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Peppered Moths Mini Lab

Peppered Moths Mini Lab

Author: Sarah Thompson
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Background Information:
Before the industrial revolution, the trees in the forest around Manchester, England were a light grey/green due to the color of lichens (fungus) on their trunks. Peppered moths, or Biston betularia, which lived in the area, were mostly lightly colored with dark spots. However, there was some color variation between the moths. The most common moth color was light with dark spots and the least common were dark with light spots. Because there were not enough resources to support the entire population, the members of this species had to compete for survival. Their coloring, when against a similar background, served as camouflage against predators such as birds and lizards, thus increasing chances of survival. As the Industrial Revolution progressed, the trees became covered with sulfur dioxide, turning the trunks dark.