deepest complexities of biology. Why, for example, does a two-headed human so resemble a two-headed minnow? What we need to understand, Blumberg argues, is that anomalies are the natural products of development, and it is through developmental mechanisms that evolution works. Freaks of Nature induces a kind of intellectual vertigo as it upends our intuitive understanding of biology. What really is an anomaly? Why is a limbless human a "freak," but a limbless reptile-a snake-a successful variation? What we see as deformities, Blumberg writes, are merely alternative paths for development, which challenge both the creature itself and our ability to fit it into our familiar categories. Rather than mere dead-ends, many anomalies prove surprisingly survivable-as in the case of the goat without forelimbs that learned to walk upright. Blumberg explains how such variations occur, and points to the success of the Hensel sisters and the goat as examples of the extraordinary flexibility inherent in individual development. In taking seriously a subject that has often been shunned as discomfiting and embarrassing, Mark Blumberg sheds new light on how individuals-and entire species-develop, survive, and evolve.

The Evolution Of Childhood

Author: Melvin Konner
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674045668
Size: 13.20 MB
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With an eye to the entire range of human evolutionary history, a study of human development examines cross-cultural and universal characteristics of growth from infancy to adolescence.