Darwin’s Finches

I am almost finished reading Peter Grant’s “Ecology and Evolution of Darwin’s Finches”. As is well known, the finches on the Galapagos Islands provided Darwin with one of the final pieces in the puzzle of the origin of species and are considered a model demonstration of the effects of natural selection. Grant’s book provides a concrete illustration of the correct way to apply evolutionary theory to solve ecological problems. Starting with an overview of the various genre and species on the Galapagos Islands the book moves through environment conditions and feeding behavior, demonstrating how each has an impact on species distribution. Along the way, Grant reviews previous studies of Darwin’s finches and provides exhaustive references for anyone who wants to explore the question in more detail. Finally, Grant discusses species distribution in terms of adaptive radiation and considers various scenarios whereby the islands were populated. Although one should have some familiarity with ecology and biology, the book can be read by anyone. I highly recommend the book!

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