Resource Image

Evolution of Tusklessness in African Elephants

Author(s): Jennifer Buntz1, Jessica Ross2, Tony Weisstein3, Heather Zimbler-DeLorenzo4

1. Central New Mexico Community College 2. Midwood High School 3. Truman State University 4. Georgia State University Perimeter Colllege

219 total view(s), 99 download(s)

0 comment(s) (Post a comment)

Summary:
The exploitation of African elephants in the form of ivory poaching is exacerbated by warfare. The affects of this anthropogenic evolutionary force on the African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) in the Gorongoas National Park in Mozambique…

more

The exploitation of African elephants in the form of ivory poaching is exacerbated by warfare. The affects of this anthropogenic evolutionary force on the African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) in the Gorongoas National Park in Mozambique was investigated (Campbell-Staton, et. al. 2021) after the Mozambican civil war (1997-1992).  This multipart lesson is based on this research.  Here, we explore allele frequencies, phenotypic data, and the use of a chi-squared test to determine if the population is in Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium.  Because one gene influencing tusklessness is X-linked, we also explore inheritance of the trait, using hemophilia as an example.  The data used in this part of the lesson are simulated data based on reports from Zambia.

Description

This activity is divided into sections that can be taught together as one large class/lab activity or divided into sections that can be selected based on the level of the students or interest of the class. 

 

We suggest that this activity be taught using Part 1 (Hardy Weinberg Equilibrium) and Part 2 (Chi-Square).  Part 3 takes the second video of the Pre-Class Activity and has students apply the Hardy Weinberg Equilibrium using the newly published genetic information about tusklessness.  It begins by starting with a sample example using hemophilia and moving on to tusklessness.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Be able to explain how natural selection produces change in populations within the context of tuskless elephants.
  2. Calculate allele frequencies in a population given phenotypic data.
  3. Calculate expected genotype frequencies given the allele frequencies.
  4. Use a chi-squared test to determine whether a population is in Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium.
  5. Calculate allele frequencies for a population using sex linked traits.
  6. Be able to explain how sex-linked traits affect evolution of characteristics differently.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Comments

There are no comments on this resource.