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Evolution Concept Workshop

Station 1 Natural Selection

Open the simulation:
In the simulation, you are a bird that must eat beetles to survive through the winter.
There are blue beetles and green beetles that you can eat by clicking on them.
Predict the impact of predation on the population of insects (hint: think about their

Run through a minimum of 6 rounds of the simulation before answering the

following questions. If you do not survive the winter (a red skull and crossbones at
the top right of the simulator), refresh the webpage and try again until youve
reached 6 rounds.
What happened to the population of insects over the course of the simulation?

How does this relate to the idea of survival of the fittest?



February 3, 2015

Station 2 Sexual Selection

Watch the video of the rifle birds courtship ritual.
The male and female rifle birds have different appearances, meaning they exhibt
sexual dimorphism. The male is displaying his bright colours and talented dance
moves in order to attract the female. These traits show his potential mate the
quality of his genes. This process is known as sexual selection.
Do you think there are potential disadvatages to this behaviour?

Using the materials provided, create your own bird that exhibits traits that would be
favourable in sexual selection.
Explain the advantages and disadvantages of your birds traits.





February 3, 2015

Station 3 Embryology
The pictures on the table depict the embryos of 8 different organisms at 3 stages of
For each stage, write down which organism you think corresponds with which letter.
Do not look at the next page until you have written down all your answers no
List of organisms: tortoise, calf, rabbit, chick, salamander, fish, human, pig.

Stage #1

Stage #2

Stage #3


What challenges did you face while deciding which organism is depicted?

How could you use the study of embryos as support for the theory of

How does this relate to the concepts of homology and analogy?



February 3, 2015

Station 4 Genetic Drift

In the bottle there is an equal number of red, blue, and green beads which
represent a population of a species. Each of these colours represent a different
phenotype of a trait.
Take turns in your group pouring out approximately 10 beads. Record the number of
each colour in the table below.

Round #

Colour Ratio


If the beads taken from the bottle were individuals that breed to form a new
population, would this new population always accurately represent the original?

What real-world situation could cause this to a population?

How might this affect a species fitness?




February 3, 2015

Station 5 Lamarck vs Darwin

Use the computers at this station to research two of the scientists that contributed
to the modern day understanding of evolution: Lamarcks theory of Lamarckism and
Darwins theory of Natural Selection.
Fill in the table below with your findings. Dont be afraid to use teamwork to be time

Natural Selection


Time period


Weak Points



February 3, 2015


Is this theory
still valid

Station 6 Discussion Scenarios

Discuss with your table group, the situations below, with reference to evolution. In
the time provided, try to address at least two scenarios.

Due to rising global temperatures, a species of hummingbird is able to survive in

more northern environments than its previous range. The species of flower that
this bird evolved to pollinate in its original range is not present in the northern
ecosystems. The flowers in the north are much smaller or much bigger than in its
original habitat (but not the same size). How will this affect the population of the
species over time?

A species of wildcat is hunted to near extinction (15 individuals left). Due to the
enforcement of strict poaching laws, the hunting of the species is eliminated, and
these 15 individuals are able to re-populate the region. How will this affect the
population of the species over time? Hint: Do you think these 15 individuals
represent the original diversity of the population?

A species of Australian fish has 3 possible colour morphs. 10% of the population is
purple, 35% of the population is blue, and 55% of the population is red. These fish
are popular for personal aquariums, especially the rarer purple and blue morphs. A
man in Florida decides that caring for his fish are too expensive, so he releases 50
of them into Caribbean waters. They have no natural predators here. How will this
affect the Caribbean waters over time?

Elephants are poached for their long ivory tusks. If an elephant does not have tusks
(eg: it is too young, tusks have broken off or animal cannot grow tusks) it has no
value to a poacher. How will this affect the population of the species over time?



February 3, 2015

A species of squirrel can eat many food sources, but the most abundant food is the
Kate-nut. A terrible disease kills all the Ibsen-nut trees, causing the tree species to
go extinct. The next most abundant nut is the Zac-nut, but it is twice the size of the
Kate-nut. How will this affect the population of the species over time?

A species of raccoon lives in a forest. Due to urbanization of the region, a massive

highway is built through the middle of the forest. On one side of the highway, the
forest remains. This side contains a river with fish. On the other side of the highway
the forest contains many meadows with tall grasses, and no water body. How will
this affect the population of the species over time?