Natural Selection Simulator

Posted on Posted in 8th Grade Science

Photo credit: University of Utah

Rock Pocket Mice are amazing, and this simulator from the University of Utah allows students to change the geological makeup of the environment. Then, they get to see how quickly the populations of mice adjust, as predators find the mice whose fur contrasts in color to the environment and eat them. Students also get to see that the recessive alleles never disappear. These remain present, and when conditions in the environment change again, the populations traits shift again, as predators eat the mice who are more visible, and the surviving mice pass along their trait of camouflage to the next generation.

Just a head’s up, you need to select the “black rock” or the “sandy soil” buttons, to make changes to the simulator. Once it has begun to adjust, you can then select “mixture” to even out the population of each color mouse population.

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