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Explanations for Salamander Colour Differences

Imagine that on your visit to a hypothetical island near a hypothetical continent, you observe that one species of salamander occurs in several colors, but most of the salamanders are yellow. This same color mix and predominance of yellow occurs on the adjacent mainland.

1) Assuming that all of the salamanders are descended from an ancestral yellow salamander, where did the other colors come from? (think about the origin of all change).

2) Ten years later you visit the same island and observe that most of the salamanders are blue.

Explain this change in color frequency as though it were based solely on each of the following processes.

a) non-random mating

b) bottleneck effect

c) founder effect

d) natural selection.

Solution Preview

1) The other colours could have come from a random mutation and that survived through the generations (didn't disadvantage the salamanders with that mutation).

2)
a) Non-random mating: perhaps salamanders are naturally predisposed to being attracted to ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides an explanation for salamander colour differences.

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