Introduction and Purpose
The aim of this experiment is to observe and analyze the co-existence of four different phenotypes in a particular environment where the selection probability that a prey (victim/food) moves horizontally is 0.9, its initial position is random and the mutation rate for the phenotypes is 0.5. The experiment is however carried out with an assumption that a phenotype that manages to fill its hunger reproduces while that which stays in hunger dies out of natural selection so as to give room for the new ones and to ensure that the population is maintained.
The materials needed and that were used for this experiment as has been carried out include
1. A computer
2. Access to the Evolution Lab found on the student website. (http://www.biologyinmotion.com/evol/index.html)
Methods or Procedures
I carried out the experiment as a student of biology and the key steps used were as outlined below. The data acquired was also tabled for analysis purposes in the sections that follow:
1. From my personal computer, I ran a Google search for the website “http://www.biologyinmotion.com/” that gave me an option of login into the evolution lab in which there is a brief introduction of how the lab can be utilized in personal research work.
2. Once logged into the evolution lab and at the point of natural selection simulation, I went to the setting options on the extreme right and changed the default values to:
Selection strength =0.9
Mutation rate= 0.5
3. With this setting of my own choice, I then ran up to 100 simulations of cycles and the corresponding data acquired tabulated as shown.
4. The same procedure was then repeated with the settings alternated to various different set of values for the two independent variables mentioned above and results also tabulated.
Discussion and Results
According to the data obtained, it can be seen that phenotype 1 is the least adaptable in this environment and is made extinct within very few cycles. It is followed by phenotype 2 while phenotype 3 becomes the endangered one. Phenotype 4 is the most suited for this environment and is found to have greatly multiplied at the end of the considered cycles.
This result is in agreement with earlier experiments that have proved that existence of organisms is based on natural selection by in four ways namely;
2. Variation and inheritance: - genetic random changes in genes for survival
3. Struggle for existence i.e. reproduction rate may be high but the population size must always remain relatively same.
4. Better adapted phenotypes: - some characters are more favored in given environments.
This experiment thus proves that only phenotypes that are well adapted in a particular habitat can and will survive while the ones not will die out of natural selection.
This experiment however is prone to errors as the results obtained were not based on real life analysis but on a computer simulation program. It is therefore advisable that to avoid such sources of errors, the experiment should be allocated an appropriate time and a specific species of organisms be studied either under different habitats.
The experiment was successfully carried out and the proposition of existence by natural selection proved to be true and acceptable. It therefore means that different species may as well be adapted for different regions and this can help scientists and farmers in deciding what kind of crop or animal to rear in a particular region for maximum gain.
1. Retrieved from http://www.biologyinmotion.com/
2. Robert G. B. Reid (2007) Biological emergences: evolution by natural experiment. United States of America. The MIT press, pg.179