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Origins and Adaptations of the Beast

Even among the creatures that are not apparent to muggles, patterns of geographic variation have been identified among species. In Scamander’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” there are “ecogeographic” features that highlight the adaptive nature of these species in their varied habitats.

In evolutionary studies, there are three major rules:


Bergmann's Rule - Organisms from cooler climates in species of warm-blooded vertebrates tend to be larger than their counterparts of the same species living in warmer climates. This also works to some degree with changes in elevation.


Allen's Rule - Protruding parts (e.g. bill, tail, and ears) are shorter in cooler versus warmer climates. Exceptions include bird wings (no heat loss effect) and physical features related to foraging.


Gloger's Rule - Pigmentation increases in warm, humid environments versus cool, dry areas in warm-blooded vertebrates. The reason for this is not clear as both nocturnal and diurnal species seem to follow the rule.

In the following example, determine to which rule the trolls follow.

1.) To which rule do the troll’s body size follow?

2.) How does the data support your answer for question 1?

3.) Included in Scamander’s descriptions of the three species of trolls is skin color. The river troll has the darkest skin, a dark purple. The forest troll is green and the mountain troll who lives in the coolest environment is pale grey. To which rule would this pattern follow?

4.) Explain how you arrived at your answer for question 3.

5.) In Madame Maxime’s journal, she made note of the mountain troll’s ears being smaller than the other species. To what rule would this follow? 6) Explain how you arrived at your answer for question 5.

Using the data provided, answer the following questions by writing your answers in complete sentences on a blank piece of parchment.


It is no secret that magic runs in some families over countless generations. Though some have claimed that the gene for magical ability is dominant, is this truly the case? 

POTTER PEDIGREES: Tracing genetic traits over the generations

Performance Task


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