Darwin’s Finches: an evolutionary treasure
When Charles Darwin went to the Galapagos Islands, he discovered that the island was inhabited by thirteen species of finch birds. Amazingly, these finches all evolved from the same single species. Each finch has adapted to it’s environment and has unique specializations. The specializations can be seen in the shape and size of the bird’s beaks. For example, some finches are adapted for flowers only, seeds only, and others for insects. Darwin’s finches are an excellent and very easy to understand example of how evolution works. Though he didn’t know it at the time, his discovery changed the world of science and religion forever.
In Darwin’s memoir, The Voyage of The Beagle, Darwin wrote, “One might really fancy that, from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends.”
- Artistic interpretation of Darwin’s finches