BioBeyond Unit 2: Journey to the Galapagos

Helpful information and troubleshooting tips on the lessons: Why You Look the Way You Do, Disease Detectives, Peer Pressure in Nature, The Birds And The Moths, and Galapagos Exploration

How do I navigate simulations in Galapagos Exploration?

There are six simulations you will need to complete in the Galapagos Exploration lesson. You will be able to access the simulations by clicking on each of the six islands: Hood, Daphne, Fernandina, Floreana, San Cristobal, and Santa Cruz. These simulations will have you consider natural and sexual selection, and challenge you to think about how different pressures influence populations of finches.

Hood Island, featured in the image below, is the first island you will explore in the Galapagos. In this observational activity, you’ll have the opportunity to examine the various species on the island and record their unique traits. Later in this lesson, you’ll compare these species with those found on other islands of the Galapagos archipelago.

After clicking a white circle on the map, you are brought to a page where you can observe three species that live on the island. Each species is designated by a white circle.

Once you click the circle, you are provided with a pop-up window that includes a description and pictures of the species. Use that information to fill in the white text box next to the animal’s name. When each text box is filled, you should hit the Next button to be taken to the next island. You’ll repeat this for each island in the lesson. If you are unable to see any of the white circles you may be zoomed in too far so the circle is out of view. You can simply zoom out on your browser to make sure you can see the entire screen.


Why can’t I see the white circles in Galapagos Exploration?

If you are having difficulty locating the white circles, you should drag them around the screen until you locate them. Alternatively, you may need to zoom out of the screen, for instructions on how to do this click here.

The Birds and the Moths

In this lesson, you will get to test a variety of external pressures (e.g. predation rate, initial population, and several factories present) on a population of moths. Depending on the simulation, you can set the initial population, number of factories, and the predation rate over a specific time scale to see what effect they have on the moth population. The red arrow in the image below shows where you can adjust the predation rate factor.

Randomness in Speciation simulation

The speciation simulation includes a random factor to mimic the variations of conditions in reality. As a result, running the same set of conditions more than once may result in different outcomes.


The total number of points you can earn for Unit 2: Journey to the Galapagos is 1055. For a lesson-by-lesson breakdown see the table below: