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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Natural Selection and Adirondack Oak Vinyl Siding at Shag Lake

The story of the "peppered moth" near industrial cities in England is the iconic example of natural selection found in every textbook on evolution:

drawing of dark and light colored peppered moths on a tree with dark colored bark and a tree with light bark

Dark moths on light colored bark are easy targets for hungry birds but are hidden on pollution darkened trees.

In pre-industrial England, the dark moths were rare as they were easily picked off by birds from light colored trees. In post-industrial England, the light colored moths became rare as they were easily picked off against dark soot colored trees. Evolution in action.

Pictured here are some of the local fauna happily blending into the vast new expanse of Adirondack Oak siding we have introduced to Shag Lake. I could not help but wonder whether we may have shifted the local natural selection balance on the lake.

1 comment:

Rick said...

"Evolution is 'a theory that's out there' and one that's 'got some gaps in it.'"
- Gov. Rick Perry, possibly the next president of the United States.