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Natural Selection and the Rock Pocket Mouse Questions

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Natural Selection and the Rock Pocket Mouse
(Text Sections 8.1, 8.5, 8.6, 8.9, 8.11-8.17, 8.22)
Watch the video Natural Selection and the Rock Pocket Mouse (youtube, hhmi
BioInteractive, 10:31 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjeSEngKGrg
Answer the questions below by typing your answers into the document, then save the
document. To submit the assignment, click on the name of the assignment then submit
the document as an attachment.
1. Describe the location, history, and types of habitat where the rock pocket mouse
lives.
-The rock pocket mouse lives in the Valley of Fire in the deserts of New Mexico.
Thousands of years ago there were volcanic eruptions causing thousands of miles of land
to be covered with volcanic rock, which is incredibly dark compared to the desert sand.
The rock pocket mice originally had very light coats and they camouflaged with the
sandy, rocky environment of the desert extremely well. They were protected from many
different predators in the area. However, after these volcanic eruptions, they were forced
to evolve or they would not have stayed alive. Now, there are two types of rock pocket
mice; the lightly colored mice and the darkly colored mice. The light mice inhabit the
sandy areas, and the dark mice inhabit the lava rock areas. Dark mice are a result of
mutations, and this gene was passed down more and more because the dark mice were the
mice that were surviving and reproducing in the new environment.
2. Complete the table below (use +protected from enemies, - not protected from
enemies)
Color of Background
Light Mouse
(+ or -)
Dark Mouse
(+ or -)
Most Common
Mouse Color
Light Sand
+
-
Light
Dark Lava
-
+
Dark

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3. a If the mice themselves have no preference for background color, what selects
appropriate mouse color for a particular habitat?
-The presence of predators in the are will determine the mice from making a
habitat in an area where they are more visible.
b Give 2 specific examples of these organisms that help to select for mouse color
in the area where the rock pocket mouse lives.
-The horned rattlesnake and a barn owl or horned owl.
4. Give a brief description of the experimental work done by Michael Nachman to
investigate the variation of mouse color in different habitats.
a. Ecological- He discovered that the mice didn’t prefer to live in either
the light or the dark environment, it was just the predators eating off
the mice that were opposite of their environment that caused the
evolution.
b. Genetic- He examined their DNA for mutations that could have caused
the dark coloration. Within the genetic mutations, he discovered that
the dark colored fur was caused by a mutation in the Mc1r gene, the
mutation is caused by a difference in 4 chemicals within this gene and
is responsible for how much dark pigment is in the mouse’s fur.
5. Describe mathematically how dark mice can spread through a population fairly
quickly.
-It has been about 1000 years since the dark lava rock has been in this desert.
And about 1 in 100,000 mice born has dark fur, but hundreds of thousands of
mice are born in any given year. The black mice’s babies survive better and go
on to have more babies, giving them about a 5% advantage. The video gives an
example, if dark mice had a 1% advantage over light mice, and it started out that
only 1% of the population was dark mice, in 1000 years over 95% of the
population would end up being dark, which is what we see today. If the dark color
gave them a 10% advantage, it would only take 100 years for the dark mice to
make up the majority of the population.

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Natural Selection and the Rock Pocket Mouse (Text Sections 8.1, 8.5, 8.6, 8.9, 8.11-8.17, 8.22) Watch the video Natural Selection and the Rock Pocket Mouse (youtube, hhmi BioInteractive, 10:31 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjeSEngKGrg Answer the questions below by typing your answers into the document, then save the document. To submit the assignment, click on the name of the assignment then submit the document as an attachment. 1. Describe the location, history, and types of habitat where the rock pocket mouse lives. -The rock pocket mouse lives in the Valley of Fire in the deserts of New Mexico. Thousands of years ago there were volcanic eruptions causing thousands of miles of land to be covered with volcanic rock, which is incredibly dark compared to the desert sand. The rock pocket mice originally had very light coats and they camouflaged with the sandy, rocky environment of ...
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