Natural Selection

Galapagos Finches

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What is natural selection?

Natural selection is the process where organisms adapt or change to fit to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring. The theory of its action was first fully explained by Charles Darwin, and it is now regarded as the main process that brings about evolution.

An Example?

An example of natural selection are the different species of Galapagos finches. These are the finches that Charles Darwin studied to form the theory of natrual selection. Charles Darwin collected and studied 15 different species of these finches when he travelled to the Galapagos Islands in September 16, 1835 and discovered that they were only found on the Galapagos Islands.

How did the finches adapt?

The Galapagos finches adapted to changing conditons by evolving their beak shape and size to suit there changing food sources. Geographically isolated and without competition from similar species, these finches developed distinctively differents beak shapes and sizes, and their behaviors, with each species exploiting a unique feeding niche. The beak is adapted in the different species for different purposes, such as crushing seeds, pecking wood, and probing flowers for nectar.  Darwin proposed that the Galapagos finches evolved on the islands from a single species of finch from mainland South America. Since then the finches have adapted to there environments and survived for many years.

Why the Galapagos Islands?

After migrating to the Galapagos Islands msny years ago, it was the harsh conditions and similar competiton that put pressure on the finches to evolve. These finches had to discover new ways to collect and eat food. It was the beaks shape and size that determined where and how they would source their food. The finches with the larger beaks were able to crush the seeds found on the ground and survive to reproduce while the finches with sharp beaks could feed on small insects. The Galapagos Islands are harsh with their weather conditions and contain several volcanoes but they have a large variety of sources of food. It was simply a matter of adapting to the new food sources.
Galapagos- the finches and adaptation


Youtube: Galapagos- the finches and adaption: Darwin's finches: How did the galapagos finches adapt to their environment: Darwin's finches and natural selection in the Galapagos: