25 May 2022


Peppered Moth Evolution

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Academic level: College

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The process of evolution involves rapid change which occurs over a period. Evolution takes place in animals or the environment which include various aspects as well as in technology. It is important to indicate that the changes take place in different forms which include mutation, genetic drift, through technological advancements as well as through the natural selection. Evolution study which is scientific have been in the past, and to date, there are still other evaluations that are being investigated while others have already been investigated and documented. One of the recent evolutions to be documented is that which involves the physical changes of the Peppered moth.

Peppered moth Evolution

Initially, the Peppered moth also known as Biston betularia was identified due to its light, mottled coloring which provided it with a camouflage advantage before the industrialization period as most of the surfaces were bright (Cook & Saccheri, 2013). During the early days, the dark type of the peppered moth totaled to approximately 2% of the peppered moths but after industrialization which brought about pollution which in turn darkened the surfaces, the total number of the dark type of the species increased to a total of approximately 95% (Cook & Saccheri, 2013). As a result of industrialization, the light moth camouflage feature becomes a disadvantage to the piece as they were easily identified by the predator which in turn leads to decreased numbers of the light moth while on the other hand, the polluted environment provided a camouflage advantage to the dark moth. As a result, the numbers of the light months decreased significantly while those of the dark moths increased (Cook & Saccheri, 2013). The evolution is best explained by the natural selection theoretical point of view which indicates that the existence of a species is determined by the environment and a species that best adapts to the environment. 

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Why the Evolution Occurred

The Peppered Moth evolution occurred in the current times due to the industrialization process that has taken place in both the developed as well as the developing nations. As a result of industrialization, the pollution rate is relatively high which have significantly impacted on the environment. For example, as a result of industrialization, there is acidity rain which in turn causes the coloring of the iron sheets, which are bright. Initially, the peppered moths were well adapted to the environment as they were light, hence, which in turn made it difficult for the predators to feed on the peppered light moths (Cook & Saccheri, 2013). In this case, the dark moths were not well adapted to the environment, and this explains why they totaled to 2% of the species as they were an easy target for the predators. In today's society, the environment is polluted, and the surfaces have become darkened, which in turn serves as a disadvantage for the light moths as the predators quickly notice them. Hence, the decline of the light moths as the numbers of the dark moths increase as they best match the current polluted environment (Cook & Saccheri, 2013). It is also important to indicate that since the polluted environment officers a camouflage advantage to the dark moth species. As a result, the species rate increase is relatively high when compared to the rate at which the moths are harm or eaten by the predators, as a result, increases the total numbers of the dark moths by natural selection.


Cook, L. M., & Saccheri, I. J. (2013). The peppered moth and industrial melanism: evolution of a natural selection case study.  Heredity 110 (3), 207-212.

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Peppered Moth Evolution.


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