The Peppered Moth
All About The Peppered Moth or Darwin's Moth
Natural selection is one of the basic mechanisms of evolution, which Darwin proposed as a simple but often misunderstood idea. For natural selection to occur there needs to be:
- variation within a population. (Industrial revolution- changes tree colour)
- organisms compete for limited resources. (Black peppered moths vs. white peppered moths)
- more offspring than can be supported. (More black trees= too many white moths)
- organisms with favourable characteristics survive to reproduce. (More black trees=more black moths)
- traits are passed on from one generation to the next as genetic information. (More and more black peppered moths breed, white are dying from natural selection)
As a result, over successive generations, the black moths came to outnumber the pale forms in towns and cities. Since moths are short-lived, this evolution by natural selection happened quite quickly. For example, the first black Peppered Moth was recorded in Manchester in 1848 and by 1895 98% of Peppered Moths in the city were black.
This game is what was in the video above. It shows what happens to peppered moths from natural selection.
Dr Bernard Kettlewell
Doctor Bernard Kettlewell, born 24 February 1907- 11 May 1979, was a British Genetiicist, lepidopterist, and medical doctor. He performed research on the influence of industrial melanism on the peppered moth colour change. His experimentations proved a classic example of natural selection.
White Peppered Moth
Black Peppered Moth
Black and White Peppered Moths
This is a good example of how the peppered moths camoflauge well with certain surroundings.