Access Keys:
Skip to content (Access Key - 0)
Biology 110 - Basic Concepts and Biodiversity

Contents

Toggle Sidebar
Overview, Life and Natural Selection

Versions Compared

Key

  • This line was added.
  • This line was removed.
  • Formatting was changed.

...

Section
Column
width70%

Welcome to Biology 110: Concepts of Biology and Biodiversity. This course is designed to provide you with an overview of the major themes of biology and to introduce you to the diversity of life on the planet. These web-based tutorials are a major tool to help you learn the material. These tutorials, in conjunction with the Mastering Biology assignments and Tutorial Quizzes on ANGELquizzes, as well as the Late Nite Lab laboratory exercises, will help you learn the course material and increase your learning efficiency. In this first tutorial you will learn how the tutorials work and you will also get an introduction to natural selection. evolution, and the nature of science, which are major unifying themes in modern biology.

These tutorials are designed to help you understand important topics in biology. In these tutorials you will read about various topictopics, view figures , visit related Web sites, read a case study related to the information in the tutorial, and animations, and listen to embedded mini-lectures. Take an active part in your learning by writing notes and thinking about the material and answers to the questions. It is best if you have an introductory biology textbook at hand or an online biology resource so that you can look up terms and, if you like, go into more depth on the topic.

Column
width30%
 

...

Section
Column
width70%

At the end of the reading, there is a "Terms" list.  The terms list provides a list of biological terms for each tutorial. You should have a working knowledge of these terms. You should not only look up their definitions in your textbook or a reliable source online, but also see how they are used in the tutorials. The terms appear in bold when they are first defined in the tutorial. If you form a study group (and we suggest you do this), then practice using these new words with your partners. Some students find it helpful to use 3x5 cards with the word on the front and the definition on the back to help them learn the more difficult terms. (If you use this method, write the definition in your own words because this will help clarify the meaning of the term.)

Column
width30%
 

 

 

Introduction and Learning Objectives

...

Section
bordertrue
Column
width80%


 
Evolution Canyons I and II are found in Israel in the Carmel and Galilee mountain ranges (the image above shows Evolution Canyon I (ECI) in Lower Nahal Oren, Mount Carmel, Israel). These areas are ideal for the study of evolution because each range has a north-facing slope with relatively temperate environmental conditions and a south-facing slope with relatively extreme UV radiation (the south-facing slopes receive 200--800% more solar radiation than north-facing slopes), daily temperature variation, and arid conditions.

Scientists are interested in exploring how these different environmental conditions lead to evolutionary changes in organisms. An example of an evolutionary change is a change in coat color in mammals. Many mammals, particularly prey organisms, have evolved coat coloration that matches their environment in order to provide camouflage from predators. Singaravelan et al (2010) investigated how hair melanin content of spiny mice (Acomys cahirinus) has evolved in response to alternative selection pressures inflicted by contrasting colored habitats of Evolution Canyon. There are two main forms of melanin: pheomelanin results in yellow to brown hair color and eumelanin results in gray to black hair color.

  • Based on this information, do you expect mice that live on the “African” slopes to have higher pheomelanin content in their hair or higher eumelanin? What do you expect of mice living on the “European” slopes?
  • Explain how a change in environmental conditions can result in an evolutionary change in a population.

Reference

Singaravelan N, Pavlicek T, Beharav A, Wakamatsu K, Ito S, et al. (2010) Spiny Mice Modulate Eumelanin to Pheomelanin Ratio to Achieve Cryptic Coloration in “Evolution Canyon,” Israel. PLoS ONE 5(1): e8708. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008708

Column
width20%
 

...