Darwins Finch Evolution Lab

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Darwin and Wallace Island Finch Evolution Lab Experiment

BIO/101

Darwin and Wallace Island Finch Evolution Lab Experiment

Evolution and Natural Selection have been a recurring focus of biology throughout the years. This Particular experiment is based on Charles Darwin’s observations of finches made in the Galapagos Islands. He noted that different neighboring islands in the Galapagos had distinctly different types of finches. He theorized that this was caused by natural selection, where the environment determined the characteristics of the species in it. In the Evolution Lab Experiment, I looked at how beak size and population numbers for two hypothetical populations of finches on two different islands evolved in response to factors that I manipulated by changing environmental conditions. The specific environmental conditions that I chose to manipulate were the precipitation in the environment and the variance of the finches. However I only manipulated the precipitation and variance on Darwin Island and not on Wallace Island. I thought that if Darwin Island finches had less variance and less precipitation than Wallace Island Finches, that Darwin Island finches would be unable to effectively adapt in order to easily consume the type of seed that was a result of the lesser amount of precipitation. MATERIALS

The materials required for me to complete this experiment were my laptop and my University of Phoenix Student Website. Once I accessed the University of Phoenix Student Website, I was able to access the Evolution Lab, which is the final required material. An optional material that I chose to use was a pen and paper to take notes. PROCEDURES

In order for me to accurately test my hypothesis, I needed to first get to the Evolution Lab. Once I logged onto my University of Phoenix Student Website, I went to the classroom tab and clicked on Evolution Lab, which is found in week three. Once I pulled up the Evolution Lab window, I chose the button labeled “Change Inputs”. Once I arrived at the screen with the seven variables on the left and the pictures of the finches on the right, I clicked on the tab labeled “Variance”. The next step is to change the Darwin Island Finch Variance to 0.50. I did not change the Wallace Island Finch Variance. After the Variance was set, I clicked on the tab labeled “Precipitation”. I changed the precipitation on Darwin Island to 10 centimeters and left Wallace Island Precipitation at 20 Centimeters. Since I only changed two variables in an attempt to pinpoint the cause of the results, the next step was to click the tab labeled “Done”. After I chose whether I wanted to look at the results over 100, 200, or 300 years, I clicked the tab labeled “Run Experiment”. At this point, I was ready to analyze the results and take notes if I needed to. Lastly, if I needed to extend the time the results were recorded, all I needed to do was click the tab labeled “Revise Expt.”. Then I clicked the pull down tab and changed the range from 100 to 200 or 300. DATA

|Variance |Precipitation |1997 Population |2098 Population |1997 Beak Size |2098 Mean Beak Size | |Darwin Island |.50
Likelihood |10
Centimeters |200
Finches |245
Finches |12
Millimeters |14.05+/-0.79 | |Wallace
Island |1.00
Likelihood |20 Centimeters |200 Finches |503
Finches |12 Millimeters |18.37+/-1.19 | |
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DISCUSSION
As seen in this experiment, when the Variance was lowered along with the Precipitation on Darwin Island, the population was on average, half of that of Wallace Island where the numbers were left in the default status. I made the hypothesis that if I decreased the variance and precipitation on Darwin Island, that the finches there would be less able to adapt their beaks to accommodate the larger size of seeds and would eventually all die off. Since the graphs produced from the Evolution Lab program did not depict the...
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