A collection of experiments that demonstrate biological concepts and processes.
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Modelling natural selection

These practicals focus on particular examples evolution by natural selection, over school year timescales, and will help students to understand the bigger picture.

Experiments
  • Selection in action - peppered moths
    Use web-sourced material, maps and population data to explore the industrial melanism of Biston betularia (the peppered moth).
  • Selection in action - banded snails
    Use presented data about the frequency of different varieties of snails to make deductions about selection pressure and changing populations.
  • Brine date
    Develop practical skills of scientific enquiry in an investigation of living brine shrimps – Artemia salina. Consider evidence that supports Darwin’s ideas about sexual selection.
  • A simple model for natural selection
    Pick grains of coloured rice from coloured vermiculite as a model for natural selection. Follow the change in the characteristics of a population over a number of generations.
  • A model for natural selection – spaghetti worms
    Investigate natural selection using ‘worms’ made from cooked spaghetti of different colours, observe which ones birds prefer to eat and monitor how ‘populations’ change over time.