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Claw Waving for Sex: An Inquiry-Based Lab to Teach Sexual Dimorphism and Behavior in Fiddler Crabs

    Authors: Aakanksha Angra1,*, Emily Weigel2, Alison Onstine2
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303; 2: School of Biological Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 25 November 2017 Accepted 14 February 2018 Published 29 June 2018
    • ©2018 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • Supplemental materials available at http://asmscience.org/jmbe
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Georgia State University, Department of Biology, 100 Piedmont Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30303. Phone: 470-485-4768. Fax: 404-413-5301. E-mail: [email protected]
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. June 2018 vol. 19 no. 2 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i2.1537
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    Abstract:

    We designed a three-week guided inquiry-based lab for non-biology majors revolving around the ideas of sexual dimorphism, selection, and behavior, using fiddler crabs (Uca pugilator) as a model. Specifically, students worked in small teams to design experiments, collect data, and present findings in a short oral presentation. Students gained exposure to scientific skills, including designing an ethogram, understanding the purpose of inter-observer reliability, graphing, statistics, and oral communication.

References & Citations

1. Laursen S, Hunter AB, Seymour E, Thiry H, Melton G 2010 Undergraduate research in the sciences: engaging students in real science John Wiley & Sons Hoboken, NJ
2. Lopatto D 2007 Undergraduate research experiences support science career decisions and active learning CBE Life Sci Educ 6 297 306 10.1187/cbe.07-06-0039 18056301 2104507 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.07-06-0039
3. Auchincloss LC, Laursen SL, Branchaw JL, Eagan K, Graham M, Hanauer DI, Lawrie G, McLinn CM, Pelaez N, Rowland S, Towns M, Trautmann NM, Varma-Nelson P, Weston TJ, Dolan EL 2014 Assessment of course-based undergraduate research experiences: a meeting report CBE Life Sci Educ 13 29 40 10.1187/cbe.14-01-0004 24591501 3940459 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.14-01-0004
4. American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 Vision and change in undergraduate biology education: a call to action: a summary of recommendations made at a national conference organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science July 15–17, 2009 Washington, DC
5. National Research Council 2013 Next generation science standards: for states, by states The National Academies Press Washington, DC
6. Christy JH, Backwell PR, Goshima S, Kreuter T 2002 Sexual selection for structure building by courting male fiddler crabs: an experimental study of behavioral mechanisms Behav Ecol 13 366 374 10.1093/beheco/13.3.366 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/13.3.366
7. Christy JH, Salmon M 1984 Ecology and evolution of mating systems of fiddler crabs (genus Uca) Biol Rev 59 483 509 10.1111/j.1469-185X.1984.tb00412.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-185X.1984.tb00412.x
8. Callander S, Jennions MD, Backwell PRY 2011 The effect of claw size and wave rate on female choice in a fiddler crab J Ethol 30 151 155 10.1007/s10164-011-0309-6 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10164-011-0309-6
9. Angra A, Gardner SM 2016 Development of a framework for graph choice and construction Adv Physiol Educ 40 123 128 10.1152/advan.00152.2015 26873901 http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/advan.00152.2015

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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v19i2.1537
2018-06-29
2019-08-19

Abstract:

We designed a three-week guided inquiry-based lab for non-biology majors revolving around the ideas of sexual dimorphism, selection, and behavior, using fiddler crabs (Uca pugilator) as a model. Specifically, students worked in small teams to design experiments, collect data, and present findings in a short oral presentation. Students gained exposure to scientific skills, including designing an ethogram, understanding the purpose of inter-observer reliability, graphing, statistics, and oral communication.

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