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Natural Selection

and
The Evolution Game
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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 survival.
Demonstrate the difference between individual and
species survival.
Estimate the evolutionary fitness of a species by
interpreting population data.

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What is Evolution?
Evolution simply means change over time.
Evidence that life has evolved: Fossils, DNA,
similarities in morphology of different species
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This does not mean that
humans evolved from monkeys

Imagine how many generations would occur in a million years
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Genealogy of Dogs
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Extinct Hominids look who survived
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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
(evolutionary fitness)
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For Natural Selection to occur:
You cannot "will yourself" to get an adaptation. The
adaptations must naturally occur in populations.
For example, if a species of butterfly is orange, and a
mutation occurs that makes a butterfly red, if red
helps the organism survive, then it will be passed on to
offspring.
Happens over millions of years, thousands of
generations. The Earth is 4.6 billion years old that's a
long time for organisms to change.
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Charles Darwin




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

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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 not just a guess.
Most famous for studying tortoises and finches on the Galapagos
Islands
600 miles from South Americaancestral species migrated to
islands and adapted to many different island environments
over millions of years

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

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

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Industrial Revolution (late 1800s) = more soot and
pollution
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!
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How many moths can you see?
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THE EVOLUTION GAME
Objectives
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
survival.
demonstrate the difference between
individual and species
survival.
estimate the evolutionary fitness of a species
by interpreting
population data.
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Why do we play a game in lab?
Simulation
Taking a class of 640 Natural Science
students out into the field to observe
predator/prey interactions would be very
expensive (to go to the Galapagos would be
$10,000 each)
Predators/Prey never act like they do in
nature when confined to lab
This game is fun and actually informative
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Change to 60