Natural Selection

Peppered Moth

Peppered Moth

This Peppered Moth is a clear demonstration of natural selection. This is seen in the camouflage shown in the moths. During the industrial revolution in England, the country side between London and Manchester got covered in soot, this was caused by the new coal-burning factories. They noticed a big increase in the dark peppered moths soon after as they were able to camouflage with the surrounding covered soot ecosystem. The lite coloured moths stood out amounst the dark landscape allowing easy prey for birds.

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This hypothesis was proposed by J.W. Tutt in 1896, and tested by Bernard Kettlewell in the 1950s.

Since smoke pollution has decreased in the UK, the light coloured moths have started to become more common again. By 2019, the dark moths are only expected to make up 1% of the peppered moth population in Britain.