As the Galapagos is called in a recent Nautilus article: Bird malaria has hit the Galapagos, and may affect Darwin’s finches.
The short article introducing a radio discussion with two local biologists investigating the problem tells us:
The isolated Galapagos Islands are a ecological treasure and a key setting in the history of science: Charles Darwin did research there that helped him come to understand biological evolution—though, as detailed in a new Nautilus story by Henry Nicholls, it was observations of plants, rather than the better-known finches, that were most enlightening.
As it happened, Darwin contributed little to the study of finches beyond their name. In the context of a cathedral dedicated to him, that cannot of course be spelled out. Nor can the later claims, on behalf of his theory, that the finches were speciating rapidly be substantiated. Normal variations within species/subspecies/varieties (?) are differentially favoured depending on climate conditions.
Note: Readers may recall Nautilus and Darwin from recent posts:
Science mag admits, DNA studies shake tree of animal life
Moderator for science mag article on how DNA studies shake tree of life bans discussion of “whether evolution is true.”
On the other hand: Novelist Nabokov’s butterfly evolution thesis vindicated 34 years after his death”
The world of facts still sometimes emits signals from Nautilus. 😉
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