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Finches from remote corners of New Guinea help solve an evolutionary puzzle


PhysOrg
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Tucked away in an unassuming gray metal file cabinet in a graduate student office at Boston University is an evolutionary puzzle that would leave even Charles Darwin scratching his head. Inside the cabinet, 18 clear Tupperware containers house 301 estrildid finch specimens from New Guinea, carefully laid out in rows by population and species. Each of the 11 species' plumage is splashed with its own distinct pattern of black, brown, gray, and white.

 

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