Natural Selection Activity
Names: 1. ________________________ 2. ________________________
3. ________________________ 4. ________________________
Scene – You and your team are crewmembers on the Beagle in 1831. Darwin has asked your team to assist him in collecting data on a strange and unusual creature that he has discovered on the Galapagos Islands. He has called this creature the Woolyboogeer. Darwin and your team search the islands and find 3 different species of this creature. During your observations of these three species you discover that all Woolyboogers eat beans. You also discover that each species is similar in appearance except for mouth variations. Some woolyboogers have a fork shaped mouth, some have a needle point shaped mouth, and some have a knife shaped mouth.
Darwin and your team study the Woolybooger creatures’ life on the Galapagos Islands. During your last few months on the Islands you discover a new species of Woolybooger, you called this species the spoon-mouthed Woolybooger. Your time on Galapagos islands has come to an end. You have collected information on the three species of Woolybooger. Darwin and your team discuss on the Beagle what you think will happen to the new creature on the island that you have discovered. What did the discovery of the spoon-mouthed Woolybooger mean and how would it contribute and/or affect the three other species of Woolyboogers.
As days passed on the Beagle you and your crew came up with an idea on how you could simulate the conditions and the newly discovered species to help predict the outcome of the Woolyboogers.
; Beans ; 1 Needle ; 1 Fork
; 1 Spoon ; 1 Knife
; Paper plate ( may work better if you put four books together to create a bin to put
beans in )
Procedure: You will run through several trials. Each trial will require your woolybooger to gain at least 20 beans. If 20 beans are not acquired during the time period, your woolybooger has died. No cheating!!!
Start with 1 minute on the clock. Then reduce the time to 45 seconds, then 30 seconds, then 15 seconds.
When a woolybooger species dies out then, then member can play the offspring of a surviving Woolybooger (get another utensil).
1 minute 45 seconds 30 seconds 15 seconds
Group Discussion Questions: (Separate Sheet of paper)
1. a.What happens to animals that cannot compete as well with other
animals in the wild?
b. Why do you think that the spoon mouthed Woolybooger was not
observed until the end of your time on the voyage? Where do you think
that they come from?
2. Can you think of any real-life examples of the woolybooger, where one species has a definite advantage over another?
3. Sometimes animals that are introduced into an area that they never lived in before, out-compete and endanger resident species, why do you think this happens?
4. If only one species is considered the "fittest", why do we still have so many variations among species. Why do some birds have very long pointy beaks, while other birds have short flat beaks?
5. How do you think diseases can affect natural selection?
6. Give an example of an environmental condition that would change the outcome of the survival number for each type of species of Woolybooger? (Remember they must eat beans!!)
7. What is the advantage of artificial selection over natural selection?
How is artificial selection a disadvantage?