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The Evolution of Finches

Explore Darwin's Theory of Evolution with this high school biology activity.

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Grade Level: High School
Discipline: Biology

HS-LS4-3. Apply concepts of statistics and probability to support explanations that organisms with an advantageous heritable trait tend to increase in proportion to organisms lacking this trait. [ Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on analyzing shifts in numerical distribution of traits and using these shifts as evidence to support explanations.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to basic statistical and graphical analysis. Assessment does not include allele frequency calculations.]  

Charles Darwin observed that different islands had different finches with varying beak sizes. Darwin hypothesized that birds adapted to their environment by beak size. The evolution of the beak size led to survival of the fittest. Darwin’s theory of evolution states that the fittest organisms survive and reproduce to pass their genes onto future generations. In this activity, students will explore this theory by identifying the best evolutionary adaptations of finches beaks using a wide variety of food sources.

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