News of the WeekEvolutionary Biology

Darwin's Avian Muses Continue to Evolve

Science  26 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5568, pp. 633-635
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5568.633

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On page 707 of this issue, two biologists review 30 years of evolution among Darwin's finches in the Galápagos. They report that climate change has been a powerful influence guiding the evolution of the finches--and its effects turn out to be surprisingly complex. In addition, the two species on the volcanic island of Daphne Major can and sometimes do interbreed, and their hybrids--far from being mulelike reproductive dead ends--are a source of fresh genetic variability.