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Ecology and Evolution of Darwin's Finches


Chris Merkord
  • Peter R. Grant Princeton University Press 1986 Princeton, New Jersey United States http://press.princeton.edu/titles/2455.html

    Paper ISBN: 9780691048666

     

    512 pp. | 6 x 9 | 20 color illus. 117 halftones 101 line illus.

    English , Neotropic, , Ecuador, , Tanagers and allies (Thraupidae), 01/01/1986 9780691048659 No value No value

After his famous visit to the Galapagos Islands, Darwin speculated that "one might really fancy that, from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends." This book is a comprehensive effort to demonstrate how much has been since learned about the evolution of these remarkable birds. It brings a broad range of material to bear on central problems of evolution, emphasizing the role of interspecific competition and of forces of natural selection acting strongly enough on genetic variation in contemporary populations to produce observable and measurable evolutionary change.

 

The first section of the book introduces the general characteristics of the fourteen species of finches and their environments in the Galapagos archipelago and on Cocos Island in the Pacific. The second describes morphological patterns of finches, and shows how differences in the growth of individuals give rise to differences among adults of different species. The third section deals with the ecology and breeding behavior of finches, and the fourth discusses their evolution. The author concludes by extending the lessons learned from Darwin's finches to the problem of explaining the evolution of other groups, many of which are difficult, or even impossible, to study as living organisms. ne might really fancy that, from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends." This book is a comprehensive effort to demonstrate how much has been since learned about the evolution of these remarkable birds. It brings a broad range of material to bear on central problems of evolution, emphasizing the role of interspecific competition and of forces of natural selection acting strongly enough on genetic variation in contemporary populations to produce observable and measurable evolutionary change.

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