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Peppered Moth Lab
Real Life Moth Example
• Moths are found in large numbers in England
• The peppered moth always thrived and lived
easily, being able to blend in with the light
colored bark trees found all over England.
Any other moths?
• There was a darker colored moth that was
around, but it was found in much smaller
numbers. Its dark color did not blend in with
the trees as much, so it was not as FIT for its
environment
What happened…
• When the “Industrial Revolution” spread
around England, factories were putting out an
extreme amount of pollution
• This pollution stuck to the trees, making them
a darker color in the process
– How is that going to affect the population of
moths?......
After some time…
• The trees became darker, which allowed for
the darker colored moths to be camouflaged
• Because of this, the light peppered moths
were found more easily by birds and eaten
• How do you think this impacted the next
generations of moths found there?
Look familiar?
Analysis Questions
• 1. What did the experiment show about how
prey are selected by predators?
– Different factors are involved, but environment
has a large impact on which organisms will
survive.
– In this example, organisms that are
camouflaged can hid from prey and have a
lower chance of getting eaten.
• The ones that blend in can still get eaten but not
as frequently
Analysis Questions
• 2. What moth coloration is the best
adaptation for a dark background? How do
you know?
– Dark color because they are able to blend in with
the background, making it more difficult to find in
the wild.
Analysis Questions
• 4. Define Natural Selection
– “Survival of the Fittest”
– Organisms that are best fit / best adapted to their
environment will survive and reproduce. Those
traits will be passed on to their offspring
Analysis Questions
• 5. How does the simulation model natural
selection?
– The background determined which color moth
was “most fit” and would survive to reproduce.
This would then lead to a population dominated
by that color that survives more.
Analysis Questions
• 8. Imagine an organism that isn’t the most fit
for its environment, in addition to dying, what
can happen to that organism?
– Adapt (ex. Eat a different type of food)
– Move to a new location
ClipBirds Lab
Analysis Questions
• 1. Why does each of the three bird sizes have
different food needs?
– To represent what happens in real life. Normally
larger organisms need to consume more
food/calories so they have enough energy to
survive
Analysis Questions
• 5. Why did the ClipLand population change as
it did?
– It changed as certain beak sizes were being
selected for or against.
– If a certain sized beak worked best for a food type
then that beak would survive and reproduce,
producing more of that beak type
Analysis Questions
• 10. Sometimes animals that are introduced
into an area that they never lived in before,
out compete and endanger resident species,
why do you think this happens?
– They have a variation that allows them to be the
most fit for that environment
Analysis Questions
• 11. If only one species is considered the
"fittest", why do we still have so many
variations among species. Why do some birds
have very long pointy beaks, while other birds
have short flat beaks?
– If resources are not limited, multiple different
species can survive.
– Earths variation of food and environments allow
multiple species to survive.

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