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Simulating Evolution of a Rock Pocket Mouse Population
This animation shows how quickly an advantageous mutation can spread through a mouse population over multiple generations.
Mutations with even a small selective advantage can lead to rapid evolution of populations. This animation uses equations from population genetics to simulate how quickly a new, advantageous fur color spreads through a rock pocket mouse population. The selective advantage discussed in the animation corresponds to the selection coefficient (s). Even with only a modest advantage (a relatively small value of s), evolution can happen in as few as 100 generations.
This animation is a clip from a 2005 Holiday Lecture Series, Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads. Depending on students’ background, it may be helpful to pause the animation at various points to discuss the different scenarios presented.
camouflage, fitness, generation, mutation, selection coefficient, selective advantage, simulation, variation