Evolution Report

915 words - 4 pages

The prevailing declination of the Tasmanian devil’s population can be accounted to the dissemination of the malignant disease known as Devil-Facial-Tumour-Disease (DFTD) which is spread through biting each other. The reproductive trends within Tasmanian Devils have had to adopt survival techniques such as early reproduction due to selective pressures which are precipitating the chance of death within the population. Both Charles Darwin and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck have proposed theories of evolution which can be pertained towards the endangerment of the devils however, Darwin’s theory conveys the concept better.
Tasmanian devils are endangered animals found within Tasmania and were previously ...view middle of the document...

The disease is transmitted via biting when competing for survival, territory or during aggressive mating and has prompted expedited change within the populous as suggested by the graph below:
The graph depicts that the population of Tasmanian devils has curtailed by over almost 85% as of 2011 as a result of this disease. However, evolutionary techniques are being adopted by Tasmanian devils due to the environmental pressures but have had beneficial consequences.
Evolution is evident within the reproductive trends of the Tasmanian devil species as the female counterparts are reproducing at the age of one rather than two and this is advantageous for the population as it means that females can reproduce more, consequently raising more litter. This could be due to DFTD, an external pressure, selecting younger females to breed as most females with DFTD do not survive to their normal breeding age. This is an example of Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection which states that as a result of environmental or other pressures, a species has had to adapt to their environment and the organisms with the preferred genes survive. Since evolution is a gradual process and DFTD is a relatively fast ongoing disease, DFTD has an advantage over the population. However, six Tasmanian devils with immunity to the disease have been discovered and if they interbreed, the genotype and phenotype will be transferred throughout each generation through reproduction, granting them immunity as well. If DFTD is able destroy most of the Tasmanian devil’s species, then the “fittest” are left to survive and reproduce which is an illustration of another Darwinian theory called “Survival of the Fittest” where the organisms most adapted to the environment survive and are then able to reproduce. The reproductive trends of the Tasmanian devils are being altered for the better as females can produce...

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