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How Did Kettlewell Determine If Moths Lived Longer Than Others?

Kettlewell conducted his experiment by releasing light-colored and dark-colored moths into a wooded area. He then monitored the survival rates of both groups of moths. Kettlewell found that the light-colored moths had a higher survival rate than the dark-colored moths.

This led him to conclude that moths with lighter coloration live longer than those with darker coloration.

Kettlewell conducted his famous study on the peppered moth in the 1950s. He wanted to determine if moths lived longer than other insects. He used a variety of methods to collect data, including setting up traps and measuring the life spans of different moth species.

Kettlewell’s results showed that moths did indeed live longer than other insects. This was an important finding, as it helped to support the theory of evolution by natural selection.

Biology of Race 1

How Did Kettlewell Test His Hypothesis

Kettlewell’s hypothesis was that the peppered moth became darker in color over time because its lighter colored form was more visible to predators against a soot-darkened tree trunk. To test this hypothesis, Kettlewell captured light and dark moths from different areas and released them into an area with trees of varying darkness. He found that the moths landed on tree trunks of similar color to their own body.

The light moths were more likely to be eaten by birds when they landed on soot-darkened trees, while the dark moths had a better chance of survival when landing on lighter colored trees.

How Did Kettlewell Determine If Moths Lived Longer Than Others?


How Do We Know That the Moths Evolved in Kettlewell’S Experiment?

In 1953, a British geneticist named Bernard Kettlewell conducted an experiment to study the process of industrial melanism in peppered moths. His findings showed that the dark-colored form of the moth was better camouflaged against a soot-covered tree trunk than the light-colored form, and that this difference was due to a mutation in a single gene. This provided strong evidence that natural selection could act on populations of organisms to produce evolutionary change.

What Made Some Moths Survive Better Than Others?

Some moths have survived better than others because of their ability to adapt to their environment. They have been able to do this by evolving different strategies for finding food, avoiding predators and reproducing. One reason why some moths have been more successful than others is that they are better at finding food.

For example, some moths can smell the scent of flowers from long distances away and so they are more likely to find nectar-rich flowers to feed on. Other moths have evolved longer tongues which helps them reach nectar deep inside flowers. Some moths even feed on other insects – such as caterpillars – which gives them a source of nutrition that other moths cannot access.

Another reason why some moth species have done better than others is that they are better at avoiding predators. For example, many moths have evolved camouflage patterns on their wings which makes them blend in with leaves and bark, making it harder for predators to spot them. Some moth species also release toxic chemicals when they feel threatened which deters predators from attacking them.

Finally, some moth species have been more successful than others because they are better at reproducing. For example, some female moths can store sperm from multiple males in their reproductive tract, meaning that they can produce offspring with a greater genetic diversity (which increases the chances of survival). Other moth species lay their eggs in groups, meaning that even if some eggs are eaten by predators there will still be survivors.

What Did Kettlewell Find Out?

In 1952, ecologist H.B.D. Kettlewell began a series of experiments to test the theory that industrial melanism – the darkening of peppered moth wings due to pollution – was caused by natural selection. He released light-colored moths into areas with trees that had been blackened by soot from nearby factories, and dark-colored moths into clean areas with lighter-colored trees. He then monitored the survival rates of both groups of moths.

Kettlewell found that the light-colored moths were more likely to be eaten by birds in the polluted areas, while the dark-colored moths were more likely to be eaten in the clean areas. This suggested that industrial melanism was indeed being caused by natural selection – as darker moths were better camouflaged against soot-stained tree bark, they were less likely to be eaten, and thus more likely to survive and pass on their genes.

What Did Kettlewell Find When He Recaptured the Moths?

When Kettlewell recaptured the moths, he found that the majority of them were lighter in color than when he had released them. He also found that some of the moths had reverted back to their original dark color.


Kettlewell wanted to study how different types of moths lived longer than others. He set up a experiment where he put different types of moths in different colored jars. The lightest colored moths were the ones that survived the longest.

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