The 13 types of Galapagos Finches

How did one species of bird get thirteen different beaks?

What are they?

They are around thirteen bird species in the Galapagos Islands. Some Islands have slightly different habitats which house the finches. The only difference in the birds is that they have different beaks for certain jobs, like eating seeds. They are also named Darwin's finches.

Who discovered these birds?

You may have heard about him. Charles Darwin found these birds on a voyage in the 1800's. They are the perfect example of natural selection because they all are mostly the same except their beaks. For example on one of the islands the birds had longer beaks for eating insects and on another island the birds have shorter beaks for eating fruit. It is important to remember that animals do not chose to evolve, mutations and natural selection is what causes organisms to change over time.

Why are they different?

Each island has a different bird suited for that environment. For example a small finch with a long, slim beak is better suited for a habitat that has insects in hives or other shelters. Meanwhile, another island has lots of fruit trees so the finches probably have short, large beaks for eating fruit. If the bird with the longer beak lived on the island instead it would die off. But what if that bird population had a mutation that was in only a few birds and lets say it caused their beaks to be a little shorter. The finches with the longer beaks have less of a chance to survive and the birds with the mutation had a better chance to survive. Eventually the birds with the mutation would reproduce and their offspring would have it as well but the birds without the mutation would either die off or not have a chance to reproduce. After a few generations the birds with the shorter beaks would be thriving while the original birds wouldn't be on that island. This is why natural selection depends on the environment.

Some Examples Of Darwin's Birds.