Case Study A Case of Rodent Speciation Background Asanexpertinthefield ofmammalianreproductivestrategies,youhavebeenhiredbytheDepartmentof NatureandIslandResourcesoftheWestIndies.This organizationisacooperativeofseveralWestIndies islands concerned with the loss of biological diversity on their island nations as tourism and development continue to grow. Scientists working on the island of St. Kitts and its sister island Nevis have uncovered what appears to be a previously undiscovered species of rodent. Basedontheoriginaldescriptionofthisanimal,itwasplacedinagenuswithinthesquirrelfamily.What you have been hired to do is to help save the population on St. Kitts, which is small and threatened by development.Thepopulationissosmallthatindividualsarehavingdifficultyfindingmatesand,inmany cases,thereproductiveseasonsarebeingdelayedbyuptooneyear. Whenyouarriveintheregionandbegin your observations, you notice that the Nevis population is very healthy and could be used as stock for the recovery operation that you plan on the island of St. Kitts. In your recovery plan, you bring animals from Nevis into the population on St. Kitts to bolster the population numbers, ensure the availability of mates, and increase the genetic diversity within the shrinking population. As a good scientist, you observe the reproductivebehaviorsofthisanimalinthefieldto ensurethesuccessofyourprogram.Withinavery shorttime,yourealizethatyourplanisfailing.In the240 attemptstobringaNevisanimalintotheSt. Kitts population, you are unable to observe a single successful reproductive event. Although these animals look identical, you are concerned that they are two distinctspecies. Yourfocusnowbecomesidentifying thedifferences betweenthetwopopulations.What follows is a brief review of the data you collected from your study. St. Kitts Rodent Nevis Rodent Average weight: 83g Average weight: 86g Average length: 21.8cm Average length: 23.3cm Average hind limb: 7.8cm Average hind limb: 4.2cm Average forelimb: 4.2cm Average forelimb: 3.9cm Top speed: 2.2meters/second (m/s) Top speed: 0.8m/s Average leap height: 1.4m Average leap height: 0.4m Average gestation time: 29.3days Average gestation time: 42.7days Average time spent in courtship display: 12.6seconds Average time spent in courtship display: 21.3seconds Assignment Thiscase study describes a recovery program for a rodent population on the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean. After reading the case study above, your job is to formulate your own story incorporating some of the details and data provided while also drawing on several evolutionary concepts studied in class. A list of these concepts can be found at the end of this document. Thereare no limitations on the details you can incorporate into your story, but it should follow some specific guidelines.Your story: 1. Should be 600words or less. 2. Should incorporate the data supplied in the case study. 3. Should incorporate at least three of the concepts from the “Concept List.” As you incorporate each concept, you must demonstrate its relevance to your story. 4. Can be told in any form. For instance, one student presented the story as fieldnotes collected from observing the animals in their natural habitat. Another student presented the story as a series of experiments and observations made by groups of scientists over hundreds of years. Be creative. 5. Should account for the data on the organisms provided in the case study. It is acceptable to add more data as you develop your story as long as it fitsinto the patterns of the data provided. 6. Can include graphics and illustrations. Be sure to cite the source and give credit for the material, including material taken from the Internet. Avoid plagiarism. 7. Should include a scientificand common name* (see Note below) for the rodent populations. In developing these names, make sure you use the rules for binomial classification.In addition, make sure that you put the rodents into an existing genus.You come up with the species names. 8. Needs a good title. 9. Proof read. Check for spelling errors. Make sure your sentences are grammatically correct and that they are complete sentences. Remember that you are developing an evolutionary picture of a rodent population using data supplied with the case study. Keep in mind that in an evolutionary story you will be describing events that may have occurred over very long time periods. Important:When incorporating concepts from the “Concept List” into your story, you must elaborate on how they relate to your story. Simply including a concept word in your assignment is not acceptable. For example, stating that “the animals became two species because of genetic drift” is not sufficient.You must also explain how genetic drift works in this process. Concept List You must include at least three of the following: • Genetic drift • Bottleneck effect • Founder effect • Gene flow • Mutation • Natural selection—Directional selection • Natural selection—Stabilizing selection • Natural selection—Diversifying selection • Prezygotic reproductive isolation—Ecological isolation • Prezygotic reproductive isolation—Behavioral isolation • Prezygotic reproductive isolation—Temporal isolation • Prezygotic reproductive isolation—Mechanical isolation • Prezygotic reproductive isolation—Gametic isolation • Postzygotic reproductive isolation—Hybrid inviability or fertility • Allopatric speciation *Make sure you explain these concepts in your paper. Also, make sure you are using them properly and they make logical sense with your story. *Note: Scientific Names: Development of Classification Hierarchy of taxa is one major concept Linnaeus introduced. a. Hierarchy contains eight major ranks: Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species b. All animals are classified in kingdom Animalia, each species has its own name; the names of animal groups at each rank in the hierarchy are called taxa (singular: taxon). c. Each rank can be subdivided into additional levels of taxa: suprafamily, subclass, infraclass, etc. Linnaeus introduced binomial nomenclature. a. Scientific name consists of two words (binomial) as in (Ursus americanus) b. First = Genus and is capitalized; the second = species epithet and is in lower case. c. Scientific name is always in italics or underlined if handwritten. d. The specific epithet is never used alone; the genus must be used to form the scientific name as Ursus americanus . e. Ranks above species are single names written with a capital initial letter (e.g., Reptilia and Cnidaria), but not italicized or underlined. Do not plagiarize in any shape or form. Your paper will be submitted to Turnitin.com to check for plagiarism. All instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Office of Community Standards. Judicial procedures are described in the Student Resource Handbook (Procedures for Adjudicating Alleged Academic Conduct Infractions, beginning on page 16). Credit: Photo of St. Kitts coastline © Jason Ross | Dreamstime.com.
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