Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Giant Galapagos tortoise is a very fascinating organism. It spends 16 hours a day taking a nap. The speed of the tortoise is very slow, and it is the largest species of tortoise in the world. One tortoise, named Jonathan, set the world record of the oldest organism on Earth, which is 175 years of age. They can weigh up to 400 kilograms which is 882 pounds and can reach a length of 6ft. The tortoise does not have to compete for food because there are no other organisms similar to it. They are cold blooded, so they need 1 to 2 hours to absorb heat from the Sun. They are most active between early morning and late afternoon. The tortoise has a mutualistic relationship with the Galapagos finch and other small birds. The birds get to eat the parasites on the tortoise while the tortoise is ridden of pests.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

1. If being flashy and colorful attracts predators, why do you think guppies are so colorful?

One reason that the guppies are so colorful is because the genes are passed done from past generations. The bright colors on the males also attract female guppies. The females are more drab and grey, which makes them less visible to their predators. The higher amounts of courtship the male guppy has, the more likely the chance they will be able to mate. Females preferred males with higher courtship rates.

2. After viewing the guppy gallery, pick the fish you find most interesting. What is the fish’s scientific name, origin and average size? Describe the coloration of the fish you chose.

The common name of the fish we chose was the Guppy or the millions fish. The scientific name of it is Poecilla Retriculata. The average size of it is 1.4 inches or 3.5 centimeters. The fish has an orange and black fin on its back and the back tail is a green. The main body of the fish has splotches of yellow and around it is a charcoal black. The lower fin, like the tail, is also green.

3. After viewing the predator gallery, pick the fish you find most interesting. What is the fish’s common name, scientific name, and origin?

The common name of the fish we chose was the Pike Cichlid. The scientific name is the Crenicichla Alta. The average size is 12 inches or 20 centimeters. The fish is mainly pink and it has different hues of the color. Some of the pink shades include, bubble gum pink, a purply pink, dark pink, etc.

4. View the guppy’s habitats, what habitat conditions would affect the predator populations?

Habitat conditions that could affect predator populations include natural rock dams, small pools, and open rivers. Guppies that live above small rock dams face a moderate amount of predators, while guppies that live above large rock dams enjoy little to no predators. Small pools of water can sustain small numbers of guppies, but are not deep enough for larger predators. The place where predators thrive are the large open rivers with lots of water and no hidden places.

5. Who is John Endler? What did he study and where did he study it?

He studied the evolution of guppies and how their colors affected them in Trinidad. DEGREES: B.A. in Zoology, honors with distinction, University of California, Berkeley, 1969. Ph.D. in Zoology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, 1973. Worked with profs. Bryan C. Clarke, Douglas Falconer, and Alan Robertson (Clarke was my Ph.D. supervisor).

6. For each of the three stream areas, describe the guppy coloration

Pool 1: In pool 1, the guppies are extremely bright with multi-colored, large spots. There is a total of 75 guppies in Pool 1. There is also a total of 12 predators in the pool.

Pool 2: In pool 2, the guppies are medium coloration on the body and tail, with medium sized spots. There is a total of 83 guppies in Pool 2 and 22 predators as well.

Pool 3: In pool 3, the males have drab coloration and they have very small spots concentration near the tail. There is a total of 110 guppies Pool 3 and there are 42 predators as well.

7. Develop your own hypothesis about guppy coloration. The hypothesis should answer the questions: Why do guppies in different areas of the stream have difference in coloration? (You can choose from the list on the simulation, or make up your own)

Predators are causing guppy populations to become more drab by preying on the most brightly colored individuals.

8. Describe how predators influence guppy coloration.

Predators influence guppy coloration by eating the guppies that are easiest to find. By way of illustration, if the most vibrant guppies are the easiest to find, the population of the drabbest guppies will surpass the population of the most vibrant.

9. Was your hypothesis correct, use your data to justify your answer.

Our hypothesis was incorrect because the predators preyed mostly on the more drab fish. The brighter fish, overall, had the higher population throughout the whole simulation.

10. What does it mean that “male guppies live in a crossfire between their enemies and their would be mates”?

Male guppies live in a crossfire because if they are brightly coloured they attract the most mates but have a higher chance of getting eaten, but if they are dark coloured they have a harder time attracting mates, but have a lower chance of getting eaten.

11. Why do you think guppies in different areas of the stream have different coloration?

We think that there are different areas of the stream have different coloration because there are different populations in each area. Not every area has the same number of fish. There could be a different amount of drab and bright guppy fish in the area. Unless the fish move from the one area to another, than the population will not change.

12. What would happen to mostly drab guppies that were placed in a stream with very few predators?

If mostly drab guppies were placed in a stream with few predators, their population would would level out with the vibrant guppies.

13. What would happen to brightly colored guppies that were placed in a stream with many predators?

When the bright guppies with all of the predators, they did not survive. The population was only at 1%, but when they there with only two of the predators, 78% of the population of the brighest guppies survived with the Rivulus and Acara. When with just the rivulus, they were at 54%. For Trail 4, their population was 65%. For the bright colored guppies, the population was surprisingly lower. The population started at 14%, and than 22% and 1%. For Trail 4, the bright had the highest percent at 30%.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


What are the ways in which the preserving biodiversity locally might have an global effect?

The protection and preserving of the many bio-diversities is key. The animals and plants can be helpful to scientists for medical purposes and helping to discover new species. If we preserve them, then we will not have to worry about the loss in future medical assistance and the preservation of the habitats. Every habitat in vital to the natural balance of the Earth, it is there for a reason. If one goes, it will upset the balance, and the entire world will be effected.

How do habitat destruction and loss of species effect more than just one area?

Weather patterns can affect more than one area, and they can change for the loss of a certain biodiversity. Also there is a destruction in the oceans is major and it will affect the population of certain species of fish and sea life. The sharks are being killed for their fins, to create shark fin soup, which is a delicacy in Japan. Sharks are the greatest predatory fish, and without them the population of their prey will dramatically increase. Whaling is also has an impact on the ocean's populations. Without whales, who is there to eat the krill and plankton? With no one to eat them, their population grows. Habitat destruction is not only at sea. It affects inland, too. 12.5% of Earth's plants are rare and the rate in deforestation is going up. If we cut down too many trees, our oxygen and carbon dioxide balance will not be even. This will affect more than one area. Humans are dependent on oxygen to survive, and trees are one of the main producers of it. Without the trees, how do we breathe? It is VITAL to us.

How does preserving biodiversity enhance the life of people?

There are many medicines that have not been discovered, and if we destroy the fragile bio-diversities we will lose this benefit. There can be the cure for cancer for all we know it, but we may never know this. In the last 20 years, there has been a increase in the excitement for medicines from the variety biodiversity. Scientific American said, " Habitat loss and escalating, uncontrolled exploitation make a lethal combination to species of biomedical interest." 10% to 30% of species are threatened to be extinct. What if one of the species is the key to solving the next outbreak of disease or plaque? If we destroy them, we destroy the chance of longer lives.