A simple model of biological evolution of community food webs is introduced. This model
is based on the niche model, which is known to generate model food webs that are very
similar to empirical food webs. The networks evolve by speciation and extinction.
Co-extinctions due to the loss of all prey species are found to play a major role in
determining the longterm shape of the food webs. The central aim is to design the model
such that the characteristic parameters of the niche model food webs remain in realistic
intervals. When the mutation rule is chosen accordingly, it is found that food webs with a
complex, biologically meaningful structure emerge and that the statistics of extinction
events agrees well with that observed in the paleontological data.