How do peppered moths after the Industrial Revolution show the process natural selection?

1 Answer
Aug 4, 2017

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There are different variations of the peppered moth. Some have almost black wings, while some are white with black spots. These moths (white with black spots) camouflaged well with lichen. The black ones could not survive and reproduce as well.

In the 19th century, industrialization and coal fires caused air pollution. Lichen burned and a lot of surfaces (trees, building walls, etc.) were blackened. The moths that were white with black spots could be seen easily now and many did not survive (they could not hide from predators). However, the black moths were able to hide well due to all the black surfaces.

Because of this, the black moths had more opportunities to reproduce. Their population increased, while the population of the moths that were white with black spots decreased.

Therefore the black moths were "selected" by nature as more fit to survive than the moths that were white with black spots.