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Revised Spring 2024

BIO-110 Lab: Peppered Moth Video Lab

Submission Instructions:

Type your answers and paste any required pictures directly into this Word document. Submit it via the Blackboard submission link in Word format (docx).

· Answers typed into a new blank document or submitted in the other formats will not be accepted.

· If this lab requires pictures, they must be embedded (pasted into the document) and will not be accepted as stand-alone files. Each picture must be sized to at least 3” x 3”.

· Assignments may not be submitted via email without express permission from the instructor.

If an assignment is submitted incorrectly, you will be contacted via email and the assignment will not be graded unless resubmitted properly. Late penalties may apply; lab assignments may be submitted up to 7 days late.


1. Identify an evolving population from a change in its allele frequencies over generations.

2. Students will describe the four requirements of evolution by natural selection.

3. Students will summarize the four main observations that make up Darwin’s theory of natural selection.


Population genetics studies the diversity of a population at the level of the gene. Said population includes all interbreeding members of a single species within a shared location. This field assesses how a population’ genetic diversity may change in response to certain evolutionary agents. These agents include genetic drift (random change), gene flow (migration), natural selection, nonrandom mating (mating adjacent individuals), and mutations. Without these agents, a population would experience genetic equilibrium. This is the state where a population’s allelic frequency remains static.


Complete Parts I and II of this assignment

Part I: Mark-Recapture

Watch the video Mark-Recapture (opens new window). Then answer the questions below.

1. Briefly explain how the Mark-Recapture technique is used to estimate the size of a population.

2. What is the Simple Mark-Recapture equation shown first in the video? See time 2:07/8:00.

#3-5. You have been asked to measure the size of a population of adult bluegill sunfish in a local pond. During your first sampling, you capture 108 bluegill and mark each with a spot of waterproof red paint on its tail fin. During your second sampling, you capture 120 bluegill; 12 of these have red paint on their tail fin.

3. According to the paragraph above, is the actual population size likely to be close to 108? Explain your answer. ( Answer this question before you use the equation.)

4. According to the paragraph above:

· M =

· R =

· C =

5. Estimate the size of the bluegill population in paragraph using the equation in #2 above and the values in #4 above.

Part II: Natural Selection:

Watch the video Natural Selection - Peppered Moth (opens new window). Then answer the questions below using the video and your textbook, if necessary.

6. Explain each of Darwin’s four principles of evolution.

7. How did the dark phenotype come to exist?

8. Explain how the proportion of dark moths changed from less than 1% to almost 95% in polluted forests.

9. As the dark phenotype became more common, the allele for dark coloration became more common in the population. Consequently, the allele for light coloration became less common. Did the moth population evolve? Explain how you know your answer is true.

10. Regarding #9 above, did any individual moth(s) evolve? Explain.