Evolution of Finches Essay example

1677 Words Aug 18th, 2013 7 Pages
Evolution of Finches on Darwin and Wallace Islands
The Evolution Lab simulates environmental situations to determine effects on evolution over periods of time. This lab experiments with the evolution of finches on two different islands over 100, 200, and 300 years. By manipulating parameters that influence natural selection, the effects that natural selection have on the evolution process can be studied.
• The size of the island will influence the population. • The amount of precipitation will influence beak size. • The larger the clutch the higher the population over time
The materials needed for this experiment consist of a computer and access to the Evolution Lab on the
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The goal in this process of testing was to see what parameters would need to be in place to allow the population of the finches to sustain at their highest population numbers for 100 years. Once the information for this experiment had been obtained, this experiment had to continue the testing to see how quickly the finches’ population could be whipped out on the island. Using the same testing method as above but watching the field notes for the population to become 0.
Beak size and precipitation did make a huge difference in the population of the finches. Small beaks and hard seeds did not favor the birds, large beaks and soft seed did not favor them, either. Larger island, helped the population, and smaller island hurt the population. Starting population was surprising, one would think the larger the population to start would ensure the long-term population for the birds, but it actually had a negative effect on the population. The biggest surprise to affect the population size was clutch. If the clutch size was too big or too small the differences were catastrophic.
On the opposite side of the population count, using the information from above, lowering the population of the finches was easy. In testing it was found that small beak and hard food, or large beaks and soft food, small clutches, and a small island were very detrimental to the birds’ population.

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