Natural Selection in Protected and Unprotected Populations

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
In this simulation, learners model two elephant seal populations and how they change over time. Learners start with cards representing a variety of seals. Each generation, some seals survive to reproduce, passing on their traits to new seals. The amount of variation in the protected seal population stays high, while the unprotected population becomes more limited by selective pressure. In the related activity, learners can graph their data about the seal populations to show how they change over time.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Populations
      • Human Impact
    • Evolution
      • Mechanisms of Evolution
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Collection

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Huffard, Crissy


  • All rights reserved, Berkeley Natural History Museums and the Regents of the University of California, 2011