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Optimal Organism Design and Costs for Not Being Perfect
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Optimal means the best, but organisms often solve multiple problems so any ...

Optimal means the best, but organisms often solve multiple problems so any one problem is not solved best. An optimal function is produced for sugar ingestion rates versus sucrose concentration through butterfly proboscides and pipets by humans. A choice experiment is performed using probing by a butterfly proboscis toward one of two concentrations of sucrose. A non-optimal system is then studied: cylindrical container designs by businesses where surface area (cost) is least when height equals diameter. A frequency distribution of height/radius is constructed for recycled cans, and costs for variation are quantified from changes in surface area from the optimum. Cost variation for sugar intake rates is then measured from the function shape and related to nectar concentration variation.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Lesson Plans
Provider:
Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE)
Author:
F. Reed Hainsworth