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MODULE 4 LESSON 1 LAB

PROBLEM:
How does the depth of finch beaks vary with drought or heavy rain?

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
The Galpagos Islands are very dry, with an average rainfall on some islands of about 12
centimeters per year. The amount of rainfall has a large impact on the abundance and types of
seeds that are available to be eaten by finches. In the process of natural selection, only the
finches that are best adapted to the available seed types survive and have offspring.
In years of extreme drought, Galpagos plants dont produce new seeds. The small, delicate
seeds get eaten up quickly, leaving behind only the largest, toughest seeds.
In years of abundant rainfall, there can be 25 centimeters or more of rain. In these years, plants
produce an enormous number and variety of seeds. A higher proportion of seeds are small.

HYPOTHESIS:
Make a hypothesis as to which species shown below will be predominant during times of
drought.
Make a hypothesis as to which species shown below will be predominant during times of heavy
rain.

Geospiza magnirostris has a large beak depth

Geospiza fortis has a small beak depth

MATERIALS:

Student exploration sheet (Open the Gizmo by clicking on the link in the content just
after where you obtained this document. Once the gizmo opens click on Lesson
Materials. Click on student exploration sheet)
Gizmo

PROCEDURE:
1. Print the student exploration sheet.
2. Follow all the instructions and complete all the questions in your exploration sheet.
Complete them in the order they are presented.
3. Complete the results section below using the answers you recorded in the exploration
sheet.
4. Answer the analysis questions below using the answers you recorded in the exploration
sheet.

RESULTS:
ACTIVITY B (Drought) (3 marks):
Initial values

Final values (after 5 years)

Number of finches
Average beak depth
Range of beak depths
How did the beak depth change over time?
ACTIVITY C (Rainy Days) (3 marks):
Initial values

Final values (after 5 years)

Number of finches
Average beak depth
Range of beak depths
How did the beak depth change over time?

ANALYSIS:
ACTIVITY B (Drought):
1. How did the number of finches change after the five years of drought? Why do you think
this happened? (2 marks)
2. What happened to the average beak depth after the five years of drought? Why do you
think this happened? (2 marks)

3. Directional selection occurs when individuals at one end of a range are more likely to
survive than intermediate individuals or individuals at the opposite end of the range.
Stabilizing selection occurs when intermediate individuals are the most likely to
survive.
Is directional selection, stabilizing selection, or both operating in this example? Explain.
(2 marks)

4. Evolution is the process by which populations of organisms can change over time. How
is directional selection related to evolution? (2marks)

ACTIVITY C (Rainy Days):


1. How did the number of finches change after the five years of rain? Why do you think this
happened? (2 marks)
2. What happened to the average beak depth after the five years of rain? Why do you think
this happened? (2 marks)
3. Most scientists think that a small group of finches colonized the Galpagos Islands
thousands of years ago. They would have been the only seed-eating birds on the
islands. Suppose one island was very dry and another had plentiful rainfall.
A. How would the finch populations on these islands change over time? (2 marks)
B. What might happen to the finch populations after millions of years? (2 marks)

CONCLUSION:
What can you conclude about the answer to the problem (how does the depth of finch

beaks vary with drought or heavy rain?) (2 marks)