The individuals that were well adapted to the new conditions survived and were more likely to reproduce. The evolution of the peppered moth is an evolutionary instance of directional colour change in the moth population as a consequence of air pollution during the Industrial Revolution. (From Ken Miller's Evolution Page) For years the story of the peppered moth, Biston betularia, has provided one of the best-known examples of natural selection in action. The peppered moth story was, at least until recently, a key demonstration of natural selection used in almost every textbook of evolution. Scientists became curious why this was happening. Now, so the story goes, the light-colored moths easily were seen by birds, while the dark moths were camouflaged better. Variations of this moth in dark color, was first identified in 1848, close to Manchester, and increased in frequency until constituting more than 90% of the population in areas considered polluted in the middle of the 20th century. The peppered moths signify in evolution as it offers an iconic example of natural selection, or evolution at work. The peppered moth case is an example of natural selection. In the 1800s, the industrial revolution brought air pollution and soot which killed the light-colored lichen, exposing the dark tree trunks. During that time, England was experiencing what is known as the Industrial Revolution. It has been called one of the best examples of evolution observed in the wild — light colored peppered moths (Biston betularia) became dark colored in response to 19th century industrial pollution darkening the birch trees in their environment. This is not at all the kind of process that could lead to the production of new … The story of the moth was outlined on pages 297-298 of the Elephant Book, and highlights the experiments of British ecologist H. B. D. Kettlewell. In this case, changes in the environment caused changes in the characteristics that were most beneficial for survival. The story of the peppered moth still leaves us to wonder about the evolution of color in the natural world, beyond the dark Satanic mills. The frequency of dark-coloured moths increased at that time, an example of industrial melanism. Evolving a darker color helped camouflage the moths, and keep them hidden from predatory birds. Peppered Moth Variants (Light vs Dark Colouration) The frequency of the two different forms of peppered moth is dependent on the environment and evolves as conditions change. Factories were being built, and they ran by burning coal for fuel. By 1900, the peppered moth populations in areas around English cities were as much as 98% dark moths. The Peppered Moth. The peppered group was well camouflaged from birds by the lichen-covered tree trunks. There was a time before the industrial revolution in England, when it was common to find these moths with a clear and peppered appearance. Industrial Revolution. Aside from the issue of the validity of Kettlewell’s experiments, a number of evolutionists have acknowledged that the peppered moth story is not exciting evidence for evolution on any significant scale; what has happened is really only “microevolution,” defined as a shift in the frequencies of genes within a population. The Peppered Moth - An Update. Peppered moth melanism – the classic story of natural selection in the wild Among a number of examples of natural selection in nature, industrial melanism in the peppered moth has been perhaps the most iconic. 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