White Sands Lizards Model

You are going to use a model to watch natural selection happening over 10,000 years as White Sands forms. Read the following explanation, then click the button at the bottom of the page to find the model.

The model includes blanched and non-blanched lizards and roadrunners, a predator that eats lizards.

Non-blanched lizards

Blanched lizards


When you press start, the ground starts out as mostly brown soil and, over time, becomes covered with white sand.

When a roadrunner and a lizard meet on a square that doesn’t match the lizard’s color, the roadrunner eats the lizard.

When a roadrunner and a lizard meet on a square that does match the lizard’s color, the lizard is camouflaged, and it does not get eaten by the roadrunner.

Lizards that do not get eaten can reproduce and pass on their genes to their offspring. Random mutations mean that sometimes offspring are a different color from their parents.