Darwin's finches

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A drawing of some of Darwin's finches that shows the differences in their beaks.

Darwin's finches, also known as the Galapagos finches, are a group of birds that live on the Galápagos Islands. They are not actually finches, but they are a kind of passerine bird.[1]

Charles Darwin used the finches to provide evidence for natural selection. He realized that the finches have different beaks because they are adapted to eat different kinds of food. For example, a finch with a big beak is very good at cracking open nuts, and a finch with a long beak is very good at catching insects. Darwin was able to see that the finches had a common ancestor which is why they were so similar except for their beaks. Eventually, this led to the theory of evolution.

Further reading[change | change source]

  • Darwin, Charles (1859), On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1st ed.), London: John Murray
  • Grant, Peter R.; Grant, B. Rosemary (2008), How and Why Species Multiply: The Radiation of Darwin's Finches, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-13360-7
  • Sulloway, Frank J. (Spring 1982), "Darwin and His Finches: The Evolution of a Legend" (PDF), Journal of the History of Biology, 15 (1), pp. 1–53, doi:10.1007/BF00132004, retrieved 2008-12-09

References[change | change source]