In this exercise, you examine changes in lizards in the Caribbean. Changes in the organism and changes in environmental factors both have effects on survival of different groups. No organism is completely insulated from its environment and here you explain how the two variables are connected.
Open HHMI interactive, the Lizard Evolution Lab at www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/lizard-evolution-virtual-lab and enter the virtual lab. You find additional information on the lizards on the HHMI interactive web site.
In your lab notebook, write down the biological and environmental parameters you select and record the answers to the questions. As you proceed through the assignment, write down your observations. For example, what happened to lizards as they were isolated on different islands? Proceed through lab activities and then save your lab notes/progress as PDF file.
Once you have completed the experiments and answered the questions on the Student hand-out, organize the material and upload it to the assignment dropbox. The answers to the questions should be proceeded by the question that you are answering. Support your responses with lab data.
Compose your work using a word processor (or other software as appropriate) and save it frequently to your computer. Be sure to check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors before you upload it. When you are ready to submit your work, click "Browse My Computer" and find your file. Once you have located your file, click "Open" and, if successful, the file name will appear under the Attached files heading. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Submit."
Homework assignments are worth 10% of your overall course grade and are evaluated using the SLA Writing Rubric. Please review the rubric carefully so you are familiar with the expectations of the activity.
You have seen how natural selection is the result of the interactions between genetic variations in a population and the environment. However, the environment may determine which variations are more favorable. More favorable traits are thereby passed on to the population through successive generations. After finishing the assigned reading in your textbook, you have an understanding of the role biological and environmental factors play in determining which variations of traits are more favorable and which could lead to extinction. You also saw how in smaller populations genetic drift could determine which traits persisted in the population. You will now continue to prepare a laboratory report based on your observations in the Lizard Evolution Virtual Lab.