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Evolution of Finches

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Submitted By michaelhk1
Words 1686
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Evolution of Finches on Darwin and Wallace Islands
INTRODUCTION
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.
HYPOTHESES
• 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
MATERIALS
The materials needed for this experiment consist of a computer and access to the Evolution Lab on the University of Phoenix student website. In the Evolution Lab there are two islands, Darwin Island and Wallace Island. There are seven variables that can be changed to run many different experiments on both islands. The variables are beak size, variance of beak size, heritability, clutch size, island size, population, and precipitation.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The Evolution Lab provides many variables. The user can change the following: beak size, variance of beak size in the population, heritability of the mid parent beak size, clutch size, island size, population of the finches to start the experiment, and precipitation on the island as it affects the hardness of seeds.. All of the numerous combinations of variables, set for two different islands lends for hours of combinations and sorting of information. The method this experimenter used to narrow down the countless options was to first focus on the beak size and precipitation for Darwin Island by changing the variables, recording the field notes for the population in 100 years. Second, keep the highest population information from the previous test and examine what changing the clutch size does to the population. Taking the information for the highest population from these two tests, the process was then repeated for island size, starting population, heritability, and variance. 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.
RESULTS
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.
This research found that the same parameters affected each island the same way; somehow the islands did affect each other. If the population numbers were low on one island, the other island was also lower, even with the greater adaptation advantages. Another observation is that the Evolution Lab is a program, which has various calculations to create the outcomes of the results given. This testing could not arrive at the same results repeatedly, even when none of the parameters had been changed.
Results after 100 years comparison. ===============
Input Parameters
================
Parameter DARWIN WALLACE
-------------------------------------------
Initial Beak Size: 10.0 mm 12.0 mm
Heritability: 0.7 0.7
Variance: 1.0 1.0
Clutch Size: 10.0 eggs 10.0 eggs
Precipitation: 11.0 cm 20.0 cm
Population: 300.0 birds 200.0 birds
Island Size: 0.3 km 0.5 km
====================
Experimental Results
====================
Year Dar Beak Dar Pop | Wal Beak Wal Pop
-------------------------+-------------------
1997 10.03 300 | 12.09 200
1998 10.09 156 | 12.17 251
1999 10.31 128 | 12.12 304
2000 10.32 140 | 12.12 327
2001 10.43 105 | 12.19 288
2002 10.45 117 | 12.15 306
2003 10.84 84 | 12.2 317
2004 11.01 73 | 12.36 410
2005 11.27 49 | 12.3 383
2006 11.31 29 | 12.23 315
2007 11.7 40 | 12.21 264
2008 11.11 23 | 12.4 242
2009 11.16 42 | 12.39 199
2010 11.65 55 | 12.56 235
2011 11.65 59 | 12.45 225
2012 11.42 50 | 12.57 310
2013 11.61 78 | 12.51 296
2014 11.83 70 | 12.38 280
2015 11.53 33 | 12.59 267
2016 11.54 31 | 12.65 331
2017 10.76 13 | 12.79 270
2018 10.42 7 | 12.83 254
2019 10.93 9 | 12.9 301
2020 0.00 0 | 12.94 326
2021 0.00 0 | 13.13 322
2022 0.00 0 | 13.25 322
2023 0.00 0 | 13.28 371
2024 0.00 0 | 13.26 392
2025 0.00 0 | 13.4 393
2026 0.00 0 | 13.48 351
2027 0.00 0 | 13.5 335
2028 0.00 0 | 13.61 314
2029 0.00 0 | 13.69 355
2030 0.00 0 | 13.66 361
2031 0.00 0 | 13.59 358
2032 0.00 0 | 13.59 302
2033 0.00 0 | 13.63 282
2034 0.00 0 | 13.66 273
2035 0.00 0 | 13.65 289
2036 0.00 0 | 13.77 380
2037 0.00 0 | 13.83 299
2038 0.00 0 | 13.83 354
2039 0.00 0 | 14.0 319
2040 0.00 0 | 13.93 337
2041 0.00 0 | 13.82 430
2042 0.00 0 | 13.87 431
2043 0.00 0 | 14.02 308
2044 0.00 0 | 13.94 337
2045 0.00 0 | 14.03 359
2046 0.00 0 | 14.0 369
2047 0.00 0 | 14.06 332
2048 0.00 0 | 14.06 343
2049 0.00 0 | 14.17 326
2050 0.00 0 | 14.34 364
2051 0.00 0 | 14.39 379
2052 0.00 0 | 14.48 418
2053 0.00 0 | 14.52 411
2054 0.00 0 | 14.45 458
2055 0.00 0 | 14.58 348
2056 0.00 0 | 14.63 395
2057 0.00 0 | 14.66 389
2058 0.00 0 | 14.63 348
2059 0.00 0 | 14.69 370
2060 0.00 0 | 14.8 331
2061 0.00 0 | 14.86 362
2062 0.00 0 | 14.83 424
2063 0.00 0 | 14.78 444
2064 0.00 0 | 14.88 438
2065 0.00 0 | 14.98 362
2066 0.00 0 | 15.14 362
2067 0.00 0 | 15.1 431
2068 0.00 0 | 15.06 379
2069 0.00 0 | 15.06 370
2070 0.00 0 | 15.15 365
2071 0.00 0 | 15.22 329
2072 0.00 0 | 15.41 403
2073 0.00 0 | 15.44 456
2074 0.00 0 | 15.55 520
2075 0.00 0 | 15.57 440
2076 0.00 0 | 15.49 428
2077 0.00 0 | 15.51 452
2078 0.00 0 | 15.52 431
2079 0.00 0 | 15.68 440
2080 0.00 0 | 15.8 433
2081 0.00 0 | 15.84 456
2082 0.00 0 | 15.95 352
2083 0.00 0 | 16.07 380
2084 0.00 0 | 16.07 365
2085 0.00 0 | 16.19 503
2086 0.00 0 | 16.3 484
2087 0.00 0 | 16.42 468
2088 0.00 0 | 16.43 477
2089 0.00 0 | 16.33 447
2090 0.00 0 | 16.29 398
2091 0.00 0 | 16.31 412
2092 0.00 0 | 16.44 404
2093 0.00 0 | 16.38 432
2094 0.00 0 | 16.5 476
2095 0.00 0 | 16.56 543
2096 0.00 0 | 16.6 494
Exported Evolution Lab Graph: Average Beak Size Darwin Wallace
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CONCLUSION
In conclusion, as the environmental change occurs by decreasing precipitation levels of Darwin Island, the Finch beaks increases in order to adapt to the change of environment. Dry seeds begin to develop on the island due to decrease in rainfall while the Finch beaks increase in order to adapt to the island seeds and survive in their surroundings. Compared to Wallace island where the precipitation level remained at 20cm and the sizes of the Finch beaks remained at an average growth. Adaptation is the evolutionary process in which a population becomes better suited to live in the environment in which it lives. This experiment allowed actual testing that has been done and recorded to be manipulated and controlled to teach how small changes in the finches’ adaptation can help or hinder its population. Survival of the fittest is still very much alive and surviving in the animal kingdom is to adapt or die out.

Great experiment! You have done fantastic job !
20/20

References
Simon, E. J., Reece, J. B., Dickey, J., & Campbell, N. A. (2010). Campbell essential biology with physiology (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings.…...

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