Natural Selection Lab- PhET Simulation

Jason Gading
Section D

***You must make at least one hypothesis for each of the three different types of phenotype
mutations***

For each experiment you must have a control (no mutation) and fill in the following chart
Experiment
and
Hypothesis

Pheno
type

Selective
Factor

CONTROL
Group
Initial
Population
at F3

CONTROL
Group
Final
Population

Experment
Group
Initial
Population
at F3

Experiment
Group
Final
Population

Conclusion/
Observation

White fur
rabbits less
likely to
survive with
wolves in the
equator

Brown

Wolves

30

6

15

61

The population of
rabbits with white fur
decreased as it is very
visible to the
environment and is
easily to be eaten by
the wolves

White fur
rabbits more
likely to
survive with
wolves in the
arctic

Brown

Wolves

35

353

21

0

The population of
rabbits with long teeth
increased as they are
able to eat food more
than the rabbits with
short teeth

Long teeth
rabbits more
likely to
survive with
food in
equator

Long
teeth

Food

13

23

33

85

The population of
rabbits with white fur
increased as they have
the same color so they
can easily blend in with
the environment which
makes them harder to
be eaten and seen by
predators like the
wolves

Short teeth
rabbits will
more likely to
survive with
food in arctic

Long
teeth

Food

110

14

47

140

The population of
rabbits with short teeth
decreased as they are
unable to eat that type
of food like the rabbits
with long teeth

• For each of the experiments, begin by adding a friend and a mutation. Wait until the F3
generation before adding the selective factor. After adding the selective factor let the
simulation run for another 3 or 4 generations.
• Use the population numbers from the chart to get you numbers for the table, remember
you can zoom in and out on the chart to get more accurate reads.
• Repeat for experiments 2, 3 and 4
Post-Lab Questions
1. Based upon your evidence from the simulation what conclusion are you able to make
about each of the three different types of phenotypes in rabbits?
According to the simulation results, I can conclude that each phenotype has their owns both
plus and minus, depends on the environment and selective factors and in the end, both affects
the population rate of rabbits. Also, each phenotype is able to survive longer than others when
they meet the needs to survive in a certain condition. After many generations, the phenotype of
one rabbit is able to change.
2. What happens to animals that cannot compete as well with other animals in the wild?
Due to the inability, the population will eventually gone extinct as they are forced to change their
food source, habitat and adaptations to develop their fitness.
3. Sometimes animals that are introduced into an area that they never lived in before, outcompete and endanger resident species, why do you think this happens?
It happens because the species is not living as they were before. There is a change of predators
on the new area, therefore, there is competition leaving them with low number of resources and
causes them to be endangered in the end.

4. If only one species is considered the "fittest", why do we still have so many variations
among species. Why do some birds have very long pointy beaks, while other birds have
short flat beaks?
Darwin made a point that there is no such thing as fittest species. However, variety can be
found in the traits of an organism in a population. That makes an individual in the same
environment, some individuals will survive and adapt better than the others because they have
a certain traits that fits well with the environment and their characteristics.
5. How do you think diseases can affect natural selection?
Survival of one individual rely on the status of the fittest. If a disease strikes, then it meansit may
cause the species to create a resistance and alter itself to survive. Individuals with resistance

will more likely to survive and create more offspring healthily, meanwhile others will be
unfortunate.
6. How does this simulation mimic natural selection? In what ways does this simulation fail to
represent the process of natural selection?
It mimics the natural selection since us how organisms like rabbits live and survive in the
environment and adapt accordingly to their phenotype and selection factors.

Extension- Changing the Dominance and
Recessive Alleles
Take one of the experiments from the lab. Recreate the same
experiment, EXCEPT when you add the mutation EDIT THE
GENES by switching the dominant and recessive allele for that
trait. Make a hypothesis, fill in the chart again and compare the
results to your initial experiment.
Experiment
and
Hypothesis

Pheno
type

Selective
Factor

CONTROL
Group
Initial
Population
at F3

CONTROL
Group
Final
Population

Experment
Group
Initial
Population
at F3

Experiment
Group
Final
Population

Conclusion/
Observation

Rabbits with
white fur will
less likely to
survive with
wolves in the
equator

Brown

Wolves

57

10

2

0

From the numbers, it
can be seen that a
rabbit with brown were
gone extinct as it is a
recessive allele.

1. Did switching the alleles for dominant and recessive have any impact on the population of
rabbits? If so Why? In nothing changed Why not?
Not quite. Because, Rabbits with brown fur will more likely to survive more even though their
population was very little in the beginning. Nevertheless, rabbits with white fur were gone
extinct, because they were more visible to the predators in the equator. In the end, rabbits with
brown fur increases their population overtime.

2. Two parent rabbits are both heterozygous for the trait. Create Punnet squares for the
original experiment and the new experiment (with the changed alleles). What are the
phenotype ratios of the Punnet squares? Does this evidence support your finding? and
how?
Punnett squares of both the original and new experiment shows a phenotype ratio of 3:1. The
ratio of the original, brown furred rabbits is 75% and white furred rabbits 25% that makes a
difference on it. In the new experiment, the ratio of white furred rabbits is 75% meanwhile brown
furred rabbits is 25%.

3. If this new experiment were to run longer would the end result be the same or different
from the original experiment?
If the experiment continues to go the way it is, I believe that it would be the same as the original.
Even though the dominant allele of white color will increase and the wolves will steal make them
as their prey because of the color that stands out and more visible. Overtime, it will equalize the
population of the white rabbit.

Extension- Working with PedigreesSwitch from the population chart to the pedigree
chart
Begin by adding a friend and a mutation. Wait until
the F5 generation. Copy the Pedigree for two
rabbits (described below) using the key. Assume
that male rabbits are on the left and female rabbits
are on the right.

Find these two rabbits, make sure they have at least four generations:
1. Select a rabbit that has the mutation.
2. Select a rabbit without the mutation but with parents or grandparent with the mutation.
Answer the following questions:
1. How could using a pedigree be helpful?
The pedigree is a tool that can show the history of the offspring’s parents, grandparents, and
more to the hierarchy of the family. In addition, it adds a specific genetic trait, and able to predict
the probability of the future offspring.
2. What does it mean to have a yellow triangle above the rabbit?
Yellow triangle means mutation occurs on the animal. In this case, the rabbit.
3. What does it mean when a rabbit has a red X over it?
Red X means the rabbit gone extinct or the generation died.
4. How accurate are the pedigrees used in this lab? Did each couple only have one baby
On a scale to 1-4, it will be a 3 on how accurate it is. Since the couple only have one baby whilst
in reality, rabbits often have multiple babies.