Variation within the gene pool produces individuals that may survive a wider range or a different set of environmental conditions. Individuals better suited to survive under the new conditions leave more offspring that survive to carry the successful genes for survival in new conditions. Organisms that do not have traits that help them survive in new conditions do not have as many offspring survive. As generations pass, those whose inherited traits may have been suitable for earlier conditions but are not well adapted to survive under new environmental conditions are less likely to be successful. This is natural selection. The organisms best suited to new or changing conditions live to pass on those survival genes or beneficial adaptations. After completing the discussion activity, you will have an understanding of how environmental changes influence the natural selection process.
Consider predator-prey relations of species in your local biome. Using reliable sources, review the basic biology of a predator and its most common prey species. Consider the selective pressures of the predator on prey (both lethal and non-lethal effects) and speculate which prey characteristics might become more common due to predation pressure. Propose how would you go about studying these effects?
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