Evolution in Darwin’s Finches

Posted on July 17, 2006  Comments (1)

“Instant” Evolution Seen in Darwin’s Finches, Study Says by Mason Inman

In 1982 the large ground finch arrived on the tiny Galápagos island of Daphne, just east of the island of San Salvador (map of the Galápagos).

Since then the medium ground finch, a long-time Daphne resident, has evolved to have a smaller beak—apparently as a result of direct competition with the larger bird for food.

Evolutionary theory had previously suggested that competition between two similar species can drive the animals to evolve in different directions.

But until now the effect had never been observed in action in the wild.

Jonathan Losos is an evolutionary ecologist at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, who was not involved with the Grants’ work.

“This study will be an instant textbook classic,” he said.

One Response to “Evolution in Darwin’s Finches”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Speciation of Dendroica Warblers
    July 15th, 2008 @ 6:29 pm

    According to this model, when there are few relatives around to compete for resources, such as when an environment is first colonized, species differentiate rapidly…

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