Darwin’s Finches Reveal Role of Genes in Evolution

Scientists have identified a genetic mechanism that explains how birds develop different beak shapes in response to changes in their environment, a vivid illustration of evolution working at the most rudimentary level. The research involves the finches of the Galápagos Islands. The birds are iconic because they prompted Charles Darwin to puzzle over why their beaks are so diverse, one of the questions that set him along the path to formulating his theory of evolution by natural selection.

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