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Search > Learning Exercise Results > About Evolution

Learning Exercise: About Evolution

About Evolution
This is a guided assignment to help students explore variuos aspects of evolution.
Course: BIO 101


Submitted by:
Marty Zahn
Date Last Modified:
January 21, 2002


Natural Selection

This exercise will involve a series of tutorials on evolution. Questions
below relate to certain aspects of each tutorial and answers are to be submitted
for grade. These exercises will require the free plugins shockwave and either
RealPlayer or QuickTime. Links to the plugins are given in the exercise.


1. Go to the following internet site:

2. Click on the "Darwin" button at the top of the page.
3. Click on "Origin of Species" exercise and follow the directions. On the
page "Map of Pollenkeeper Homes", click on the timeline first to see the pattern
of migration; then go back and look at each island individually. On each
island, use the timeline at the bottom to see the series of events on that

Question 1: Explain what factors determined the changes in the birds. Explain
why the changes were different on each island.


1. Click "Change" (picture of the Orca) button at the top of the page.
2. Click on "All In the Family".
3. Follow the directions in the tutorial and build the first family tree.

Question 2: For the first tree (dolphin, wolf, shark), explain how the anatomy
of each helps determine how they are related in the family tree.

4. Click on "Build Another Tree" when completed with the first one.
5. After completing the second tree, click on "Learn More About
Evolutionary Trees".
6. Close that window and click on "Build Another Tree" and complete the
third tree.

Question 3: In the third tree, explain how developmental and DNA sequences help
determine how the organisms are related.


1. Click on "Survival" at the top of the page.
2. Click on the "Microbe Clock".
3. Read through the six short pages of information.
4. Keeping in mind that the actual replication time for any one bacterium
is about 20 minutes, start the microbe clock.
5. Observe and record the number of bacteria and mutations right after the
start and after one cycle of the clock.

Question 4: Explain how antibiotic resistance can arise and spread through a
population, particularly at low doses of the antibiotic or when patients do not
complete the entire course of treatment (take ALL the pills).


1. Click on the "Sex" (peacock image) at the top of the page.
2. Click on "Sex and the Single Guppy" on the right side of the page.
3. After reading about Endler's discovery, click on each of the three pools
in the image and examine the color of the guppies and the types of predators.
4. Click on "What Causes Guppy Color Variation" and then do the first

Question 5: List the initial conditions for your simulation and explain why you
chose those specific conditions.

Question 6: Let the first simulation run for 75 weeks; then view the results.
Explain why you got those specific results.

5. If you want to maintain a guppy population as brightly colored as
possible, what mix of predators are needed--run a second simulation to
determine if you are correct. Do the same procedure to determine how to
maintain a population of guppies that are dull colored.

Question 7: Explain what you learned from the last two simulations.


1. Click on the "Humans" button at the top of the page.
2. Click on the "Riddle of the Bones" tutorial.
3. Look at the four categories of information about how fossil remains are
used to determine what early humans were like.

Question 8: What specific information was used to determine:
a. how they moved.
b. whether were all the same species or not.


1. Click on the "Evolution Library" button at the top of the page.
2. Click on "Adaptation and Natural Selection".
3. Scroll down the page and click on "Evolution of the Eye" resource. Read
the background information and then view the video.
4. Return to the "Adaptation and Natural Selection" page. Scroll down the
page and click on "The Advantage of Sex" resource. View the video.
5. Return to the "Adaptation and Natural Selection" page. Scroll down the
page and click on the "Red Queen" resource and view the video.
6. Return to the "Adaptation and Natural Selection" page. Scroll down the
page and click on the "Sweaty T-Shirts and Human Mate Choice". View
the video.
7. Return to the "Evolution Library" and click on "Evidence For Evolution".
Scroll down the page and view the "Common Past, Different Paths" video
and the "Tetrapod Limbs" resource.

Question 9: Using the information in Part F, explain how complex organs or
structures can develop through natural selection.

Question 10: Explain the Red Queen hypothesis and the relationship between it
and the existence of sex in organisms.



No audiences defined for this Learning Exercise


Natural Selection

Technical Notes

Requires Shockwave and either RealVideo or Quicktime