peppered moth

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peppered moth

n
(Animals) a European geometrid moth, Biston betularia, occurring in a pale grey speckled form in rural areas and a black form in industrial regions. See also melanism1
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Still, I was a scientist - heck, I'd already bred my own drosophila by this point - so I stood firm in the pursuit of important data collection and, using the handy identification guide I'd been given for the purpose, was able to establish that the peppered moths in my temporary collection were all indeed peppered - there (presumably) being only minuscule levels of soot in late 1980s north Surrey.
They are also proof positive of evolution by natural selection, the peppered moth being the poster-girl (and, indeed, boy) for Darwinian theory, having been busy mutating to a black form during the industrial revolution, to better disguise itself against the sooty walls of dark satanic mills and to avoid being picked off by birds.
Prior to the early 19th century, peppered moths in England were light-colored.
Peppered moths and some copycat butterflies owe their color changes to a single gene, two new studies suggest.
The species variant of peppered moths that were dark collared survived because they could not be easily identified by their primary predator, while those that were light collared were eaten more often by the birds because they could easily be seen against the dark background of the soot-covered trees.
It is no small coincidence that the very peppered moths that were used to exemplify Darwin's theory of natural selection within evolutionary science during the 1950s was of the same species as Hopper's own interlocutor.
The classic example of a Darwinian event is the pollution arising from the industrial revolution that resulted in the dark form of peppered moths (Biston betularia) predominating over the light form.
But Martin omits the fact that this textbook story is now very much in doubt, because biologists discovered in the 1980s that peppered moths don't normally rest on tree trunks.
But between 1959 and today, the number of dark peppered moths in England plunged from 90 to 5 percent of the population.
He attacks in turn the origin of life's building blocks, the evolutionary tree, homology of vertebrate limbs, Haeckel's embryos, origin of birds, peppered moths, Darwin's finches, mutation, horse evolution, and apes to humans.
As soot from coal-fired factories blackened trees and buildings in 19th century England, naturalists noted that peppered moths in polluted regions blended in by sporting a sleek, all-black look known as the carbonaria form instead of the usual lightly speckled wings.
Air pollutants that affected coloration in peppered moth populations in England: