Patrick Bateson

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(Paul) Patrick (Gordon) Bateson (31 March 1938—1 August 2017) was an English zoologist, ethologist, and animal welfare advocate. He was elected FRS in 1983 and knighted in 2003.


  • ... The male emperor penguin brooding his mate's egg over the Antarctic winter cannot be relieved by his mate because the growth of the ice shelf puts the sea and food beyond reach. So, in the interests of producing an offspring, he fasts for months—a feat any human would find impossible. Other potential solutions to this problem, such as shorter stints of breeding and trekking repeatedly across the ice shelf during the winter, presumably proved to be less successful. The penguins that fasted all winter were the ones whose ancestors had best survived with this adaptation. Examples like this emphasise how dependent is the organisation of behaviour on the ecology of the species. Differences between individuals in the processes of development are to be expected.

Mate Choice (1983)[edit]

  • The growing interest in mating preferences in animals has been generated in part by the renewed vitality of evolutionary biology. A characteristic that successfully attracts a member of the opposite sex might become increasingly common in the population simply because it is likely to be transmitted to offspring which in turn may be better than others in winning mates This evolutionary process, which is a part of what is called sexual selection, could be an important source of genetic change.
    • Bateson, Patrick, ed. (1985). "Preface". Mate Choice. Cambridge University Press. p. ix. ISBN 9780521272070.  (reprint of 1983 edition)
  • Hybrid vigour is so dramatic when it occurs that it seems to make the arguments for outbreeding depression implausible. Nevertheless, some empirical evidence supports the view that outbreeding too much can carry genetic costs in certain species.

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