Posted: September 23rd, 2022
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Access PhET Natural Selection Simulation (https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/natural-selection)
Click “Play Button”
Double Click “Lab”
Manipulate variables available in the dashboard of the program to edit traits, selection factors, and environment
Get familiar with the program. Add friends, add a food source/predators, add mutations, etc…
Complete the tasks below and submit the assignment
The paper contains 3 questions and an analysis to be performed. This can be answered by performing the tasks in the sim in the link provided.
a) Select dominant and recessive traits.
b) Select for food to be available.
c) Select equator environment.
d) Let the simulation run for a few generations, then introduce the predator factor.
e) Repeat step “d” multiple times.
Question: After running the simulation for multiple generations, what do you notice about the population of bunnies? What is driving the observation you observed? As more and more generations of bunnies are born, are more desirable or undesirable traits being passed on (relate this to fitness: the ability to produce offspring that survive themselves to reproduce)?
a) Repeat steps “a” and “b” from Task 1.
b) Select the Arctic environment.
c) Repeat steps “d” and “e” from Task 1.
Question: After running your second simulation of bunnies, what do you notice about the population in the Arctic environment? Do you notice any differences from your first simulation? Formulate a hypothesis of why you are seeing a difference (or not).
Review your notes from the simulations between the Arctic and Equator simulations.
Reflect on your results, and think about these populations in relation to natural selection.
Question: If you have a population of bunnies with 50% having brown coats and 50% of the bunnies having white coats, would one color of bunnies be more fit in the Arctic environment? How does the survival of the bunnies explain evolution by natural selection?
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