Color Variation Over Time in Rock Pocket Mouse Populations
This activity allows students to collect and analyze data on the evolution of coat color in rock pocket mouse populations living on differently colored substrates.
Students analyze data from images of rock pocket mouse populations in different settings and over time. They then order those images based on the data and their knowledge of evolution by natural selection. The activity involves collecting and graphing data and making evidence-based claims.
This activity serves as an extension to the short film The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection and Adaptation and as a means of reinforcing the concepts of variation and natural selection.
The “Card Images” ZIP file contains individual image files for the cards used in this activity that can be used in the classroom, particularly in online courses. A document within the ZIP file contains suggestions for their use. These card images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CCC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. We would ask that you attribute these to BioInteractive and not use them for commercial purposes.
Student Learning Targets
- Explain how variation, selection, and time fuel the process of evolution.
- Analyze, organize, and graph data.
adaptation, bar graph, camouflage, evolution, mutation, natural selection, trait
Nachman, M. W., Hopi E. Hoekstra, and Susan L. D’Agostino. “The genetic basis of adaptive melanism in pocket mice.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 100, 9 2003: 5268–5273. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0431157100.
The resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. No rights are granted to use HHMI’s or BioInteractive’s names or logos independent from this Resource or in any derivative works.
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-LS2-2, HS-LS2-6, HS-LS3-3, HS-LS4-4, HS-LS4-5; SEP2, SEP4
AP Biology (2019)
EVO-1.C, EVO-1.D, EVO-1.E, EVO-1.G, EVO-1.H, EVO-1.J, EVO-1.M, EVO-1.O, EVO-3.A, IST-2.E, IST-4.A, SYI-3.D, ENE-4.B; SP1, SP2, SP4
IB Biology (2016)
5.1, 5.2, 10.3, C.1
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Topic(s): 2.6, 2.7
Learning Objectives & Practices: ERT-2.H, SP4, SP2, SP5, SP6
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
Common Core (2010)
ELA.RST.9–12.3, ELA.RST.9–12.4, ELA.RST.9–12.7, ELA.WHST.9–12.1
MP2, MP3, MP5
Vision and Change (2009)
CC1, CC2; DP1, DP2, DP3