Even though I know what random selection, directional selection, stabilizing selection, disruptive selection and sexual selection are I can not understant what does Starlings producing five eggs in each clutch has to do with it.

In my final I got this question and I don't know if I got it right because I had to guess. The question said something like "starlings produce five or six eggs (I don't remember the exact number) in each clutch and I was supposed to say which type of selection (random,directional, etc..) was that. Please tell me why will any of those answers make sense.

Not sure... but if I have to guess, I'd say positive directional selection because 5 or 6 eggs seem like a big number. Positive directional selection favors those have higher trait values, in this case, they produce more eggs, thus have higher fitness than other Starlings which produce less than 5 or 6 eggs.

I'm not so sure because the information given is very little... when I learned about this topic, my teacher usually provides a bar graph showing different trait values and their fitness... for example, if having 5 or 6 eggs would show highest fitness, then it would be stabilizing. If having more than 6 eggs generate higher fitness than those produce 6 eggs, then it's positive directional selection. However, I know this is definitely not a sexual selection case.

Sorry, it's not much help... but I saw no one else answered it after you posted a couple times, so I might as well give you my opinion.

I can help explain how the number of eggs produced by starlings can be related to the different types of selection.

In evolutionary biology, selection refers to the process by which certain traits or characteristics become more or less common in a population over time. There are several different types of selection that can occur.

Random selection occurs when individuals in a population have an equal chance of being chosen to survive and reproduce. This type of selection tends to result in no particular direction or pattern of change in the population. So, starlings producing a specific number of eggs in each clutch would not really reflect random selection because there is a consistent number of eggs being produced.

Directional selection occurs when individuals with traits at one extreme end of a spectrum have an advantage and are more likely to survive and reproduce. Over time, this can cause the average value of the trait to shift toward that extreme. For example, if larger clutches of eggs were more likely to survive and produce offspring, we might see an increase in the number of eggs produced by starlings over generations. However, the question does not provide enough information to determine if this is happening or not, so directional selection is not a conclusive answer.

Stabilizing selection occurs when individuals with average or intermediate traits have an advantage, while extremes are selected against. If there is a optimal number of eggs that provides the best chance of survival and reproduction for starlings, we might see stabilizing selection operating. In this case, producing too few or too many eggs would result in reduced fitness. However, without more information, it's difficult to determine if this is the pattern observed.

Disruptive selection occurs when individuals with extreme traits at both ends of a spectrum have an advantage, while individuals with intermediate traits are selected against. In the case of starlings, this might mean that producing clutches with either very few or very many eggs would be advantageous, while having an intermediate number of eggs would not be as successful. Again, without additional information, it is difficult to establish if this is happening.

Sexual selection is a type of selection that usually operates through mate choice, where certain traits are preferred by individuals of the opposite sex. If starlings with a certain number of eggs per clutch have a higher likelihood of mating and passing on their genes, it could be considered a form of sexual selection.

In summary, without more specific information about how the number of eggs produced by starlings relates to their survival and reproductive success, it is difficult to determine the exact type of selection involved. It's important to consider additional factors such as predation, resource availability, and mate choice to draw more accurate conclusions about the selection pressures acting on starlings.