Peppered Moth Game

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Objective: Simulate changes in moth population due to pollution and predation, and observe how species can change over time.

Go to: and read each section before you play the game, answer the questions as you go.


Peppered Moth

1. Where do peppered moths live? ____________________________

2. How do the moth larvae survive predators? _______________________

3. What do the moths do during the winter? ______________________

4. What color is the "typica" version of the moths? ____________________
     What color is the "carbonaria" version? _______________________

5. How do adult moths survive predation? _______________________

Natural Selection

6. What was the industrial revolution? ___________________________________

7. What was causing the change in the color of the moths? ____________________

8. What is natural selection? __________________________________________

9. Why would dark moths have an advantage? ____________________________

Dr. Kettlewell

10. What is an entomologist? ___________________________________________

11. How do scientists test theories? ______________________________________

12. Dr. Kettlewelll predicted that clean forests would have ___________________
colored moths, and polluted forests would have ________________ colored moths.

13. How did Kettlewell test his hypothesis? ______________________________

14. How did Kettlewell determine if moths lived longer than others? _________________________


Play the Game

15. Complete the data table for the light forest and the dark forest.

data table

Final Analysis

16. Explain how the color of the moths increases or decreases their chances of survival.

17. Explain the concept of natural selection using your moths as an example.

18. Predict what would happen if there were no predators in the forest. Would the moth colors have changed? Why or why not?

19. Efforts to reduce pollution began occurring later in the century. If pollution near factories was reduced, what would happen to the color of the moths? Explain your answer.

20. Kettlewell's experiment is included in most biology texts as an example of evolution occuring. How do we know that the moths evolved?

Other Resources on Evolution

Peppered Moth Simulation - use paper to simulate how moths change over time

Modeling Natural Selection - use tools such as spoons to "capture" beans and determine the best adaptations

How Did the Guppy Get His Color - guided case study exploring pools in Trinidad and guppy coloration; includes data analysis comparing pools with predators to those without

Natural Selection with Bunnies and Wolves - interactive simulation at where students manipulate variables such as climate, fur color, presence of predator, or food limitations.