Darwin's Finches

Darwin's Finches
Darwin's finches (roughly 14 species found in the Galapagos Islands) were a mind opening experience for Charles Darwin. To begin they did not strike him as useful examples of evolution. He was more struck by mockingbirds and tortoises which varied from island to island in the Galapagos. In fact the "finches" were sufficiently different from normal finches that he did not recognize all of them as finches presuming that they belonged to other families. When he returned to England John Gould, ornithologist at the natural History Museum, informed Darwin that all these birds were finches. This surprised Darwin and alerted him to the possibility that evolution might produce not only new species, but new avian families as well.

A good introduction

A graphic introduction

An introduction to speciation with Darwin's finches as an example

Darwin's finches links

A college field trip to the Galapagos with observations and photos of finches

Molecular phylogeny

Evolution of finch songs

New! Humans harm finch evolution - "harm" and "slip into reverse" are misleading metaphors (based on "ladder of evolution")