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Anthropology: Evolutionary Forces Essay


Lassister (22) describes evolution as a slow and gradual process through which organisms adapt to their environment. The discovery of evolution is one of the greatest scientific milestones that human beings have ever made. Despite the fact that many scientific types of research and findings are in favor of evolution, many people still deny the existence of this great scientific concept. There are various examples of evolutionary forces in action that can be observed today that serve to underscore the importance of evolution. In addition, they provide proof that this important scientific concept actually exists.

One of the commonly used illustrations of evolutionary forces in modern time is peppered moths (Biston betularia). Lassister (51) points out that the nature of the coloring of the peppered moth is a good illustration of evolutionary forces in action. Initially, before the industrial revolution, many of these animals had light, mottled coloration that was a nice adaption that enabled them to camouflage against predators. In addition to the brightly colored peppered moth, there was another variant of peppered moth that was dark in color.

During the pre-industrial revolution period, this darker variant comprised of only two percent of the total peppered moth population but after the industrial revolution, the percentage of the dark-colored peppered moth increased to 95% (Lassiter 73). This change in color is as a result of evolution whereby the peppered moth evolved to fit into their current environment. The increased pollution caused by the industrial revolution resulted in most of the environment’s bright surfaces being darkened. This meant that for the months to effectively camouflage within their environment, their body coloration had to evolve accordingly.

There have been several critics of the peppered moth’s change in coloration as an attempt to advance an explanation on the current evolutionary forces in action. This is because this example only uses a single trait to explain phenomena that should be looked from various perspectives. Be that as it may, the peppered moth example is one of the most widely used to explain evolutionary trends that have been observed in recent times. In addition to the peppered moth example, the second illustration of evolutionary force in action, which is perhaps more recent is the yellow-bellied three-toed skink (Saiphos equal).

This unique animal is usually found in New South Wales, Australia and it is unique since it has the ability to either give birth to live young ones or lay eggs. One of the features that skinks reproduced through egg laying have is that they possess an extra layer of calcium. This is explained by the fact that the mother usually secretes this nutrient for the young one while they are still in their early developmental stages.

The secretion of calcium by the mother can be compared to the mammalian placental system that allows nutrients to be passed by the mother to her young ones. Scientific studies conducted on the reproductive habits illustrate that skinks reveal that there is a strong correlation between the animal’s habitat and the system of reproduction that they use. Coastal based skins tend to lay eggs more than skinks living in collar mountainous areas. This is because the coastal weather is warm and provides a stable environment for embryonic development. On the other hand, skinks living in cooler mountainous areas tend to give birth to live ones more than there coastal counterparts. An explanation for this phenomenon is that in such areas, the weather is usually cold and, therefore, the young ones depend on the mother’s warmth to facilitate their development during their initial stages of development.

Works Cited

Lassister, Eric. Invitation to Anthropology. Massachusetts: Rowan, 2006. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, June 26). Anthropology: Evolutionary Forces. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/anthropology-evolutionary-forces/

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"Anthropology: Evolutionary Forces." IvyPanda, 26 June 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/anthropology-evolutionary-forces/.

1. IvyPanda. "Anthropology: Evolutionary Forces." June 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/anthropology-evolutionary-forces/.


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IvyPanda. "Anthropology: Evolutionary Forces." June 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/anthropology-evolutionary-forces/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Anthropology: Evolutionary Forces." June 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/anthropology-evolutionary-forces/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Anthropology: Evolutionary Forces'. 26 June.

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