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Environmental Change and Evolution: Which mechanism of microevolution caused the beak of the medium ground finch population on Daphne Major to increase in size between 1976 and 1978?

by: Patrick J. Enderle, Ruth Bickel, Leeanne K. Gleim, Ellen Granger, Jonathon Grooms, Melanie Hester, Ashley Murphy, Victor Sampson, and Sherry A. Southerland

In this chapter, the purpose of this Lab 18 is for students to apply what they know about migration, genetic drift, and natural selection to explain the evolution of beak size in a population of birds.

Specifically, this investigation gives students an opportunity to use an existing data set to test three different potential explanations for a case of microevolution. Through this activity, students will have an opportunity to learn how scientists use system models to understand natural phenomena and to learn about the connection between structure and function in living things. Students will also have the opportunity to reflect on the difference between theories and laws in science and on the various methods that scientists can use during an investigation.

This free sample chapter also includes the Table of Contents, Preface, Introduction, and Index.

Grade Levels

Middle School


Biology Inquiry Life Science Science and Engineering Practices Teaching Strategies


Type Book ChapterPub Date 6/1/2015Pages 17ISBN 978-1-938946-24-0Stock # PB349X3_2

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