Comparison of Artificial and Natural Selection - P2
Page last updated: 11/2015
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Biston betularia typica (light) and carbonaria (datrk) morphs on the same tree. The light-colored typica (below the bark's scar) is nearly invisible on this tree, camouflaging it from predators.
Biston betularia in an Era of Modern, Cleaner Industry: Modern air pollution controls have cleaned up the environment compared to the early days of the industrial revolution. A cleaner environment has allowed the lichens to grown back, and the trees have returned to being lighter in color. Now, natural selection favors lighter moth varieties so they have become the most common and the dark-colored variant is again rare.
Difference between Natural & Artificial Selection
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Artificial Selection Example: Dog Breeding
Artificial selection is when we, humans, act as the “environmental pressure.” An example is when we choose dogs with certain traits and breed them together to accentuate the traits we desire.
All modern domestic dogs, no matter how different they are in appearance, from Chihuahua to Great Dane, all belong to the same species, Canis lupus familiaris.
The originator of today’s domestic dog was the gray wolf (Canis lupus), and by incrementally selecting for certain traits, we have, over many generations, created a variety of dogs that differ widely in appearance and temperament.
We've even made dogs that are just for cuddling! Girls with Daisy dog (a mixed breed of various lab dogs).
Sources & Resources
- Brown, Bryson (2007) Evolution: A Historical Perspective. Greenwood Press.
- Campbell & Reece (2005) Biology, 7th Edition. Pearson.