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    Theory of Evolution and Natural Selection

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    According to the Theory of Evolution, Natural Selection is the mechanism by which evolution occurs.

    The process of Natural selection is based on the following four postulates.

    Postulate 1 - Individual members of a population differ from one another in many respects.

    Postulate 2 - At least some of the differences among members of a population are due to characteristics that may be passed from parent to offspring. That is, they are heritable or genetic.

    Postulate 3 - In each generation, some individuals in a population survive and reproduce successfully but others do not.

    Postulate 4 - The fate of individuals is not determined by luck. Instead, an individual's likelihood of survival and reproduction depends on its characteristics. Individuals with advantageous traits survive longest and leave the most offspring, a process known as Natural Selection.

    Choose an animal species. Your goal is to describe the way in which an evolutionary change might occur for a particular characteristic (trait) of that species as a result of natural selection. The characteristic could be something like coloration pattern, length of the limbs, or size of the teeth or beak, or any measurable trait that is inherited.

    The organism you choose should be a real one but the evolutionary change you describe can be real or theoretical.

    Remember: evolution occurs at the level of the population. Individuals do not evolve, populations evolve.

    Explain how the change occurs in terms of the four postulates listed in the book.

    You will describe what the population starts out like at time zero and then what it will look like at a later time, as a result of natural selection. Make sure to explain the process by which the changes occurred.

    What is the selective pressure? Explain why the change might confer more fitness to a particular environment?

    *I choose to use dogs and their scenting abilities.*

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    Solution Preview

    For this paper, you chose dogs/scenting abilities. You want to be able to present a scenario explaining how dogs could have evolved a good sense of smell (it doesn't have to be what actually happened, but it has to make sense based on the postulates above).

    Assume that the original dog population (before they evolved a good sense of smell), was made up of dogs with an average sense of smell. Some dogs could smell a little better than other dogs; some couldn't smell as well as the average dog in the population. [This is an example of Postulate 1 - Individual members of a population differ from one another in many respects.]

    The scenting abilities of the dogs in this ...

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