Animal Weapons

Animal Weapons Research Paper

This project will span the course of the next few weeks. Classroom time will be given to work on important details of the project such as research and APA formatting, but the majority of writing will require you to complete this assignment outside of class.

Schedule of important computer lab/in-class work days.

Tuesday March 5

  • Introduce the paper (Classroom)
  • Discuss research and online databases for research.
  • Assign animal species.

Thursday March 7 (Library)

  • Research day
  • Complete the outline worksheet with sources of information documented

Monday March 11

  • Introduce APA formatting (Library)
  • Work on constructing first draft using APA guidelines

Friday March 15

  • First draft due

Friday March 22

  • Hand back edited and graded first draft
  • In-class time to work on final paper.

Monday April 1

  • Final Paper Due

No more than two students will be assigned the following animal species. Other species may be considered for the project on a case-by-case bases as approved by Mr. Tuss.

1. Peppered Moth Biston betularia – (Industrial Melanism/Natural Selection)

2. Stalked-Eyed Fly Cyrtodiopsis dalmanni – (Sexual selection)

3. Saber-Toothed Cat Smilodon fatalis – (Predation adaptation)

4. Mantis Shrimp Neogonodactylus bredini – (Predation adaptation)

5. Crested Porcupine Hystrix cristata – (Defense adaptation)

6. Caribou Rangifer tarandus – (Antlers in both males and females?)

7. Threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus – (Defense adaptation salt water vs freshwater)

8. Harlequin Beetle Acrocinus longimanus – (Sexual selection)

9. Jacana Jacana spinose – (Sexual selection role reversal in males and females)

10. African Elephant genus Loxodonta – (Sexual selection)

11. Fiddler Crab – (Sexual selection)

12. Beach Mice Peromyscus polionotus – (Fur color mutation in different populations)

13. Horned dung beetles Onthophagus acuminatus – (Mating tactics) – see Mr. Tuss for publications on this topic

14. Snowshoe hare Lepus americanus – (Fur color and adaptations to avoid top predator the lynx)

Additional Databases and resource with access to full articles

Research Theme (choose a theme that highlights your species trait, adaptation, or behavior)

Example: Field Mice – fur color and predation, Fiddler Crab – claw size as a signal of fitness, Elk – the cost of growing antlers

Thesis Statement (a thesis should briefly explain to the audience what you will be discussing in the paper)

Example: Research now suggests that female ducks prefer males with red wings as an honest signal of male fitness. This paper discusses how female selection could be the single most important factor in the evolution of red-winged males.