Pre-Tutorial Assignment #1
BIOL336 Section 202
Cassandra Chan 60463080
January 11th, 2013
1. A debatable thesis statement is a claim that people can reasonably have differing opinions on. A
non-debatable thesis statement is a claim that is generally agreed upon, so there is no reasonable
room for argument.
2. There are several long-standing questions about adaptation—the evolutionary process whereby a
population becomes better suited to its local environment—that can only be addressed when we know
the chromosomal regions, genes, and mutations responsible for adaptive variation (p. 279, second
3. The study focuses on variation within species, and requires a trait that shows diversity within
species as well as vary in a way so as to impact fitness1. Oldfield mice vary in coat colours,
which also affects their ability to survive and reproduce in their environment1. Another trait that
can be used to study adaptation in mice is size and weight.
4. The environment selected for lighter coat colour in a lighter landscape, and darker coat colour
in a darker landscape1. Regardless of coat colour, mice that were able to camouflage in their
environment had higher survival and reproductive rates1. At the genetic level, mice with lighter
coats have a mutation in their genes that reduces the activity of dark pigment production1. Mice
with darker coat colour do not have this mutation in the Oldfield mouse species1.
1. Hoekstra, H. E. 2010. From Darwin to DNA: The Genetic Basis of Color Adaptations. In Losos,
J. In the Light of Evolution: Essays from the Laboratory and the Field, Roberts and Co.