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Evolution: Journey of the canids Virtual Lab

Follow the million-year evolutionary journey of a canid colony as you create random mutations in their DNA.

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Evolution: Journey of the canids

About this Simulation

This short, targeted simulation is adapted from the full-length “Evolution: Founding theories and principles” simulation.

Have you ever wondered how the tiny, friendly chihuahua is related to the wild and ferocious ancestor canids of prehistory? In this simulation, we’ll explore the evidence that built the Theory of Evolution and the incremental genetic steps taken as one species branches from another.

Meet the dogs

Dr One has been caring for her lab assistant's dogs. The dogs are a variety of breeds and this has got Dr. One wondering about a few things. How is artificial selection different from natural selection? And how did dogs, foxes, and coyotes evolve from an ancient wolf-like species? Return to the lab to find out more.

Travel through time with a colony of canids

Evolution takes place over millions of years so experimenting with genetic information is practically impossible! In the virtual lab, you can time jump your way through thousands of years at the interactive holotable. Observe the impact of the random mutations you make in an organism’s DNA. Using Hardy-Weinberg theory, you will predict the genetic profile of your colony. Discover how your creatures look and behave after millions of years have passed. Changes to the environment, from a temperate forest to a snowy tundra, will also play a role in the survival of the fittest.

Review your evolutionary exploration

Return to lab assistants dogs and review your discoveries. Did you find artificial selection fascinating, or did you love the randomness of mutations? By the end of this simulation you will understand how the theory of evolution was derived, the key concepts of evolution, and the hardy weinberg principle.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Critically determine how evolutionary processes have contributed to contemporary life

  • Describe how the theory of evolution was derived

  • Explain the concepts of natural selection, genetic drift, and mutation

  • Apply the Hardy-Weinberg principle to demonstrate genetic variance in evolution

Techniques in Lab

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium
  • Genetic drift

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