Item EN022002: If the type of seed available to a population of birds changes, the individual birds with the beak best equipped for eating the new type of seed are more likely to survive and reproduce than the others.

According to the theory of natural selection, what is likely to happen to a population of birds after the seeds they normally eat are no longer available and all that is left are seeds that are harder to crack open?  Note: a population is a group of individuals of the same species.

  1. The individual birds that already have the kind of beak that allows them to eat the seeds that are harder to crack open would be more likely to survive and reproduce.
  2. All of the individual birds would develop new beaks as they continued to attempt to eat the seeds that are harder to crack open.  All of the birds would survive and reproduce.
  3. Some of the individual birds would try to develop new beaks so that they could eat the seeds that are harder to crack open.  Those birds would be more likely to survive and reproduce, and the other birds would likely die.
  4. Because the population of birds is all of the same species, they all have the same physical traits.  No individual bird would have an advantage in cracking open the seeds, and all of the birds would die. 

Distribution of Responses

Chart showing distrubtion of responses for Item EN022002

Percent of students responding correctly

Overall37%
Grades 6–832%
Grades 9–1245%
Male36%
Female39%
Primary Language is English37%
Primary Language is not English37%

View data table