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Biology 180 Problem Set 2


A population of marine gastropods has shell lengths that are normally distributed with a
mean = 8 mm and variance 2 = 2.15 mm2.
a. what proportion of the population will have shell lengths between 6.5 mm and 8.5 mm?
(3 points)
b. what is the probability of finding a gastropod that has a shell length of exactly 7.5 mm?
(1 point)
c. if there are 1,000 gastropods in an area, how many will have shell lengths greater than 5
mm? (3 points)


Childhood lead poisoning is a public health concern in most urban areas. In a certain
population, 1 child in 10 has a high blood-lead level (defined as 30 g/dl or more). In a
randomly chosen group of 16 children from this population, what is the probability that
a. none has high blood lead (2 points)
b. 3 or fewer have high blood lead (2 points)
c. more than 4 have high blood lead (2 points)
d. What is the expected number that will have high blood lead? (2 points)

In a study of the effectiveness of an insecticide against gypsy moths, Lymantria dispar, a large
area of land was sprayed. Later, the area was examined for live adult insects by randomly
selecting and surveying 10m x 10m squares. Past experience has shown the average number
of live adult insects per square after spraying to be 5. If these insects are Poissonally
distributed, find
a. the probability that a square will contain exactly 4 live adult insects (2 points) b. f(3) ( 1
c. the probability that a square will have more than 3 live adult insects. (2 points)


Use the normal approximation to compute the probability that between 50 and 75 of 100
white blood cells will be neutrophils, where the probability that any one cell is a neutrophil
is 0.6. These values are chosen as proposed limits to the range of neutrophils in normal
people and we wish to predict what proportion of people will be in the normal range
according to this definition. (5 points)


The probability that a baby is born with a rare disease is 0.0001. A large city hospital averages
5000 births in one year. Use the Poisson approximation to the binomial distribution to
approximate the probability that exactly 4 babies out of 5000 born at this hospital have the
disease. (5 points)


From many years of observation, a biologist knows that the probability is only 0.65 that any
given Arctic tern will survive the migration from its summer nesting area to its winter feeding
grounds. A random sample of 500 Arctic terns were banded at their summer nesting area.
What is the approximate probability that between 310 and 340 of the banded Arctic terns
will survive the migration? (5 points)


The average score of students in an exam is 78.53. A sample of 10 students has scores 67,
90, 80, 75, 70, 70, 29, 45, 65, and 70. What is the probability that another 10 students will
have a higher score than the first 10 students? Consider up to two decimal places of your t
value. (5 points)


An ornithologist studying turkey vultures, Cathartes aura, measured the lengths of 16 of

these vultures. The following are her data:
70 cm 65 cm 75 cm 60 cm 69 cm 80 cm 84 cm 83 cm
72 cm 88 cm 84 cm 77 cm 76 cm 81 cm 62 cm 75 cm
Calculate the 95 % confidence limits for the mean and provide a brief interpretation (in
not more than 1 sentence) (5 points).