biological evolution

Anthropology 130 Online Research Simulation 1
Tarsier Research Project
50 points total
Instructions
This research simulation will take you through a fictional example of genetic inheritance. The
textbook and lecture slides on heredity, genetics, biological evolution, and population genetics
should have all of the information that you need to successfully complete the assignment. Use
Internet resources as a last resort since that information is less controlled.
Enter your answers into the Research Simulation 1 Answer Sheet Word document and upload it
to Canvas to turn in.
Assignment Start
Congratulations! You have been accepted into a prestigious research program. You will be
joining a team of primatologists who have started to conduct research on a population of tarsiers
living on an island in the Philippines. (Tarsiers are
hand-sized primates who share a distant common
ancestor with humans but evolved in their own way to
survive in forests). The researchers believe that tarsier
fur color is strongly influenced by their genes, so they
plan to genetically test tarsiers of different colors to see
what their genotypes are like.
Since you’re the newest member of the research team,
the primatologists have given you the work of

of

1
11
{ Caption: A tarsier. }

preparing the data that they have collected to present to The National Science Foundation. At
least you get to work in the Philippines!
Part One
The international airport is bustling with activity as you wait for your flight to the Philippines.
Announcements in many languages ring out over the speakers. You make a small game of
trying to identify the languages being spoken. Surprisingly, you hear a young voice next to you:
“Hi are you a scientist?”
A child full of curiosity has climbed into the seat next to yours while you were distracted. You
reply to the child that you are indeed a scientist. The child looks up at your with beaming eyes. “I
have a question. In school, we learn about the scientis- scientific method, but I didn’t understand
something. Could you tell me the difference between a hyp- hypo- hypothemesis and a theory?”

of

2
11
{ Your new workplace (not really). }

1.
Explain to the child the difference between a
hypothesis
and a
theory
in your own way,
based on the book and lecture. Use at least one sentence. (1 point)
2.
The child has you attention for now. Continue by explaining how the process of scientific
research improves our knowledge over time while bad data and theories are discarded. (1
point)
Satisfied, the child climbs off the seat and wanders away. Soon, the gate opens and you board
the plane to your research adventure.
Part Two
By the time you are able to join the team in the Philippines, the researchers have already taken
genetic samples of wild tarsiers. Analyzing their DNA, scientists have isolated a few genotypes,
or the genetic makeup, or a few individuals. The genotypes have been given names following
the standard convention of using capital and lowercase letters to represent different alleles in a
gene.

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