The Poaching Of African Elephants

943 Words Nov 9th, 2015 4 Pages
Because of the poaching of African elephants there has been a decrease in the average weight of their tusks, poachers look for elephants with larger tusks. This has been recorded by the Uganda Game Department between 1925 to 1928 (Dawkins, 2009). Natural selections is a mechanism of evolution beginning with variations of traits within a population, these variations must be heritable in order to be passed to offspring, there must also be differential reproductive success, this causes the organisms with the favorable gene to survive and pass the trait on to future generations (Berkeley.edu, 2015). Poaching results in natural selection because there is a variation in the gene that codes for tusk sizes. The larger tusks are being targeted and killed, smaller tusked elephants remain giving them a better chance to reproduce and pass their genes, causing the genes that result in smaller tusks to appear more frequently. Directional selection, which is a mode of natural selection, is happening in this population because one phenotype is more favorable. These elephants are displaying a change in genetic frequency, a result of a mutation causing variation in tusk size. This is a heritable trait, the genes that code for smaller tusk sizes are being passed down more than those for larger tusk sizes. Evolution is the change frequency of allele, because the elephants with the larger tusks are being killed the elephants with smaller tusks are left with the best fitness. This leads to a…
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