The Elements of Evolution (40) Behavior


The assertion that “culture” explains human variation will be taken seriously when there are reports of women war parties raiding villages to capture men as husbands, or of parents cloistering their sons but not their daughters to protect their sons’ virtue, or when cultural distributions for preferences concerning physical attractiveness, earning power, relative age, and so on show as many cultures with bias in one direction as in the other. ~ American anthropologist John Tooby

Behaviors have a biological basis. Mentotype is an entangled partner with phenotype and envirotype (environmental influences).

Female frogs prefer males that produce loud, fast, continuous calls, as these indicate a healthy mate. Such flamboyance also risks attracting predators. Boisterous frogs that don’t croak from such croaking must have something on the ball.

The poison frogs of Central and South America evolved conspicuous colors and patterns to advertise their unpalatability. The more toxic a frog, the more graphically noticeable it is, and the louder and prouder it sings.

Personality is a product of mentotype. Variations in individual behavior patterns offer an evolutionary edge. The herd instinct may generally serve a population, but when times are tough, it is often individuality that engenders survival.