The frequency of dark-coloured moths increased at that time, an example of industrial melanism. The peppered moth story was, at least until recently, a key demonstration of natural selection used in almost every textbook of evolution. In the 1800s, the industrial revolution brought air pollution and soot which killed the light-colored lichen, exposing the dark tree trunks. Variations of this moth in dark color, was first identified in 1848, close to Manchester, and increased in frequency until constituting more than 90% of the population in areas considered polluted in the middle of the 20th century. Aside from the issue of the validity of Kettlewell’s experiments, a number of evolutionists have acknowledged that the peppered moth story is not exciting evidence for evolution on any significant scale; what has happened is really only “microevolution,” defined as a shift in the frequencies of genes within a population. It has been called one of the best examples of evolution observed in the wild — light colored peppered moths (Biston betularia) became dark colored in response to 19th century industrial pollution darkening the birch trees in their environment. By 1900, the peppered moth populations in areas around English cities were as much as 98% dark moths. Scientists became curious why this was happening. Peppered moth melanism – the classic story of natural selection in the wild Among a number of examples of natural selection in nature, industrial melanism in the peppered moth has been perhaps the most iconic. The Peppered Moth - An Update. Now, so the story goes, the light-colored moths easily were seen by birds, while the dark moths were camouflaged better. During that time, England was experiencing what is known as the Industrial Revolution. The individuals that were well adapted to the new conditions survived and were more likely to reproduce. The evolution of the peppered moth is an evolutionary instance of directional colour change in the moth population as a consequence of air pollution during the Industrial Revolution. The story of the moth was outlined on pages 297-298 of the Elephant Book, and highlights the experiments of British ecologist H. B. D. Kettlewell. The peppered moths signify in evolution as it offers an iconic example of natural selection, or evolution at work. In this case, changes in the environment caused changes in the characteristics that were most beneficial for survival. This is not at all the kind of process that could lead to the production of new … Evolving a darker color helped camouflage the moths, and keep them hidden from predatory birds. (From Ken Miller's Evolution Page) For years the story of the peppered moth, Biston betularia, has provided one of the best-known examples of natural selection in action. The peppered moth case is an example of natural selection. 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