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Caroline Ulugia

ANTH 1020-001
ePortfolio Signature Assignment

1.

Title: The Natural Selection Lab Report

2.

Introduction:
a. Not knowing how much he would influence the biological world of science,
Charles Darwin set sail on a famous voyage Beagle that took almost five years to
route the ocean. During one of the stops at the Galapagos Islands, Darwin
observed and collected a variety of small birds that inhabited the islands. He
collected 13 varieties of Galapagos finches. He studied the birds physical
characteristics especially their beaks. He noticed how closely related the beaks
were similar yet different. According to a memoir from The Voyage of the Beagle,
Darwin noted, One might really fancy that, from an original paucity of birds in
this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends.
(Adaptive Radiation: Darwins Finches) It wasnt until after he returned back to
London where he realized the significance of the variation in beak structure. He
realized the bird finches were all different but closely related gearing towards the
principle of natural selection. Darwins concept was that select traits were
possessed and passed on while other traits selected against were prevented from
passing on.
b. Hypothesis:
i.
ii.

3.

Tongs, tweezers and chip clips will be most successful. Chopsticks


will be least successful.
I developed this hypothesis because I predicted the grip of each
item would be different. I came to this prediction because I have
picked up things with hair clips and chip clips and they have
picked up big and small things. Ive used chopsticks and I dont
think chopsticks grip onto things as much as tongs, tweezers or
chip clips do.

Materials and Methods:


a.

The materials used for this experiment included eight


items used as the beak types: chopsticks, large hair clips, small hair clips,
clothespins, chip clips, tweezers, tongs and binder clip. Sunflower seeds, a
small cup, and a desk were used along with a timer. There were 30
students in class that day.
Each student received a beak type, which was one of the items listed. On
each desk were sunflower seeds spread across, and a small cup, which

served as our stomach. We were to use our item we had to pick up the
sunflower seeds. We were timed for 5 rounds each round increasing in
time. After each round we collected data on who picked up the most and
the least seeds. There were 3 top winners and 3 losers for every round.
4.

Results:
a.

Beak Types

Chopsticks
Large Hair Clips
Small Hair Clips
Clothespins
Chip Clips
Tweezers
Tongs
Binder Clip

Beginning

5
5
2
5
5
5
3
0

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

60 seconds

90 seconds

1:30 seconds

3
6
2
4
7
5
3
0

2
6
2
4
9
3
4
0

1
5
2
3
10
4
4
1

b.
12
10
8

Beginning

Round 1 60 seconds

Round 3 1:30
seconds

2
0

Round 2 90 seconds

Round 4 1:30
seconds
Round 5 1:30 seconds

c.
From the data gathered, the favorable variation that survived and
reproduced the most were the chip clips, tongs, tweezers, large hair clips, small
hair clips and the binder clip and chopsticks were the least favorable.

5.

Conclusion:
a.

b.

c.

c.

6.

Based on my hypothesis, my prediction was correct.


There were variations with the data that couldve changed the outcome but
overall the results did support my hypothesis. There was a drought and a
binder clip was mutated with the data but it did not change the outcome.
The method used was timing how many seeds the
beakers could pick up, the outcome was that the chip clips, tongs and
tweezers picked up more seeds than the hairclips, clothespins and
chopsticks. In this case, the favorable traits passed on were the chip clips,
and tongs. The favorable variations have an advantage because of the grip
of the beak. The less grip the less favorable.
There were outside factors during the taking of the data, there was a
drought and half the sunflower seeds were removed which didnt change
the data, except the large hair clips, and tweezers. There was a mutation,
the binder clip that turned out to be an unfavorable trait. Other outside
factors could include, a natural disaster, one of the beak types picking up
something else affecting reproduction.
Replication of an experiment by other researchers evaluating whether or
not my experiment and results are valid would be welcomed. I believe if
your needing to retest a hypothesis to see if anything was missed or how
the data came about is the reason science is alive. I think in order to test
our theories we need to replicate and experiment.

Discussion:
a.

The scientific method is an approach to researching a


problem and gathering information to solve it. The scientific method
includes making observations, asking questions, suggesting a hypothesis,
making a prediction and performing a test or experiment.

b.

Other fields that use the scientific method are other sciences like biology,
and astronomy. Theorists, psychologists and lawyers would use the
method, also.
This activity demonstrated using the scientific method because I observed
the materials presented and the task of using the beak types and I made a
guess or prediction on what the outcome would be. I didnt realize how in
depth data can be observed and I didnt account for variables or outside
factors that influence the favorable outcome, like certain traits, survival
tactics or even the timing.
The theory of evolution by natural selection has
been studied and explored. The underlying assumptions with natural
selection are controversial and evolution is just an idea. Traits are inherited
and passed down from individuals, and depending on their environment
context a trait can be beneficial which would prove reproductive success.

c.

c.

d.

7.

This activity supported the theory of evolution by


natural selection because most of the beak types started out with the same
amount then gradually with increased time, the favorable traits of the
beaks stayed steady, became favorable or unfavorable. The frequency did
not stay the same from Round 1. As the time increased the frequency
increased with the favorable variations reproducing more and more. Even
with the drought the frequency stayed the same. Learning more about
natural selection will help me understand how this can apply to our
population and how studies are determined.

References:
a.
Adaptive Radiation: Darwins Finches Evolution Library. PBS, n.d.
Web. 5 Feb 2015
Jurmain, Robert, Kilgore Lynn and Wenda Trevathan. Essentials of
Physical Anthropology. 9th ed. Wadsworth: CA, 2013. Print.