The problem of explaining the origin of species has remained with us since Darwin’s time. In this lecture we will discuss what has been learned from studies of Darwin’s finches on the Galápagos islands. Fourteen species have been derived from a common ancestor in the last two to three million years, none has become extinct as a result of human activities and part of their environment is still in a natural state. We will discuss the ecological factors promoting diversification, how evolution occurs when the environment changes, what the barriers are to interbreeding, how they are inherited and what happens when they break down (rakerman)
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