Descent with Modification Video Lessons

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Problem: The Canary Islands are seven islands just west of the African continent. The islands gradually became colonized with life (plants, lizards, birds, etc). Three different species of lizards found on the islands are similar to one species found on the African continent (Thorpe & Brown, 1989). Because of this, scientists assume that lizards traveled from Africa to the Canary Islands by floating on tree trunks washed out to sea. According to the theory of natural selection, where did the variations in body size in the three species of lizards most likely come from?a. The lizards needed to change in order to survive, so beneficial new traits developed.b. The lizards wanted to become different in size, so beneficial new traits gradually appeared in the population.c. Random genetic changes and sexual recombination both created new variations.d. The island environment caused genetic changes in the lizards.

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Problem Details

The Canary Islands are seven islands just west of the African continent. The islands gradually became colonized with life (plants, lizards, birds, etc). Three different species of lizards found on the islands are similar to one species found on the African continent (Thorpe & Brown, 1989). Because of this, scientists assume that lizards traveled from Africa to the Canary Islands by floating on tree trunks washed out to sea. 

According to the theory of natural selection, where did the variations in body size in the three species of lizards most likely come from?

a. The lizards needed to change in order to survive, so beneficial new traits developed.

b. The lizards wanted to become different in size, so beneficial new traits gradually appeared in the population.

c. Random genetic changes and sexual recombination both created new variations.

d. The island environment caused genetic changes in the lizards.

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Descent with Modification concept. You can view video lessons to learn Descent with Modification. Or if you need more Descent with Modification practice, you can also practice Descent with Modification practice problems.

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Our tutors rated the difficulty ofThe Canary Islands are seven islands just west of the Africa...as medium difficulty.

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Our expert Biology tutor, Kaitlyn took 6 minutes and 10 seconds to solve this problem. You can follow their steps in the video explanation above.