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Natural Selection -Faith Choi & Mika Lee

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Faith Choi

on 28 April 2013

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Transcript of Natural Selection -Faith Choi & Mika Lee

Methods 0 + - = 9 8 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 c Hypothesis Experiment #1 - We hypothesized that brown furred rabbits will be more likely to survive under predation factor within the equator environment because the brown fur color will help it camouflage.
Experiment #2 - We hypothesized that long tailed rabbits will be less likely to survive under the predation factor within the arctic because their bodies are much longer and therefore easier to catch.
Experiment #3 - We hypothesized that rabbits with long teeth will be more likely to survive under the food factor within the equator because they have the ability to eat a larger variety of food and consume it faster.
Experiment #4 - We hypothesized that rabbits with white fur will be more likely to survive under the predation factor within the arctic because the color of their fur will help to camouflage with the environment. Variables Independent Variables: Genetic mutations, environment, selective factors (environment, food, predation, etc.)

Dependent Variable: Population of rabbits Conclusion Based upon our evidence from the simulation, we can conclude that rabbits with three different types of phenotypes that they inherited were beneficial in one environment while detrimental in the other. For example, the number of brown-furred rabbits under the predation factor within the equator environment outnumbered their counterparts because their brown-fur (an inherited trait) helped them camouflage with the environment. However, the same brown-fur actually proved to be a disadvantage in an arctic environment as white furred-rabbits, who experienced an exponential decline in the equator environment, benefited in the arctic because it helped them blend in with the environment.As the tables in the results section show, substantial data supports our hypothesis. For example, we selected “brown fur” as our phenotype mutation in experiment #1. At F3 (Generation), the white-furred rabbits (control group ) outnumbered the brown-furred rabbits (experiment group) but these statistics underwent a drastic change once we inserted our selective factor: predation. In the process, the population of brown-furred rabbits encountered exponential growth compared to the population of the white rabbits, which underwent a logistic decline. In the end, there were 135 brown-furred rabbits to 15 white-furred rabbits, which is an adequate evidence to corroborate our hypothesis before the experiment.* This experiment is not entirely perfect as there were some limitations to research. Although the computer simulation used in this experiment was realistic, the data provided by the application may not portray the actual statistics of rabbit population in wilderness since it does not effectively who the diverse cause and effects that could have appeared in real life, such as diseases or other limiting factors. However, please note that we tried to be very precise and if there are anomalies in our results, they should be insubstantial. Also, we let the simulation run for another three to four generations after adding the selective factor to observe the difference between the population of rabbits (control and experiment) before and after the insertion of a selective factor. However, the numbers may be inexact to a small degree since the population of any species may fluctuate within a couple of generations.Most importantly, this experiment as a whole mimicked natural selection. It showed how the fittest, who acquired either advantageous or disadvantageous genetic mutations, successfully thrived or even died in each environment. Some rabbits, in this case, inherited different genetic materials, from their parents or from a genetic mutation, that allowed them to produce more offspring and to survive better than other rabbits they competed against, in their own environment. Thus, it is accurate to say that they were “naturally selected”. In conclusion, this experiment not only represented natural selection, but also explicitly proved the four theories of natural selection: variation, overproduction, adaptation and descent with modification. Abstract Abstract Nicholas Negroponte once said, “Learning by doing, peer-to-peer teaching, and computer simulation are all part of the same equation”. Natural selection, one of the greatest significant mechanisms in evolutionary science, has often existed in abstract form. Therefore, students have rapidly memorized factual information merely to imbibe the theory of natural selection. However, as Nicholas Negroponte mentioned, “learning by doing...[and] computer simulation” are important and may result in a total different experience, compared to simply perusing science textbooks. To gain an entirely new perspective upon natural selection, we have designed a natural selection experiment using realistic, computer simulation to witness the actual process of natural selection, the effects of selective factors on rabbits’ population and to acquire deeper knowledge about adaptation, genetic mutation and fitness. Possessing only some background information about natural selection, we wrote four hypothesis, predicting the survival chances of rabbits with three different types of phenotype mutations in different selective factors such as environment, predation and food. We hypothesized that some phenotype mutations such as brown fur and long teeth will actually increase the rabbits’ survival chances while other genetic mutations such as long tails were to have deleterious effects. As we completed the lab, we were thunderstruck at the results because they were strikingly similar to our hypothesis. Brown-furred rabbits thrived in the equator because the color of their fur allowed them to camouflage with the environment while the population of rabbits with long teeth experienced an exponential growth because of their ability to consume a large variety of food and swallow them faster. On the other hand, the number of long tailed rabbits progressively declined as their long tails not only made them more conspicuous, but they also helped predators seize them more easily. Our results especially supported adaptation, which is one of four main principles to the theory of natural selection. As mentioned earlier, the genetic mutation or the certain variation allowed some rabbits to survive better than other rabbits they were competing against in their environment. More successful rabbits were thus “naturally selected” to live longer and to produce more offspring. Moreover, the results were nothing short of fascinating as we were finally able to apply our learning of natural selection to real life. Results Experiment #1: Obviously, brown-furred rabbits thrived within the equator environment and our hypothesis, including our reasonings, were accurate. The brown-fur of the rabbits helped them to blend in with their surroundings, impeding predators from locating them. Similarly to other animals, rabbits also have the ability to use “animal camouflage”. Snowshoe hare is a real-life example of an animal that uses camouflage to conceal itself from predators. The nimble animal, whose fur is usually pure white to camouflage perfectly against the snow in the winter, takes approximately ten weeks to change its fur color to brown to blend in with the summer scenery and surroundings.
Experiment #2: Our hypothesis regarding the outcome was accurate but our reasoning was partially correct. According to the web, the small, short and round tails are vital in increasing the rabbit’s survival chances. During emigration from vegetated areas, a long, big and busy tail would actually impede the rabbits as they might snag on bushes and other plants. However, a small tail would prevent predators from “latching on”. The British Giant rabbit, a large breed rabbit that reaches around 13 pounds, is an example of a rabbit whose tail hinders its survival chances.
Experiment #3: Unlike experiment #2, our hypothesis pertaining to both the results and our reasons was correct! Larger, longer or extra teeth provide rabbits with the ability to chew through a variety of plants. Since rabbits are herbivores and maintain a vegetarian diet, longer teeth are especially crucial. Rabbits with this phenotype mutation will be able to consume their food normally even though their habitat may be surrounded by fibrous plants with tough material. The lagomorph family, a specific type of rabbit species, thrive in wilderness because they have “four incisors on the upper jaw”.
Experiment #4: Similarly to experiment #1, white furs increased the survival chances of some rabbits because it helped them camouflage with the arctic environment. Rabbits with white furs were at a disadvantage in the equator environment but this time, they actually benefited from residing in the arctic. Snowshoe hare, who was mentioned above, would actually reap benefits from both environment! Bibliography Cedric, Eric. "What Physical Adaptations Does a Rabbit Have to Help it Survive in Its Environment? | eHow.com." eHow | How to Videos, Articles & More - Discover the expert in you. | eHow.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2013. <http://www.ehow.com/info_7799061_physical-rabbit-survive-its-environment.html>."Rabbits and Hares: Other Mammals: Animal Planet." Animal Planet: Animal Planet: Animal Planet. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2013. <http://animal.discovery.com/mammals/rabbit-info.htm>."Snowshoe Hare - Animal Facts." Switch Zoo - Animal Games. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2013. <http://switchzoo.com/profiles/snowshoehare.htm>."Snowshoe Hares." National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2013. <animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/snowshoe-hare/>. Introduction The central idea of nature and the mechanism that served as the foundation of past research conducted by two of the greatest naturalists, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, natural selection is a process that is responsible for instigating an evolutionary change. In natural selection, individuals inherit beneficial adaptations that allow them to produce more offspring than other individuals it competes against in its own environment. As time passes, natural selection will most likely result in species with adaptations that are well suited for survival and reproduction in an environment. Instead of simply regurgitating facts, we wanted to observe the actual process of natural selection and the four main principles to theory of natural selection: Variation, Overproduction, Adaptation and Descent with modification through computer simulation. We wanted to know why animals that are introduced to an environment that they have never lived in before out-compete and endanger the denizens and the effects whether advantageous or disadvantageous, of phenotype mutations on an individual’s survival chances. By examining these questions and quenching our inquisitiveness, we believed we could expand our learning horizons and apply our studies to other evolutionary topics. Unraveling the Practicalities
of Natural Selection Step 1: step 2: step 3: step 4: Thanks for viewing! -Faith Choi & Mika Lee
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