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Natural Selection

The Evolution Game
What is Evolution?
Evolution simply means change over time.
Evidence that life has evolved: Fossils, DNA,
similarities in morphology of different species
This does NOT mean that
humans evolved from monkeys
For Natural Selection to occur:
1.) There must be VARIATION in traits between
individuals within a population
2.) The traits must be HERITABLE
3.) Certain variants of the trait must be more
advantageous than others
4.) Those with the most advantageous variants are
more likely to survive and reproduce (fitness!)
Charles Darwin

Theory of Natural
"those individuals who
possess superior physical,
behavioral, or other attributes
are more likely to survive than
those which are not so well
In plain English Survival
of the Fittest means the
most well adapted organisms
will survive to reproduce.

Darwin and the Galapagos Islands
Darwin compiled evidence for natural selection from decades of
observations around the world! This is why it is referred to as the
Theory of Natural Selection
Most famous for studying tortoises and finches on the Galapagos
600 miles from South Americaancestral species migrated to
islands and adapted to many different island environments
over millions of years

Giant Galapagos Tortoises
Leaf, or Insect???
Adaptation: Camouflage
Yucca Moth and Yucca plant coevolved
for pollination, a mutually beneficial
Cheetah and Gazelle
Coevolved for SPEED.
One to outrun the other.
The Peppered Moth

Prior to the industrial revolution, selection favored light-
colored individuals; the dark phenotype was rare

Industrial Revolution (late 1800s) = more soot and
Sulfur dioxide emissions kill light-colored lichens.
No lichens = dark-colored environment favorable for
dark-colored moths to blend into and avoid predation!
More dark-colored variants survive; today there are many
more dark individuals!
How many moths can you see?
After successfully participating in this lab, you
will be able to:
explain how predation affects reproduction.
explain how reproduction affects
evolutionary fitness.
describe factors that affect individual
demonstrate the difference between
individual and species
estimate the evolutionary fitness of a species
by interpreting
population data.
Why do we play a game in lab?
We cant afford to take 633 Natural Science
students out into the field to observe
predator/prey interactions
Predators/Prey never act like they do in
nature when confined to lab
This game is fun and actually informative!!!