peppered moths

Peppered Moths, for the Light Grey Art Lab show Camouflage, which opened last night! 


Peppered moths are one of my favorite examples of camouflage in nature:
Almost all the peppered moths were light colored, flecked with black spots, well-camouflaged against the trees and lichens they landed on, until the Industrial Revolution in England. The trees became blackened by the pollutants and soot in the air during this time period, and the darker peppered moths flourished because they could now blend into the trees. Since then, the light colored peppered moths have become common once more, due to the improved air quality. They once again blend into their environment.


Prints and one framed print are available in the Light Grey shop.

Sneak peek at my piece for BeinArt Gallery on Jan. 14th! It is a very Audubon inspired piece and my first piece using predominately watercolor instead of ink. I can’t wait to show you all the pieces I have been working on for January!

anonymous asked:

How has evolution not gotten rid of unnecessary body hair ? ,if you belive in that kind of thing .

Heyo, sorry if you were waiting long for an answer! I’ll try and answer this in steps, starting with what exactly evolution is and why it happens!

1. Evolution.
There is a common misconception that evolution is always moving towards improvement. This is not so! Evolution’s goal is not to make the most perfect being, but rather it reflects the success of genes present in a gene pool. The most common example of explaining evolution is peppered moth. Prior to the industrial revolution in England, there were a mixture of white/speckled moths

 and black moths, 

both of the same species with a different phenotype (a gene that is displayed physically, such as eye color). However, during the Industrial Revolution, the trees that these guys liked to hang out on began to turn black (covered in soot and pollution from the machines used during this time). Because of that, the white/speckled moths stuck out pretty badly. Birds that preyed on these kinds of moths were better able to find the white ones, so the gene for this coloring began to dwindle. Evolution began to favor the darker moths. However, when people realized what impact the use of coal had on the environment, they began to stop, and over time the trees were no longer black. Now the black moths began to stick out, and birds were better able to hunt them.

Long story short, one phenotype isn’t inherently “better” or “more necessary” than the other. Based on other factors, such as environment and pollution, one phenotype was able to reproduce more frequently than the other.

2. “Unnecessary” vs. “Necessary” hair
There’s not a lot for me to go on here, but I’m gonna assume by unnecessary you mean arm/leg hair, pit hair, and probs pubic hair?

That assumption in mind, let’s break down the purpose of hair!
Hair is considered to be part of a larger organ: skin! The entire organ is called our integumentary system. It’s designed to keep your inside fleshy bits safe. When it comes to microbial invaders, your hair is absolutely wonderful at keeping bad things out! Eyelashes and eyebrows keep germs out of your eyes (most of the time!), nose hairs sparingly filter the air your breathe, and pubic hair traps germs entering the body*, while also (at least in the case of uterus-havers) keeping in the “good” bacteria and fungus. Your hair is your own light built in filtration system!

(* Of course, your hair can’t stop you from getting STD’s or anything. Use protection, my dudes.)

Now on top of this, your hair regulates body temperature! The reason you have hair just about everywhere is because this is how your body fights off cold. When your temperature drops below homeostasis (the level at which your body’s systems can all function properly) your follicles and sweat glands shut, which makes your hair raise (and therefore is able to better trap heat, especially in areas where your hair is thicker).

So if we put both of these ideas together, the reason for ‘unnecessary’ hair is actually to regulate body temperature and to protect your body from germs. However, we must also remember that evolution doesn’t really have a solid direction. It just happens. Survival of the fittest doesn’t mean only the most buff animals survive, it means only the animals who are able to reproduce have a lasting effect on population (the passing of their genes).

I hope this answered your question! This has been a science!

PS: I know evolution is kind of a picky topic with people! I do respect people’s belief of creationism, but evolution is something that happens in nature, regardless of ideology! It has been observed to be just as true as gravity.

Picture credit: Wikipedia

A Heliconius erato demophoon butterfly feeds on a flower in this photo released on June 1st 2016. 
A gene responsible for the colours and colour patterns on the wings of butterflies and moths has been independently identified in two separate studies published in this weeks ‘Nature’. This gene, and a mutation associated with it, controlled the darkening of the peppered moth that took place during the Industrial Revolution, and the gene is also responsible for the natural colour pattern variation in certain butterfly species. Credit: AFP/Nature/Dept. of Animal and Plant Sciences/University of Sheffield/Nicola Nadeau

usagitsukinoisacrybaby  asked:

Can a characteristic evolve more than once in a species? Or maybe a better question is HAS a characteristic evolved more than once in a species? Eg; if heaps of the male widow birds with the longest tails died due to increased predation (or something) and the females had to mate with less impressive specimens leading to shorter overall tails in young.

This is an interesting and complex question.

A fellow named Dollo says no, and in 1893 he proposed a law- Dollo’s Law, in fact- that stated that once lost, genetic traits could not be regained via evolution. We’ll discuss how well Dollo’s Law has held up a bit more further down.

A trait can absolutely appear more than once in a species. In fact, certain traits go in and out of style all the time in some species based on changing environments.

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Random Fact #341

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution does not state that the strongest survive. 

“Survival of the fittest” means “survival of whoever is best adapted to that environment”. 

That means anything from having slightly better camouflage to jumping higher or being the first one to hide at the sign of danger.

A good example of this is the peppered moths in England during the industrial revolution:

Trees that are naturally light became dark from soot, so the white peppered moth population (which had thus far been very successful) declined sharply in areas that had factories that burned coal, while the black peppered moths (which were relatively rare) became the more successful of the two.

This adaptability to different environments is is one of the possible ways a species can break off into two different species (if given enough millions of years to adapt, of course).

The moth’s shown above are two different kinds of Peppered Moths. Before the industrial evolution in England the black moth was rare, and the white moth (circled on the left) thrived with it’s better camouflage. After the industrial revolution covered much of the country side in soot, the black moths began to thrive, and the white moth’s became rare. 

This is a prime example of natural selection, as well as evolution. The moth’s that are better able to camouflage are the ones that thrive. 

anonymous asked:

omg i was in science class & we were talking about natural selection then my teacher brought up this thing called a peppered moth n they're black and white BUT WAIT because of some stuff they ended up becoming pitch black (they're starting to go back to normal) i'm sorry i'm rambling but it just reminded me of kaneki atm. i didn't really do more research on the moths and this isn't a good explanation but idk if it's been brought up or not i'm sorry have a nice day

You know if Ishida ever uses this animal as a comparison in a poem or in a text, then thank you very much because thanks to you I will instantly know why :’D! (I want to see a reference to this. Just one word in a poem would be enough. Ishida please). There are things that would fit (especially if the story goes in a certain direction). I won’t say a lot about this now because this would turn into just a speculation post then and we don’t have any evidence, but if Ishida ever mentions this animal somewhere then you will certainly see a short post about this from me. Beautiful comparison. It reminds me of Kaneki too. And thanks I learned something related to real life again ;D!  I hope you have a nice day too!

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