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Pepper Moth Simulation - makeup
Name _______________
1) Note: read description at end! ____________________
= black moth population
= white moth population
------------------------Clean Air Lwas ------------------------
Number of pepper moths in the “Forest”
Year of data collection
1) Complete year 8 for what you think the population will be that year.
2) Which color moths were more likely to survive to make babies when there was no pollution? ____________
3) Why was that color more successful? ________________________________________________________
4) Which color moths were more likely to survive to make babies when there WAS pollution? ____________
5) Why was that color more successful? ______________________________________________________
(over )
6) What creatures do you know that use color to help them not get eaten? ______________________________
7) Who does their color help them? ___________________________________________________________
8) Why did students wear the soda bottles when they were pretending to be birds? ______________________
9) In the world of evolution, it’s all about making babies. Think of a creature that uses color help a creature
find a mate (someone to make babies with.) Note: sometimes this coloring makes it harder to survive.
10) How does this color help the creature make babies?
11) How is the pepper moth simulation an example of natural selection?_______________________________
12) Evolution is not only natural selection it’s also speciation –the creation of a new species that won’t
reproduce with the old species. Why is this simulation not fully evolution?
13) How could this simulation been changed to be a full simulation about evolution, not just one about natural
In this simulation, white pieces of paper and black pieces of paper were first put on a white board. Students act
as birds and have 15 seconds to “eat” as many of the white moths or black moths off the white board. This
happens for 3 years.
Any moth that survives gets to have 3 babies.
Then, the board is turned to black (with pollution) and the same thing happens.
Background info.
The evolution of the peppered moth over the last two hundred years has been studied in detail. Originally, the
vast majority of peppered moths had light coloration, which effectively camouflaged them against the lightcolored trees and lichens which they rested upon. However, due to widespread pollution during the Industrial
Revolution in England, many of the lichens died out, and the trees which peppered moths rested on became
blackened by soot, causing most of the light-colored moths, or typica, to die off due to predation. At the same
time, the dark-colored, or melanic, moths, carbonaria, flourished because of their ability to hide on the
darkened trees.[3]
Since then, with improved environmental standards, light-colored peppered moths have again become common,
but the dramatic change in the peppered moth's population has remained a subject of much interest and study,
and has led to the coining of the term "industrial melanism" to refer to the genetic darkening of species in
response to pollutants. As a result of the relatively simple and easy-to-understand circumstances of the
adaptation, the peppered moth has become a common example used in explaining or demonstrating natural
selection to laypeople and classroom students.[4]