Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Galapagos Finches


The extraordinary adaptations that these birds of Galapagos have developed different environments of the islands was considered by "Charles Darwin" as very important test when he formulated his famous Theory of Evolution. During his expedition to the Galapagos Islands in 1835, Charles Darwin observed that finches differ considerably in their structure from one island to the other. It is said that these observations of the Galapagos finches inspired Darwin in his theory of the "Origin of Species and Natural Selection". All these birds come from a single species similar to Volatina jacarina that is very commonly found on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in South America.

galapagos finches
Galapagos Finches

Finches have an approximate size of 10-20 cm (0.32- 0.65 feet). To identify the type of species to which they belong you must observe the size and shape of their beaks. It is important to note that the peaks are well adapted to the different sources of food, such as pecking wood, seeds break and absorb the nectar of flowers.

Galapagos Finches are similar in color (dark or black coffee) but they all have different tones. These birds in the Galapagos Islands had to adapt to their new habitat and the size and shape of their beaks reflect their respective specializations. For example the Vegetarian and the Land finches have strong beaks to crack seeds, Cactus and Carpenter have elongated peaks and tree finches have a peak handle. The evolution of these birds in Galapagos is amazing, some of them have developed a very strong peak, which allowed them to break hard seeds for food. Other species developed very thin and long peaks, to achieve the insect larvae within small holes.The Carpenter and  The Swamp have even learned to use a small straw to remove the larvae out of cactus plants.

galapagos finches varieties
Species of  Galapagos Finches

The diet of these birds in Galapagos is wide. Some of them eat seeds and insects. Others eat the eggs of the giant tortoises and land iguanas. In the Wolf Island in the Galapagos, the sharp-beaked terrestrial species is known as the Vampire because it feeds on the blood sucked the masked boobies and Patas Rojas. The woodpecker finch use a small cactus thorn to remove the larvae from branches and trunks of dead trees. These birds in the Galapagos Islands have developed these skills to survive during the dry season or when there is very little food available. The term finches Darwin applied it for the first time in 1936 and was later popularized in 1947 by David Lack.

We have a lot of species of finches that are described below:

  • Gender Pinaroloxias
  • Pinaroloxias inornata
  • Gender Geospiza
  • Geospiza conirostris
  • Geospiza difficilis
  • Geospiza difficilis septentrionalis
  • Geospiza fortis
  • Geospiza fuliginosa
  • Geospiza magnirostris
  • Geospiza scandens
  • Gender Certhidea
  • Certhidea olivacea
  • Gender Camarhynchus
  • Camarhynchus crassirostris
  • Camarhynchus psittacula
  • Camarhynchus parvulus
  • Camarhynchus pallidus
  • Camarhynchus heliobates
  • Camarhynchus crassirostris
  • Camarhynchus psittacula
  • Camarhynchus pauper

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